I can now say I'm a proud member of a super not-so-secret running club: the Singapore Glove Project!
It's just mind-boggling how much trash one sees while running. (Dear runners: if you can't pick up trash while running, please try not to CONTRIBUTE to the trash - after a trail race recently my beautiful trails were littered with gel packets.) Now, this has always annoyed me, so I signed up with the Singapore Glove Project as a way to 'pay it forward'while still doing what I love, and this week was my recovery week from the marathon - no serious training for me!
On Saturday we ran out to West Coast Park.
(Photo stolen from Ken Jin, who organises this thing. Obviously this is pre-trash pickup. Post-pickup we were trashed.)
I noticed the worst of the rubbish was on the playground and around the barbecue pits - and that most of it was McD's cups and wrappers. Good argument not to have fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in parks...
You're not going to set any personal bests this way. At least, time-wise. You will however get a good back workout. Reminds me of playing table-tennis in school and spending more time picking up ping-pong balls than hitting them... You might also get funny looks from members of the public. But most importantly you get the satisfaction of having DONE something about the rubbish menace.
(Update - PS: joining the super not-secret Singapore Glove Project is incredibly easy; there are no membership fees or monthly meetings, all you need is one large trash bag or leftover plastic carrier bag, and one reusable rubber kitchen glove, or a plastic glove, or a smaller plastic bag to swathe your business hand in. Walk out the door, look around, start running, pick up trash, GO.
If you don't feel like workin' it so hard, just focus on the non-biodegradable stuff. For extra bonus points, also feel free to give yourself points for every different category of trash - cans, gel packets, ciggy butts, PET bottles, soda cups etc. For exxxxtra bonus points, get your friends to do it as well.)