2020 GAP Relay Goes Greener


July 29, 2020


CONTACT: Josh Raulerson, Director of Communications

EMAIL: [email protected]


2020 GAP Relay Goes Greener

Sustainability partnership increases offsets for event-related climate and watershed impacts


PITTSBURGH ­­– The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) has partnered with race organizer P3R and the Allegheny Trail Alliance to make the GAP Relay presented by UPMC Health Plan one of the most sustainable distance-running events in the U.S.

As official sustainability partner for the race, PEC provided carbon offsets equivalent to the estimated volume of greenhouse gas emissions generated by runners, event staff and volunteers, emergency and support services, and all other race operations. Event-related watershed impacts were also estimated and offset using Water Restoration Credits (WRCs). Revenues from carbon offsets and WRCs, purchased by PEC through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, will fund clean energy and watershed restoration projects.

2020 marks the second year that PEC has provided carbon offsets for the GAP Relay, run annually along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland. Safety concerns prompted P3R to make this year’s race a virtual event, allowing teams to cover the 150-mile length of the GAP anywhere they choose, at any time between June 19 and August 14, 2020. Despite the switch to a virtual format, PEC chose to estimate environmental impacts as if the event were being held in person.

“We also assumed a substantial projected increase with this year’s record registration of 125 teams,” said PEC Finance and Administration Coordinator Holly Bedford. “In effect, this means that we offset more than twice as much carbon as last year, though it’s likely the actual carbon footprint of the virtual race format is substantially smaller.”

PEC has three teams competing in the virtual relay, and team members will complete their legs from all across Pennsylvania. Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit Allegheny Trail Alliance, which supports and advocates for the Great Allegheny Passage.

“P3R is committed to hosting zero-waste events, and we continue to look for creative ways to achieve our sustainability goals,” said Troy Schooley, P3R CEO. “We are grateful to once again partner with PEC to ensure we do everything we can to reduce the GAP Relay’s carbon footprint and leave a positive impact in our community.”


For more information on the race, visit https://p3r.org/pages/virtual-race.




About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a statewide organization that brings people, government, and business together to find real-world solutions for environmental challenges. These solutions bring about sustainable communities, protect our water resources, and address energy and climate issues. PEC was founded in 1970 and serves the entire state through offices in Luzerne, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College.