Move over Ikea and Swedish meatballs. There’s a new Swedish fad that the U.S. is going kind of crazy over: plogging.
WHAT IT IS: It’s a fitness/environmental craze from Sweden. According to the Washington Post, the word is a mashup of jogging and the Swedish term “plocka upp” (pick up). Basically, runners pick up litter as they run.
HOW IT GOT STARTED IN MIAMI: As far as we can tell, people here started talking about it when the Miami Herald re-printed that Washington Post story. Frankie Ruiz, Miami’s running guru, says he got at least 40 tags on Facebook about the piece and realized that although we do beach clean-ups in Miami all the time, “when was the last time we thought of clean-ups on our most beautiful streets and sidewalks?” Plus, most of the trash that ends up on our beaches and in our water originates on our streets.
Frankie decided to give it a try on Earth Day, and got a bunch of his Miami Marathon staff together on the Miami River. Thirty people showed up, The Wharf gave them some drinks after the run, and it was a pretty great day. So he decided to expand it to Brickell Run Club, which hosts group runs on Tuesday nights that bring out hundreds of people.
It’s an opportunity to “do what I’m always talking about, making Miami better through outdoor running activities. That’s it, real simple,” he says. “If the city is not going to pick up all the garbage, we, the people who make up the city, have to do our part.… There’s just too much garbage out there for the city to keep up with.”
SOUND LIKE YOUR IDEA OF FUN? HERE’S HOW TO JOIN: Plogging will be a monthly thing at Brickell Run Club, and tonight is the first plog run. Meet at 7 p.m. at the Fortune International Group building, 1300 Brickell Avenue. Bring your running shoes and they’ll provide the trash bags. And if you participate, you’ll be entered into a raffle for some cool running swag.
SQUATS FOR DAYS: There’s a lot of trash in our streets, which means you’ll be bending down – a lot. We may not have hills to run (other than the Rickenbacker Causeway) but now at least we have plogging.
IF BRICKELL’S NOT YOUR HOOD… Start your own plogging tradition! All you need is some trash bags, and Frankie says he’ll help anyone who wants to introduce it to their running crew. Just message Brickell Run Club on Facebook.