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Recycling on the run
City marathon runner to donate $2,600 raised from recycling toward diabetes initiatives in the North

Cody Punter
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Over the last few years, local marathon runner Scott Crocket has developed an odd training routine.

Every time Crocket sets out to go on a run, he makes sure he brings an empty bag along with him. If all goes according to plan, the bag is full of empty cans when he returns.

As a result, Crocket has been helping to keep Yellowknife's streets clean, all while raising more than $2,600 in the last two years.

"I'm running down the street anyways. I see all this garbage and the tin cans and everything else - might as well pick them up and get some money for them," said Crocket, a district manager for The North West Company - which owns Northern stores in communities across the North..

Even more impressive is the fact all of that money he has raised is going toward combating diabetes in the North.

"It cleans up the town and I can donate the money to charity," he said.

Crocket is the only Yellowknife resident on a team of 79 representing The North West Company who will be running in the Canadian Diabetes Association's annual marathon, which will be taking place in the Cayman Islands on Dec. 1.

Crocket said diabetes is a cause dear to his heart because it has such a tragic affect on Northern communities.

"If you look at a map from 15 years ago that shows the rate of diabetes in the North and you compare that to now, you can see it's increasing," said Crocket.

According to Connie Tamoto, manager of corporate communications for The North West Company, the team has raised $2.1 million since 2000. This year alone, the team has raised $495,000.

Tamoto added that since 2011, the The North West Company has developed a partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association so that all the money it raises gets reinvested into Northern communities.

Crocket first ran as a member of Team Diabetes Canada in New Orleans in 2001, and has done several races since, including a marathon in Rome in 2011.

Although Crocket is now a seasoned runner, the city did not yet have a recycling program when he first started racing.

It is only since 2011 that he began collecting recyclables from the side of the road.

"I just collected all that money and threw it into a big water jug and when I decided to do (a marathon) for Cayman, I decided to donate it as part of my fundraising," said Crockett.

On top of the $2,600 raised through recycling, Crocket and his wife, Loreen, have raised another $3,400 - for a grand total of $6,000 - through other fundraising initiatives.

Aside from the fact that Crocket is raising money to help others, he points out that running has also helped him improve his own health. Before he started running, Crocket weighed more than 300 pounds. Now, as he prepares for the eighth marathon of his career, he weighs in at a lean 207.

Over time, Crocket has improved dramatically as a runner and in his last marathon, he broke the elusive four-hour barrier with a time of 3:58.

Crocket said his goal for this year is running the 26 mile race in less than 3:50.

"If I get under 3:50, you'll have to wipe the grin off my face with a sledgehammer," he said.

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