DRESSED FOR THE LONG HAUL: Runners competing in Sunday’s 2018 TCS New York City Marathon had to layer up to fend off the morning chill before heading to the starting line.
With the temperature in the 40s, many of the entrants wore jackets, hoodies, hats and other items, during the hours-long pre-race wait. Many veteran New York City marathoners knew they would not be wearing their warm-up attire, but they also knew that it would not go to waste.
Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey Inc. collected more than 91,000 pounds of sportswear and other textiles from runners before they started on the 26.2-mile course. That was a jump compared with last year’s race when 86,000 pounds of clothing was collected. Once the approximately 52,000 runners were off on what they hoped would be a five-borough tour, their leftover layers were picked up by 200 volunteers. A record-breaking nearly 50,000 marathoners made it across the Central Park finish line with Kenya’s Mary Keitany capturing her fourth New York City title and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa holding off his training partner Shura Kitata for the win.
The runners’ recycled clothing will be sold at 37 Goodwill stores in the city’s metropolitan area to support the mission of Goodwill NYNJ, and the first batch was distributed in the New Jersey stores Monday. All of it will be rolled out by the end of this week, according to a Goodwill NYNJ spokesman. The group is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities and other challenges to help them gain independence through employment.
Last year, the organization hired or developed job options for 4,000 people, including more than 1,300 individuals with disabilities, according to Goodwill NYNJ chief executive officer and president Katy Gaul-Stigge. She also noted that one in seven of Goodwill NYNJ’s employees is a person with a disability.
The two local Goodwill affiliates have collected 863,000 pounds of textiles during the six-year partnership with the New York City Department of Sanitation and New York Road Runners. The teamwork is geared for creating jobs in New York and New Jersey.
She said, “We ensure that the thousands of pounds of usable clothing do not go into the landfill, but rather in our 37 stores to support our mission. Goodwill NYNJ creates jobs.”
Goodwill NYNJ also collects athleticwear at the New York City Half Marathon and the Brooklyn Half Marathon.