This year’s TCS New York City Marathon was the biggest yet, not just in the history of the NYC Marathon, but in the history of the world. The biggest marathon in the world generates some interesting statistics. 53,627 people crossed the finish line–814 more than last year–and another 578 started the race but, for one reason or another, did not finish. But the statistic that stopped us in our tracks was the “throwaway” sweaters, fleeces, jackets, coats, duvets, hats and sleeping bags people use to stay warm in the pre-race chill: Goodwill NYNJ, a partner to marathon host NYRR, was on hand to collect a whopping 122,760 pounds (55,683 kg) of clothing for distribution to its retail stores–which works out to 2.26 pounds (just over 1 kg) per starter.
Proceeds from Goodwill’s retail stores support employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
Katy Gaul-Stigge, President and CEO of Goodwill NYNJ, told us about some of the logistics of picking up 122,000 pounds of clothing: 320 collection bins were placed around the start area on Staten Island and more than 200 Goodwill volunteers helped load nine trucks, stationed on site the previous evening, which made multiple trips to deliver the clothing to Goodwill NYNJ collection centres in New Jersey and Queens. These, in turn, distributed the clothing to Goodwill retail stores in New Jersey, the NYC area and upstate New York.
The Boston Athletic Association also collects the clothing left behind in Hopkinton at the start of the Boston Marathon, and, since it happens in April, staying warm before the start is just as big a challenge as it is at New York in November. And as anyone joining the later start corrals can attest, you walk by literal mountains of clothing on your way to the start line. This year 41,000 pounds (18,597 kg) of clothing was collected at the Boston Marathon and donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization–a mere third of the amount collected in New York, but still considerable. (At 26,657, Boston had just under half the number of finishers that New York had in 2019.)
50th anniversary in 2020
Next year is the race’s 50th anniversary, and 50 lucky winners were selected from a special “50 for the 50th” draw from more than 79,000 who applied between 6:00 a.m. on race day and 8:00 a.m. this morning to be among the first 50 registrants for next year’s historic race, to be held on Sunday, November 1, 2020. General registration opens January 30, 2020 and closes February 13, 2020, and the date of the lottery selection is February 26. (Those who were not selected for the draw remain in the pool.)