In Which Jenn Ponders Race Throwaway Clothes

Friends sweaters

I have an idea. I don’t know if it’s a feasible idea or even a necessary idea, but I figured I’d do a little spitballing here, see what people thought. So:

People often have to get up early in the morning for races. Temperatures tend to be colder then. Even if no great temperature shift is expected, people run hot but stand still cold. This is why these same people bring throwaway top layers for before the race – sweatshirts, jackets, etc.

However, sometimes the temperature throws you a curveball and is a lot colder than you expected (see: the last two marathons I ran). At that point you’re not looking at picking up a cheap hoodie to stave off the chill – now you’d be best served with a heavy duty fleece or legit jacket. These are harder to come by at throwaway prices.


Sometimes you’re not even in a position to readily make a practical purchase – for example, when the WDW Half Marathon got cancelled, some runners made the switch to the marathon the next day, and temperatures were much colder. Unless you want to throw down money for a last-minute cab ride or something, it’s gonna be tough to grab what you need at any price. I saw locals on Facebook offering to swing by resorts and bring donated clothing, and that’s awesome, but hardly efficient.

Which brings me to my idea: what if expos included a booth where people could drop off/pick up throwaway top layers they didn’t need? Hoodies, sweatpants, jackets even; hats and gloves and things, too. If you had extras, you could drop some off; if you need something, come grab it! Leftovers, like the items tossed on-course, would be donated or recycled. It could even be something like a Goodwill or thrift store outpost.

Or hell, forget the booth – it could just be a series of bins that people could riffle through and add to as well. I mean, that’d probably be messy, but it’d be easy…

Obviously there are lots of factors to consider here – need, staffing, exhibition space costs, etc. But I figured I’d throw this out there first, see what the reaction was. Is anything like this already happening at a race near you? Do you think it’s worth doing? Let me know!

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