Volunteers pick up the pace and win

Austin marathon 2014 start


What do a dozen volunteers, 30 bags, one truck, and discarded clothing have to do with the Austin Marathon? The Goodwill Central Texas’ Austin Marathon Clothing Sweep!

What, you may ask, is a “clothing sweep?” As marathoners are running from the early morning start and into the heat of the day, they begin to shed their extra clothing throughout the course. And our wonderful volunteers were there to sweep in and pick them up!

The calm before the big race begins!


What happens to all that gear? Every piece of clothing that is discarded along the 26-mile route is “rescued” and donated to Goodwill Central Texas. In fact, last year, with the help of our volunteers, we recovered around 1,600 pounds of clothing! The funds generated go towards education, career training, and job-readiness services – putting underserved individuals on true career paths. This helps Goodwill with our vision of empowering 100,000 Central Texans to transform their lives through work, lifting them and their families out of poverty and creating true generational change!

Saturday, pre-race walk-through assessment (with Neko the dog assisting)

This was the 25th Anniversary of the Austin Marathon. John Conley, Race Director, has been there for 19 years, and this is his last year as Race Director. He has been key in connecting Goodwill Central Texas with volunteers and helping us arrange the Sweep for the past four years. John, we wish you well in your future endeavors!

Break stations from Spiridon along the route.

A few other stats: this year’s Marathon and Half Marathon races had approximately 15,000 runners! They came from all 50 states, dozens of other countries, and included 1,000 racers from our neighbor, Mexico.

There were a total of 2,809 volunteers, 30,000 spectators, 25 charities, and 170 public safety staff on hand for this race alone. Austin, you rock!

We’ve weighed in, and it’s time to celebrate!

Our own big thank you goes out to our Goodwill Sweep volunteers from City of Austin’s Veterans Affairs program, Team Spiridon, and Goodwill employees, all of whom stayed the course to pick up over 1,400 pounds of clothing! Also a big shout-out to everyone at Conley Sports and the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon for allowing us to participate!

It’s a win-win for everyone in Central Texas!




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