ROCK RUN RECYCLE | Run Clean, Run Green in San Diego!

You’ve trained, you’ve prepped, you’ve packed your luggage. You’ve even taken the obligatory #flatrunner selfies of your race-day gear. But wait, there’s one more way you can prepare for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon:

Donation 4
A green runner makes her ATRS donation at the #RnRDAL expo

American Textile Recycling Service (ATRS) is a proud sponsor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Their dedicated team attends 7 Rock ‘n’ Roll races across the country each year. At these races they offer convenient recycling of unwanted running gear, including clothes and shoes, at the two-day Expo (RnRSD Booth #112). Then on race day, their team runs the first 5 miles of the course to pick up and recycle all dropped warmup gear. But there’s exciting news for runners who love to ROCK RUN RECYCLE: they are debuting a new opportunity to donate!

It all comes down to the finish line, once you’ve had miles of scenic San Diego streets to give your shoes some great wear & tear. After a marathon, even the best-quality running shoes can be too used to re-train in. Plus let’s face it: you just bought a new pair from Brooks at the Expo to wear for your next race! So what’s a green runner to do with the old pair?

ATRS has the solution, and it requires just two simple steps:

1) Ask a friend, family member or other sideline supporter to meet you at the finish line with a spare pair of shoes (or go barefoot if that’s your thing!).

2) Toss your old pair in the finish line recycling cart, marked with our signature blue & white “ROCK RUN RECYCLE” banner.

Team ATRS clears dropped warmup gear from the #RnRAZ course

Right about now, you might be wondering: “But who wants my stinky, worn-down running shoes?” The answer is a lot of people! Although your running shoes may no longer offer the support and cushion a runner needs, they still have value. They could be resold in the growing secondhand clothing market to a low-income family who can’t afford brand-new footwear, or distributed as part of a disaster relief program to victims of floods or earthquakes. If they’re really in poor condition, we can break them down and recycle their individual parts. There are so many opportunities for a second life instead of letting them gather dust in your closet or take up space in a landfill!

Not only do your donations at the Expo & Race Day help keep San Diego clean & green, they also support a local charitable organization. Their nonprofit partners at Giving Children Hope (GCH) receive funding from ATRS for every pound of donated textiles at RnRSD. GCH uses these funds to support a variety of local and international assistance, including their We’ve Got Your Back program that distributes over 1,500 backpacks of nutritional food each week to homeless students in Orange County.

GCH volunteers pose in front of the nutritional backpacks they helped pack

One small action on your part can mean the world to an individual or family that relies on GCH. To learn more about where your discarded gear goes and how ATRS supports its charitable partners, visit Share your marathon experience with us on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @ATRSrecycling or by using hashtag #RunRockRecycle. We’ll see you on race day!