Friday, September 28, 2012

Give Your Sole and Win Free Race Entries

Raise your hand if you have a bunch of old running shoes stored in some closet in your house. Me too. It's kind of ridiculous. (Also, you can put your hand down now. You look a little silly.) So when I was contacted by the people on behalf of Allstate Life Insurance and  Give Your Sole, I knew this was a great opportunity to do some good with my old shoes. Give Your Sole has partnered with Allstate® Life Insurance to collect moderately used (read: not falling apart) running shoes at a number of races around the country.

I have a few too many of my own pairs of running shoes at home. And, sadly, after I took this picture I realized I have more. To put this in perspective: 18 months ago I had just ONE pair of running shoes. So for all of you runners who have been running for 5, 10 or 20 years -how many more must you all have?

Most runners will replace their shoes every 350 to 400 miles. For a lot of runners, this means burning through a few pairs a year. When runners stop wearing shoes, it is because they don't fit right, they are starting to cause knee pain on long runs or something similar. However, that doesn't mean they can't be put to good use as casual shoes. Give Your Sole is collecting shoes at the Atlanta 13.1 Marathon® and on the days beforehand. Shoes will be donated to the Gateway Center, which helps homeless individuals in the Atlanta area.

Here's where you can donate shoes next weekend:

--13.1 Marathon® packet pick-up at the West Stride store located at 3517 Northside Parkway on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

-- Town Brookhaven LA Fitness on Friday, Oct. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

--At the race itself on Sunday, October 7th. Anyone who donates their shoes on race day can take home a free pair of flip flops.

My ready to be washed and donated shoes

Not in Atlanta? No worries. Give Your Sole will be collecting shoes at several different races in the future, so check HERE to see if they are coming to a race near you.

So...not signed up to run the Atlanta 13.1 Marathon® next weekend? Here's your chance for a free last-minute race! Just leave me a comment on my Facebook page HERE letting me know that you want to be entered for free entry. I'll pick two winners at random on Sunday night at midnight EST!

If you're not quite ready for the half marathon, join in on the 5k "Beat the Bear" sponsored by Karhu. The first ten runners who beats the guy dressed up in the giant bear costume (he'll be pretty easy to spot, I can assume) will get a free pair of Karhu shoes.

What do you do with your old running shoes?
Previously? Nothing. I've always wanted to do something with them, but I didn't know how to go about donating them. (Read: too lazy to figure it out)

What charities are most important to you? 
It's hard to pick one - mostly because then you aren't picking thousands more. Ones that I feel most connected include the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Amnesty International and Habit for Humanity. Also, any commercial where animals look sad. I can't NOT cry when Sarah McLachlan starts to sing in that animal rescue one.


  1. Usually I donate my shoes to Nike or to the local running store. I know Nike uses the rubber from the soles to make recycled tracks and playgrounds.

  2. are you going to run this race??? i’ll be run/walking it in case you are interested!

  3. I donate mine to thrift stores. A couple of the local stores give away clothes and shoes to people in need. Win win. I burn through shoes quickly (about 5 pairs a year), and they never have holes in them when they retire, they just start to hurt my knees after about 400 mi. Plenty of life left for everyday use.

  4. What a great idea!! Sorry I am not closer to Atlanta! Although they did the same when I ran the Allstate 13.1 in Chicago, I sadly only had a couple pairs at that time. I will definitely do this next year!

  5. Great idea. I like to take mine to a donation box too. So good to give other people things that we no longer use.

  6. I generally recycle my shoes at the Nike store, but last year a friend went to Nicaragua and brought used shoes to desperately poor neighborhoods. I gave him 5 pairs! Funny how they collect - and I usually get between 500 to 1000 miles out of mine. They still sit in stacks in the closet.

  7. When I buy a new pair of running shoes I bring a pair from the time before to my running store so that I can throw them in the bin for "Soles4Souls". I always have the last pair & a new pair because I refuse to give any more real estate in my closet to running shoes :)

  8. I really need to find a race to get rid of my shoes! I got through 5-6 pairs a year (barely get to 300 on mine) and want to donate them rather than throw them away!

  9. That's a great idea! I will have to find out where there is one of those close to me. Or maybe it's an excuse to travel!

  10. It is a great idea because I have so many old shoes stored in my closet that I can give out.