Run the marathon and help the homeless
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter October 11, 2013 9:34AM
2012 Chicago Marathon
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:39AM
Like bison shedding their winter fur, a herd of nearly 40,000 marathon runners will peel off their outer layers of clothing and stampede through Chicago Sunday morning.
The starting area in Grant Park typically becomes desolate and so littered with hastily discarded clothes it looks like a scene from a science fiction movie.
The life of the garments is not over though. Each will be collected and donated to the Pacific Garden Mission, Chicago’s largest homeless shelter. So if you are running in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, feel free to wear multiple layers and simply drop the extra gear as you embark on the 26.2 mile jog.
“They could end up the next day on the back of a needy person,” said Phil Kwiatkowski, president of the mission. “It’s much appreciated by our clients.”
Last year temperatures dipped into the 40s and 50s race morning, and donations filled half a box truck, Kwiatkowski said.
“A lot of times with the homeless, people turn the other cheek or walk to the other side of the street,” Kwiatkowski said. “But when folks like the runners of the marathon contribute, they do feel a sense of self worth and to them that’s important.”
Temperatures on Sunday morning are expected to be in the upper 50s, with the mercury cresting at 68 degrees several hours later, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss. A rainy front is expected to roll through Saturday night, possibly leaving slick streets in its wake, Deubelbeiss said. But the precipitation should move east over Lake Michigan by the time the race begins, he said.