A few days before a group of Victoria-area runners known as the Mud Mulisha put on their first obstacle run at Shawnigan Lake, Frontrunners Westshore staffer Christy Simard came to organizers with a brainstorm.
What if people donated their spent shoes after the race?
“Instead of them being thrown out (after Saturday’s gruelling event), they got thrown into Rubbermaid totes and brought down here on Monday,” she said.
She estimated that nearly 200 pairs of shoes were donated. Staff cleaned them up and sat them out to dry this week. They’re destined for charity organizations such as the Mustard Seed and programs like the Victoria Cool-Aid Society’s Every Step Counts, an initiative spearheaded by Frontrunners founder Rob Reid.
Jay Wright, one of the principal members of the Mulisha, was so busy with organizing the race that he left it in Simard’s hands. She put notes on the race’s Facebook page as well as her store’s and had the Mulisha announce about the campaign at the race.
The totes were left in a prominent place and filled up as more people came across the line.
Wright was flabbergasted at the number of shoes left behind by runners.
“I was blown away by the number of people (who donated) … I thought she gave me way too many bins,” he said. “I was shocked. That’s all the good will of the racing community and Frontrunners. I’m really happy that it worked out like it did. Hopefully they find their way to good homes.”
The store, located at #123-755 Goldstream Ave. in Goldstream Station, has a year-round bin for used running shoe donations.