Tyne & Wear

Great North Run: Discarded clothing donated to charities

Bags of clothes collected after the Great North Run Image copyright Great North Run Company
Image caption Organisers likened the scale of the start line clean-up to a "military operation"

Thousands of items of clothing discarded at the start line of the Great North Run have been donated to charity.

Volunteers filled about 700 bin bags with tops, jackets and bottoms left by the 57,000 people who took part in Sunday's event.

They will be distributed by the British Heart Foundation and Making Winter Warmer charities.

The run covers 13.1 miles (21km) from Newcastle to South Shields.

Scattered across a one-mile area where the runners assemble, organisers said the items weighed a total of 15 tonnes - equivalent to a double-decker bus.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJo Burn, of Making Winter Warmer, spoke to Newcastle City Council about the donations

Joe Milner, start director, called the 90-minute clean-up operation a "mammoth task".

Gateshead-based Making Winter Warmer is storing its items at a depot in Felling before handing them out to homeless people across the North East over the next few months.

The group's Jo Burns said: "It makes a massive difference, especially over the winter as people need many layers of clothing.

"We hand out rucksacks with essential items and include the clothes. It would take us months to get so much from public donations and they should see us through to March next year."

Image copyright Great North Run Company
Image caption Dozens of volunteers bagged the items of clothing after runners cleared the central motorway assembly area

The British Heart Foundation has sent items to a number of its shops in the region.

Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah became the first man to achieve three consecutive wins, while Vivian Cheruiyot took victory in the women's event.

The men's wheelchair race was won by Mark Telford.

Image caption The clean-up operation began shortly after the final runners made their way across the start line
Image copyright PA
Image caption The Red Arrows flew above runners on the Tyne Bridge

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites