KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Earth Day is all about enjoying and taking care of our planet.
On Earth Day 2019, runners across East Tennessee did both at the same time.
Not only did they get their exercise, but they collected hundreds of pounds of trash on the way.
Runners stopped mid-run every time they saw a piece of trash on the ground.
They stopped a lot.
It was all part of a nationwide challenge called "Stash That Trash," a running series put on by the athletic clothing line Rabbit.
The Long Run, a running store in Knoxville, took on the challenge.
"It's basically just a competition to see which community can pick up the most trash," said Ethan Coffey with The Long Run.
Runners hit Ijams, the Tennessee River, Haw Ridge Park, and downtown Knoxville among other running spots all Earth Day to stash as much trash as they could.
Together dozens of runners collected hundreds of pounds of trash.
"We took one load to the dump and it was 380 pounds, and that was around noon," said Coffey.
Many runners were volunteering to pick up litter for the first time, like runner Jose Salas at Haw Ridge Park.
"It's just such a beautiful area to run and it's scenic, I mean why not clean it up," said Salas. "Do your part at least one day of the year."
He and other runners learned a little observation goes a long way.
"I was only here about 45 minutes and I picked up two full bags worth of trash and a hubcap," said Salas.
The Long Run wants to make these trash pick up runs an annual event on Earth Day.
Coffey thinks they may have hit up to 1,000 pounds of trash collected this Earth Day.