Water Station Etiquette? (Read 1427 times)

    I will be running my first half ever in about a month (Thunder Road Half Marathon in Charlotte).  Because of my slow-but-sure return to running over the past year and concerns about hydration (I tend to have a hard time drinking on the run), I am thinking (planning) to walk through or jog through at least a few of the every-2-mile water stations on the course.


    Having never been in this race before, I have no idea what to expect when it comes to these stations.  With my intent to walk/jog through them, is there something I should be doing to signal that I'm going to start walking, a place I should move to before doing it, etc?  Obviously I'm not going to put on the brakes right in front of someone, but I don't want to be obstructing runners who are going to run through the station at speed.


    FYI I'm planning to be running 7:40-8:00 mile pace, so I shouldn't be blocking the front runners but expect I'll still be in the crowd for some/most of the stations.



    Feeling the growl again

      I would suggest grabbing your drink at the far end of the aid station, then pulling off and doing the actual walking just past the aid station.  This way you are not inhibiting people running through at all.  Aid stations tend to get congested already.


      I don't think there is any signal you could give that people would reliably understand.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


      I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


        Yes, at your pace you will have lots of people around who are working very hard and focused on maintaining pace.  The best way to handle this is grab a cup on the run and continue running past the water station, THEN move the the side to walk while you drink.  DON'T walk through the actual water station unless you are 100% sure nobody is behind you.


        mta: or what spaniel said.

        Runners run.

        The shirtless wonder

          If you are running with a friend or someone that doesn't look too grumpy turn around and throw whatever is left in your cup directly at their face.  The volunteers love this.


            The other idea is to start you walk a bit before the aide station - the worst in when you are planning your cup grab and just before you get there someone stops right in front of you.  If you were already pulled way to the side of the road say 30-50 feet before the aide station and walking, I could logistically plan my grab and go around you.

            7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




              I had this happen at mile # 24 in a marathon than I needed to run sub 39 to hit my goal in the last 10k.  I am 5 feet behind this guy as we clip @ 6:15 pace and he gets his cup and stops ... I think part of the reason I was able to drop 6:05 and 6:03 the last 2 miles was I was so pissed off.

              7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M



                Thanks for the suggestions, folks - I'm glad I asked as it's clear to me now that slowing down through the station is going to be rude no matter how careful I try to be.  Spaniel and Mikeymike -  I think I'll take your advice and grab my cup and get out of the way downfield of the station after I'm clear of the congestion.

                  I had gaterade splashed on my leg then on my arm.  I didn't really think much about it.  Just keep the spitters away from me.

                  Imminent Catastrophe

                    And if there's a trash can there, use it.

                    "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

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                    √ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015

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                    Western States 100 June 2016


                      I wish more folks understood that it ain't cool to come to a dead stop (or a slow walk) at a crowded aid station.  At almost every not-tiny race I do, there are several "Ole!" moves because people do exactly that.


                        And thank them for being there. Smile



                          Definitely recommend the grab and go method with a walk past the aid station. You also should put your arm out when you are pulling off to keep people from trying to scoot around you as you veer off or start to turn, rarely matters but can be appreciated if somebody is relatively close behind you. An audible "gonna walk" can also be appreciated.


                          Don't forget to thank the volunteers, and as perfesser said, aim for the trash can if one is available.

                          Run to Win
                          25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)


                            Put your arm out?  Huh?


                            I'm sure you don't mean "clothesline the guy who was unwittingly right behind you", but I'm not sure what you mean.


                            Maggie & Molly

                              thanks for posting this.  I always try my best to stay out of other, faster, runners but never thought to grab my water, get past then do my brief walk to drink (so I don't drown) thing. !! 


                              for those that may have been the person I annoyed by slowing to a walk.....sorry...never my intention.  I now have a new plan Big grin

                               "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop."
                              Wisdom of Confucius

                              HF 4363


                                And thank them for being there. Smile


                                +1.  Volunteering at a race to get pelted with empty cups and gatorade always deserves a 'thank you'.

                                 201x goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...