Drink disposal etiquette

11 messages
08/03/2014 at 15:16

Afternoon All,

I'm a relative newbie to this running lark - started last August and entered a couple of 10k races soon after.  The first one was the Winsford 10k, and water was provided in plastic cups which I noob-ily tried to drink whilst still running.  Didn't do much for my hydration, but on the plus side, my nasal passages got a good flush out!  The bin was only 10m or so away from the table & it got me thinking - if I passed the bin, would I be obliged to carry my empty all the way to the finish?

I've entered the Snowdonia HM next month (yikes) & their website says water is provided in foil top cuplets.  How do these work then?  Is it ok to just drop your rubbish anywhere on the route?  I try to follow the "Leave No Trace" mindset when out running/cycling/dog walking, so just dropping my rubbish goes against the grain!

Hope someone can help!




08/03/2014 at 16:51

I think you'd be ok to drop a cup within a few metres of the bin if you really had to, the marshals will be clearing up afterwards- but why would you? It weighs nothing, just hold onto it to the finish or the next water station. You could tuck it into your waistsband as well. 

those tray things they use in Run Wales events are stupid, the complete antithesis of what you need in a race.


08/03/2014 at 17:03

Another solution would be to calculate exactly how much water you would actually drink during the race using the cups.

You will discover its hardly worth slowing for.

So, what you do is drink all the water on the start line and ignore the drinks stations, except for pouring the contents over your head. That really does cool you down.

In those situations avoid orange juice.

08/03/2014 at 17:16

I usually carry my own water with a bottle belt.  

Then I can drink when I want, not squirt it up my nose, and have no cups to worry about.  Also, no issues if the race runs out of water (not unheard of on unexpectedly warm days), and no slowing down to grab a cup or risking bumping other runners who are also trying to grab cups.

08/03/2014 at 17:22

Thanks for the advice!  I'll probably just take my own water bottle then & keep hold of it.

09/03/2014 at 19:54

ah but carrying a water bottle adds weight, slowing you down slightly,.. but more or less then using the water stations? who knows . I suppose though if you carry your own, you can stick in electrolight tablets or take an energy drink or whatever instead of the (as nature intended, but we can improve upon) standard water provided. 

Im doing my first HM next sunday, they have about 3-4 water stations, with water in bottles, and the general rule i understand is just to discard the bottles to the side (as in not in the path of the runners behind you). though i'm wondering now if it's just easier to take my own 500ml bottle with me (carried in my bum bag,.. "fanny pack" :P) with electrolight goodness in it. Especially if it's going to be a warmer day like today was. Think it caught quite a few people out today.

13/03/2014 at 20:28

I have to be honest in that when i started running i made sure i drank from the stations.

Now with a little more experience i think that it is pointless drinking the water for a 10km unless it is baking hot.

Drink beforehand (not too much that you need to pee - another mistake i made) and miss the water stations out, you simply dont need it for 10km.

In fact you dont even need to drink loads before the race, just drink  a normal amount.

13/03/2014 at 21:51

richclip - Always drink plenty of water from the water stations.  They're usually every three miles.  Why carry your own?  Take two cups on hot days.  To drink in cups on the run: squash the the top of the cup into an oval shape with forefinger and thumb and drink out of the spout thus created.  It will then all go down your throat rather than your front.

Drop the cup near the water station or carry it to the next piece of race signage, e.g. a mile marker and drop it there.

Water inside is vastly more useful than water outside.  Some races have sponges for cooling or you can easily carry your own - I do on hot days and dowse myself down from any (clean) water sources I come across.

Water is mostly provided in bottles of varying sizes. So many runners drink a small amount and throw the rest of the bottle away giving volunteers collecting them the horrible job of emptying them all.  Why not carry the bottle with you until you've drunk it all and then leave it at the next water station or drop it somewhere sensible?  Don't lob them over hedges, etc.

All the best in Snowdonia.  Didn't know they had a half marathon.


14/03/2014 at 08:35

If you don't want to end up wanting a 'pee' in the middle of your race, it becomes necessary to learn how your kidneys process water.

14/03/2014 at 08:57

Anything up to a half marathon, I just make sure I'm well hydrated before I start and then I won't need to bother. Anything over that I will either bin the cup or stick it in my pocket until the next bin comes up. I don't like throwing them on the floor, unless it's in a big city race and they're all over the road anyway, in which case, I will try to make sure I chuck it onto an obvious pile of other cups to make life a bit easier for those clearing up.

I have a real problem with those who just chuck their empties anywhere they fancy. At Reading a couple of weeks ago, we were running past a fence with a lot of trees on the otehr side. It wasn't long after a drinks station so there were a lot of bottles on the side of the road, but one runner actually went to the effort to make sure his bottle went over the fence and into the trees. I really don't understand the mentality.

Dustboy    pirate
15/03/2014 at 00:30

As an occasional marshall, dump the cup within a couple of hundred yards, just don't take the piss and drop it a mile away.

We have to clear up to keep the routes clear for other users. And they moan like buggery if they see a cup anywhere.

Squirt the bastards with gel and let the wasps do the rest I say!

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