Does anyone else get annoyed with runners dropping bottles of water at their feet or at the feet of other runners. Really annoyed me this year at the VLM with two people I saw pulling up with sprained ankles, a real hazard and discourteous for anyone around them.
Rant over or is it just me!!!!
I've more sympathy if they're just crap at throwing. Not even trying to aim them somewhere sensible is thick, though.
The bottles should only be one quarter of the size judging from the number of people who take just a quick mouthful and drop the rest. Total waste. They should be made to carry the bottles for at least half a mile.
The last time I ran the 'London' I held on to the bottles until I'd drunk it all.
If I wanted to carry a bottle of water for the whole marathon I'd bring my own. I do agree they should be much smaller, though. I probably wouldn't even drink a whole one in the entire race unless it was really hot.
I carry mine until the next drinks; station, then I swap it for a fresh one - honest!
The 'littering' side of running seriously pisses me off full stop; why do people think it is OK to drop litter anywhere (but particularly in the countryside) just because they are racing? Why should the normally -unpaid volunteers- clear up rubbish?
The Taunton marathon last year was horrific for this; I even saw someone throwing a water bottle over someone's hedge into their front garden!
When I run (or walk) in the countryside I almost always pick up one piece of litter; my logic being that there are more of 'us' than 'them' and it is no hardship for me
VLM instructions say to discard bottles carefully to the side of the road, which, to be fair, I think the majority of runners do. I've also seen in race instructions to discard bottles/cups near water stations if possible, which also seems sensible to aid clearing up. Presumably if you want to hang on to them for a bit it makes sense to discard them at the next water station.
I've never seen a race instruction saying don't drop your water bottle/cup. Unpaid volunteers expect to pick them up. That's an important part of the kind service they offer.
It's dropping them in the road that's wrong. Mind you, I've never done a truly huge race... where it must be difficult to deal with all the discarded bottles... especially at early stations before the field thins out.
But it's not right to expect runners to carry a bottle/cup for the next 3-4 miles.
Just install a large open fronted bin 400m past the drinks station. I'm sure most runners could manage that.
Maybe at the next VLM there should be a photo counter at one of these which gives an entry to the next years race to every 100th (or some other number) runner to deposit a bottle.
The bottles are slung in the road for lack of any other alternatives.
Some of the water stations at VLM are quite hard to discard bottles anywhere near because of the road being lined with a wall of spectators for ages afterwards (e.g. around 6 miles). You have to be really careful.
I did a half recently where the water was in plastic cups and they had volunteers holding open massive binbags a little further along the road for runners to try and aim at. That worked well and was also quite fun.
When you're racing a big marathon/HM like London/Bath etc and you're at your race pace you're not worrying too much about who's going to pick up your bottle at the side of the road; the race is organised well enough to manage this. Personally, and this is the same for at least 90% of the runners around me, I'll have 2 or 3 sips, look around to see if anyone else wants a go and then throw the bottle into the gutter or onto the pavement, avoiding other runners. I thought sharing bottles around is the norm, otherwise if you're in a group the runners on the outside can miss out.
Damn these first world problems!
I found the 250ml Iconiq water pouches at Brighton were superb. Easy to carry, easy to drink from, zero spillage and non hazardous to unsuspecting ankles.
Iv'e always managed to get my water bottles and lids in the bins. In Edinburgh I got a bottle cap stuck in the tread of my shoe and had to stop to fish it out which was quite annoying...
perhaps more should use the paper cups, i know they are a pain, but if you stand on one it makes no difference, silverstone half i seem to rememeber had huge skip/bins, majority of people used them.
It was upsetting to see that at the Bristol 10K. There was a whole bank of disgarded water bottles that people were having to dodge and I also felt sorry for the volunteers who would have inevitably have to clean that up. I did the Forest of Dean on Saturday and they had the plastic cups with bins a little further down the path to disgard safely. I think this method works quite well as it is cleaner and safer for other runners.
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