When I ran xc/track in college I had the same routine, which always had to include at least 71 (ok, maybe 3) stops to the porta potties. I will always recall the race in which I was literally running to starting line after hearing “one minute to race time” as I closed the door.
Since then, I’ve always taken note of the massive amounts of runners at the potta potties and always find myself asking questions. So today, I am finally ready to confess my questions and have even did some research (thanks Google) to find a couple answers...
1. Why don’t running companies brand the porta potties with signs (not permanent of course)? This would be a great way to advertise your company since so many runners are staring at the awful greenish blue color for minutes on end. If anyone wants to go into business with me and start designing such signs hit me up (@iamconrad). Being the Co-Race Director for a 5k, I think it’s about time I start placing flyers next to the porta potties at other races. At least we would have something to look at as we wait in line.
2. So how does a Race Director figure out how many to place for us? I always feel like we could use a little more porta potty love. Thanks to the Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave McGillivray, I have the answers....
“Traditionally, we have always used a 1:100 ratio -- one porta potty for every 100 runners. However, now that 50% or more of participants are female, that ratio needs to change... more like 1:75 or even 1:50. Then the question becomes, Do you have enough space to place all these units and place them in the best possible location, that is, as close to the starting line as possible?”
3. Why do spectators always have the urge to use them 4 mins before the race? Listen lame spectator, we are about to run a 1/2 Marathon, I think you can wait the extra few mins. How about you go over there and take another 12 photos of the starting line? Thanks, Ryan. There are just some things in life I will never understand.
4. Is it ok to strike up a conversation with others while we wait in the endless line?? I’ve always felt like it’s kind of weird, but I was so close to saying something to the cute girl at the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon last year in Virginia Beach. Obviously, you guys don’t know me, but I’m a sucker for cute girls, especially runners. Hey, maybe it’s worth it?...Sure would make for an interesting story at the wedding.
5. I also want to start going to races and hustle hand sanitizer and TP near the bathrooms. I really feel like we could score a killer ROI...seems like a booming business. Who’s in??
BIG shout out to Brooks...Check out this link about Brooks’ VIP Bathroom at the Marine Corp Marathon. Stellar idea.