Dealing with Water Stations while on a Run.

Let’s face it, if there is ever a moment when you are going to make a real fool of yourself while running in a race, it’s at the drinks table.

Here are some tips as to how to look like a really smooth, seasoned runner.

  1. People do strange things as they approach drinks tables.
    Runners at this point fall into two categories.
    1- I need a drink now and will do anything to get one, even if that means pushing you off course.
    2 – I am fine and so will run past the table, only to realise that I really need a drink and will suddenly and very swiftly make a bee line to the table.Don’t be that runner. Decide in advance if you need a drink and then run in a straight line toward the table that holds what you need.  run drink
  2. The drinks volunteer is not psychic and cannot be expected to guess your intentions.
    Try and catch the eye of one of the volunteers. That’s how they will pick up that you are in need of a drink. No surprises, no fumbles.
  3. Do everything as smoothly as possible.
    Don’t go swinging your arm through like the local 10 pin bowling champion. It’s just going to cause a mess with most of your drink running down your vest.
  4. It is an idea at crowded drinks tables to take two sachets of water and offer one to a runner who might have been blocked from getting one.
  5. At this point you have either grabbed a cup of sports drink or a plastic tube of water.

    Cup rules –  Grab the sides of the cup with your thumb and forefinger and slowly squeeze. This will produce two small holes, one to suck from and one for air to fill the cup.  This will allow you to take small sips while running.
    Plastic sachet rules. Bite the bag with your eye teeth. Those are your two sharp vampire like teeth and then proceed to drink.

Take small sips and remember to breathe in between. Dump too much water down and you will end up choking. Forget to take breaths in between and you run the risk of gasping while fluid is still in your mouth. The fluid will go straight down your windpipe leaving you gasping for air whilst trying to cough at the same time. This has never happened to me, just to people I know and so that’s how I can write so accurately about this 🙂

  1. Hold onto your cup/sachet until you get a chance to throw it into one of the bins provided.
    I really get upset with people who simply drop their cups and sachets on the road. It’s bad form. Hold onto your rubbish until you get to a bin and then throw it in the bin. You might miss the bin, I have a strike rate of 3/10, but at least your litter will be close and thus make life a bit easier for the volunteers who clean up afterward.We had a runner in the shop a few months ago who came in with his leg in a cast. We asked him what had happened. He explained that he ran ‘Om die dam’ and a runner in front of him threw a banana peel down on the road. He never saw the peel, slipped on it and broke his leg. Accidents like this are really easily avoidable.running banana
  2. Lastly, remember to thank the volunteers who have given up their time so that you can have an enjoyable run.




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One Response to Dealing with Water Stations while on a Run.

  1. What about the category of runners who run really fast to the water station and then suddenly stop to get water even though there’s still room to move forward?

    I don’t remember where I first learned about Rule #2, but that rule has been invaluable to me. No more fumbling cups.

    I’m still working on learning how to run and drink at the same time. The faster I run, the more likely I am to choke.

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