Author Topic: Aid Stations/ water pitchers  (Read 403 times)

Jackie

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Aid Stations/ water pitchers
« on: June 30, 2018, 03:27:34 pm »
I had a problem at 2 of the aid stations last year and ended up really dehydrated for several days after the race. In about 2012 I bought a hand held bottle at your expo and have used it in all of the races since. You have advertised in the past to save on waste by bringing a refillable bottle -I am with you! At No Name aid station I yelled "Water Refill!" and was told to go to the end of the table on the right. I was presented with 2 dixie cups with a few ounces of water in them. My 12 ounce bottle got less than 6 ounces after I grabbed these and dumped them in. There were no water pitchers for refills. The table was full of dixie cups filled with mixtures of gold fish, pretzels, grapes, and I don't know what. I am not good enough to use time to mess around with this so I kept going on with less than 1/2 the water I had planned on. Bar Camp -tons of help there -refilled and on my way in a flash. A-Frame, disaster. The only 2 people there were two very nice young men who tried to be really helpful. They had one pitcher of water which they used with a funnel to slowly refill the guy who had arrived a good bit in front of me. Why the funnel? We are supposed to have wide mouth bottles to refill. I got 2 tiny dixie cups of water again dumped in my bottle and even though I was over heated and very thirsty I kept going. That guy getting the funnel refill never caught up to me again. I was able to pass a few more women in my age group and do what I wanted, but I suffered for the rest of the week. Can we get more help at the aid stations? Can we get more pitchers this year (No Name had none)? I am not strong enough to carry a lot of water and do a killer race, but that is what the aid stations are for, no? All of the runners I know carry their own nutrition, but water is the key. Thank you!

Mark

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Re: Aid Stations/ water pitchers
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 09:17:53 pm »
Wow, I am really shocked to hear this. I've run PPM/PPA a half dozen times the last 6 years and have never had a problem with the aid stations. All of them have always been phenomenal, especially considering the logistic problems most have to contend with. You mention No Name as your first aid station, there are usually a few before that as well, take advantage of them at the beginning. I know the one at the end of Ruxton can be a pain when everything is bunched up and you don't want to lose position. Especially with all the competitive juices flowing.. but remember it's a tough damn race. People that pace and hydrate appropriately at the bottom usually SMOKE the people on the top. Please keep that in mind. Another thing I tend to do is overfill my bottle at each aid station in anticipation of using more than I think I will until the next station. Seems I am always carrying too much water from Barr Camp to A-Frame...

I may be biased but I am not going to lie... I think on the descent from the Marathon that the aid stations at Bobs, No Name, and Ruxton may have actually saved my life a few times, descending back into the heat is just murder. I am not Matt Carpenter, I am just regular middle of the road Joe Blow, but there has always been plenty to drink, water cups/pitchers over the head too. And I still always manage to garner special attention by the medical staff at the finish line for being near death...

PPA and PPM are not easy, runners need to be prepared for all situations.

Good Luck! 

John Garner

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Re: Aid Stations/ water pitchers
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 08:21:53 pm »
I've done the race a few times (er, 11) , and my main advice when it comes to aid stations is simple:

Always be prepared to skip the next aid station. Always. We have a lot of awesome volunteers and 99% of the time you will get what you need and fast. But every now and then something goes sideways and the proverbial fecal matter hits the air circulation device. One year, one of the two water filters at A-Frame broke. They could not filter the water fast enough to fill the bottles. Those who skipped the Barr Camp station were screwed. (They now pack in 3 filters, but that didn't help folks that year. These are big, heavy filters, not the tiny things you find at REI or Cabelas).

Unlike a race where they can just drive in a replacement on a 15 minute notice, getting to places along the course takes a lot of planning and time. You cannot call an uber to get to A-Frame or Barr Camp.

So, always always always fill up the hand bottle or whatever you have at every chance. For me, this means Barr Camp, but I can punt that to A-Frame if needed. For others looking for a refill at NoName, don't skip the refill option at the Incline aid station.

There are also one thing you can do to to make things go smoother: Never use a narrow mouth bottle. Those are a pain in the ass to fill. I ran the Cirque aid station for 3 years. Folks would spend $200 to enter, $500 for flights, $300 for hotels, and then show up with a water bottle they picked up at walmart for $0.75. It takes a long time to pour water into a 1/4 hole. The wide mouth ones fill wicked fast. I can dump and not worry about 90% of the water hitting your feet.

The second thing is to always be proactive and start to yell what you want as soon as you start to approach the aid station. If you want water, start yelling 'water water water" as you approach. It improves the odds that the gal holding the water pitcher will yell back and you will meet up before it is too late.

As Mark noted below, blowing through an aid station will cost you big time once you get above A-Frame. Plan to spend 30 seconds at each and you will be a lot better off above A-Frame.

--john
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 10:02:22 am by John Garner »

Jackie

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Re: Aid Stations/ water pitchers
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 01:32:48 pm »
Hi John, like I said, I had the large mouth bottle, and I yelled "water refill!" (this will be my 7th year) but No Name did not have a water pitcher -this is what I am hoping for this year! I didn't see cups of water on the table --but they could have been there- I only saw dixie cups of mixed snacks!!! I can't argue that these volunteers are the most dedicated. By the time the other waves were coming up maybe they had this sorted. I didn't skip the Incline, but I was smokin' hot last year and drank more water than other years. Hopefully we can get those 2 awesome guys at the Aframe more help -if he could have willed the water into my bottle he would have! But the 1 pitcher was slowly being funneled for someone else.

I think the way you guys handle the logistics is amazing, and I point it out to the people I recruit to the race! But my vote is still for a few more water pitchers, ditch the funnel, and hopefully we will have lots of family and friend volunteers at the stations.

John Garner

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Re: Aid Stations/ water pitchers
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 07:28:39 pm »
No pitchers there would be a big oops.

I'll flag this for the ops manager. It may be a case where the pitcher was there for them but left on the table back at memorial park (the staging area can be a bit hectic at times, and if you forget something, well, it can take a few hours to get it up to you.)

Either way it should not happen again.

--john