Avoid These Major Hazards Near Aid Stations at Your Next Race - Getting quickly through an aid station without slowing down during a race is an acquired skill, but if you don't watch for hazards on the ground or people not paying attention on their way to the aid station you can quickly find yourself on the ground. This article will highlight these dangers, how to avoid them, and how to avoid causing them.
Avoid These Major Hazards Near Aid Stations at Your Next Race
By Blaine Moore
Mar 27, 2011 - 1:20:57 PM
Aid stations are very important to running a race comfortably,
allowing you an opportunity to refuel and rehydrate. Unfortunately,
there are a few hazards that you'll find near aid stations that can
easily derail your race if you aren't careful.
The first hazard comes from the water stops themselves, more
specifically the runners going through them.
Watch out for people that come to a complete stop with no warning,
or that cut right in front of you as if you weren't there in order to
get at the water stop.
When you are making your way over to an aid station, be aware of
the people around you so that
you aren't the one that's
knocking people over. If you do need to stop to drink your water,
just grab it and then pull off to the side once you are past the aid
station so you aren't in the way.
Also be sure to watch out for flying limbs. I was punched once by
a runner who was grabbing water with one arm and whose opposite arm
shot out and nailed me. It was obviously accidental and she
apologized, but if she had been any taller she may have gotten me in
the face instead of the arm.
The next hazard comes from the trash left on the group by the
When I ran the New York City Marathon in 2006, there were I have
no idea how many thousands of cups and gel packets littering the
street. Normally, that's not a very big deal, but in this race
specifically the sheer mass of paper, plastic, water, Gatorade and
gels made everything extremely slick.
I learned very fast to avoid the manhole covers, which were
If you can run around hazards on the ground, it's usually worth
the extra little effort. When you are ready to throw away your own
trash, try to aim for a trash bucket if there is one after the aid
station, or at least to the side of the course if there isn't.
Most races won't have the sheer mass of trash that is generated by
a huge race like New York City, but it only takes one fall to derail
If you've left the general area of an aid station, then don't
throw your trash to the side at all. Hold onto it until you come to a
trash can or at least the next aid station, as nobody will think to
go pick up after you if you leave your trash in some random spot on
the side of the course.
Getting quickly through an aid station without slowing down during
a race is an acquired skill, but if you don't watch for hazards on
the ground or people not paying attention on their way to the aid
station you can quickly find yourself on the ground.
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