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Water stations

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Sep 2017
9:04am, 7 Sep 2017
19120 posts
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I've been asked to run a water station at a local (new) half. With not a lot of notice. Does anyone have an idea of how many people I will need? They will all be under 18 (Scouts).

The water station is passed twice but I think the field is only 1000 from what I can tell.

I don't know if cups or bottles but have asked.

Any dos and don'ts?
Sep 2017
9:36am, 7 Sep 2017
11719 posts
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I would get as many helpers as you can.

What equipment will be provided, how many tables etc. Will there be bins for runners to dispose of bottles?

Are you expected to clear up all bottles and rubbish.

Nearest toilet for helpers.
Sep 2017
10:01am, 7 Sep 2017
18438 posts
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We had 1000 at our 10k on Sunday and IIRC about 10 helpers (for one pass). Cups filled from bowsers. Volunteers wearing gloves. Prefill and lay out as once they start arriving it will get quite manic. Tables are essential. Even with helpers holding out cups some people will go straight for the table!
Sep 2017
10:10am, 7 Sep 2017
19122 posts
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Thank you. The question is how many do we need to be viable as we will say we can't do it if we don't get enough. Sounds like 15 might be enough. Thanks for the tips.

It's cups filled from somewhere. Trying to get more info.
Sep 2017
10:57am, 7 Sep 2017
1969 posts
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The two races my club organise have fields of 300 and 500 runners. We man our water stations with a minimum of 6 people.

My club also runs one of the water stations at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival where there are approximately 3000 runners in the half and 3500 in the full marathon. The organisers of BMF request teams of 30 for these, but we reckon we could do it with 20.
Sep 2017
10:59am, 7 Sep 2017
19125 posts
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Thank you! That's very helpful.
Sep 2017
1:16pm, 7 Sep 2017
2024 posts
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Surrey Phil
Our 10k is still relatively small but certainly get as many volunteers as you can to keep a regular flow of cups being filled up and ready to hand out. there's nothing worse than to keep runners waiting.

One tip. Remind the volunteers to hold the cups from underneath. If the runners were to grab them from the top, the cups are likely to retain more water than if taken and squeezed from the bottom.
Sep 2017
1:29pm, 7 Sep 2017
19131 posts
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Good tip - thanks!
Sep 2017
5:17pm, 7 Sep 2017
35 posts
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Never run one, but used & been thankful for them, every time!

Some numbers to consider ... just an example, replace with your own local knowledge!
Assuming you are passed twice, I'm guessing it will be about 4.5 & 9 miles in? The first time will be the rush .. think (or estimate) that (eg) 60% of runners will be 7 - 10 min mile pace (?), so at peak, you'll get ~600 people through in ~12 mins first time, ~50 a minute,
Have a plan with the 'helpers' how they will maintain that throughput - whether pre-filled on the table or how many handing out, how many filling up.

And needing a regular tidy up in the quiet moments?
What to do - hold at the bottom (as above) & hold it still - and let the runners take the cup - don't try to move it to them or you'll all get wet.

Have fun !

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Maintained by LindsD
I've been asked to run a water station at a local (new) half. With not a lot of notice. Does...

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