My #1 Race Pet Peeve


I’m sure most runners right about now would be willing to overlook a lot of race faux pas if they could just race! Today’s subject was “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at a race?”.

I’ve been lucky; nothing horrible has ever happened to me at a race. Instead I’m sharing one of my biggest race pet peeves.

sunset cup water drink
Water. Sometimes it makes or breaks a race | Photo by Meir Roth on

Running out of water!
This is what drove me to always carry water when I race — no matter what the distance is. Even for a 5k. I am a thirsty runner. Not only that, but did you know that your fascia (the webbing that surrounds pretty much everything in your body) gets more tangled the more dehydrated you are? I’ll be telling you more on Friday about that!

Some of the stiffness you feel post race (or the next day) can actually be traced to dehydrated fascia. It’s enough to drive you to drink!

Bottoms up
I have run numerous races where they’ve run out of cups, run out of water, or run out of both. Some only for the BOTPers like me — some for even the speedy runners. I understand that trying to figure out how much to get is a science, and that when the weather is not as predicted that can throw a real monkey wrench in things.

Maybe I can understand running out of water when it’s unseasonably hot (and not predicted to be so). But cups? That’s just disorganization. I know that putting on a race is not easy, but it seems to me that should never happen.

There is still nothing worse than running a really hot race, coming up to an aid station, and finding it dry (as dry as you are). Or finding they actually do have water — but no cups!

I’ve had some hot races with no water where I’ve given serious consideration to stealing someone’s water bottle — before I started to always carry my own water.

What’s your biggest race pet peeve? 

Do you already have a plan for your first race post C19 (whenever that may be)? 

Have you had races run out of water or cups or both? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


24 thoughts on “My #1 Race Pet Peeve

  1. Running out of water or cups should never happen at a race! That’s like running out of fuel at a formula 1.
    Fortunately, that has never happened to me (yet).
    I’ve been to a few races where they ask you to bring your own cup to reduce waste. If you know that ahead of time that’s fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a lot faster than me, Catrina, but I’ve also been at races where it’s happened much earlier in the race, too.

      I know of races that want you to bring your own cup, too, and I think that’s a fantastic idea (especially now!) — so far, though, I’ve never run one.


  2. Last summer I ran a race where they ran out of water and didn’t have gatorade (or similar). Runners were dropping all over the place. The RD clearly was out of his element. For this and other reasons, I will never run a race with this organization again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In Panama City they ran out of water.

    You want to run that race in Paris. No water until mile 6 and a bottle. It was 85 degrees. Even I was dying. No one complained.

    I’m not a water drinker.

    I’m not sure if I have a pet peeve. I know being a RD is a very hard job and they do their best.

    I guess I like to have a well marked course.

    I can’t wait to race again. Hopefully my aug. sept and oct half marathons will happen. Being optimistic here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadly I have experienced this too – sometimes in the back of the pack but also in the middle of the pack as well. It’s super frustrating, especially when it’s a warm weather day!


  5. I have done races where the volunteers at the water stands are hastily filling cups and not being able to keep up with the runners. I would think once they get behind with the water supply, there’s no catching up. I get annoyed at the runners who grab two cups…one to drink and one to dump over themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is definitely a pet peeve. I hate when I go to a hydration table and I have to search for my own cup of water…it’s so frustrating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind if there’s actually a cup. 🙂 And water, of course.

      On one hot course I carried a handheld water bottle — a large one — but I needed a refill about halfway through the race.

      When I asked the volunteer if they could pour some water into my handheld, they looked at me like I had 3 heads!


  7. Hi, Judy! This is a major peeve of mine, too. Running out of food at the end (so BOTP’ers get nothing, or the food’s cold) is my way of encouraging myself to stay on target with my time: if I really want the food after, I’ll keep my pace up. Running out of water, especially on the course, is cruel and unusual. I ran a 50k that ran out of both ice and water at 2 of the aid stations. Painful! But, yeah, I was carrying my own hydration. A lot of the races I run are trail, so they’re mostly cupless: you have to bring your own collapsible cup or a vessel of some sort for the volunteers to decant the water into. Maybe we’ll be able to use these little gems next year…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I’ve had races where food for the BOTPers was either scarce or gone.

      One race I did was started & ended at a farm, and they had great food — and fresh chocolate milk. It was actually an extremely well run race.

      However, I went to stand in line for my massage, and by the time I was done, the chocolate milk was gone. They let the public have it, too.

      Even though I’m not really a chocolate milk person (weird, right?), I’d been really looking forward to that!

      Most of my races are road races, but I’ve done a small handful of trail races, too, A very different animal! I’ve always carried my own water for those, but generally I do the shorter trail races — I did do one half. They were well stocked. And plenty of chocolate at the end (chocolate was a theme for the race).


  8. I agree! I have also been in races where they ran out of water. Not sure how that happens when they know how many people are running it in advance. I always carry my own as well bc you never know when you are going to want it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My first half, RnR Vegas, they actually ran out of water. On a cold night! Thankfully I was not effected by it, but there were still quite a few that were.

      Seriously, how does THAT happen?


    1. I did run one race where I didn’t get a medal at the end (and the race company closed not long after that cluster).

      One of the local runners decided to have medals made, so I actually do have a medal from that race. I don’t understand how it’s possible to run out of medals either!


  9. Oh that’s not good to need water only to find the water stop empty. I once ran a 5K on an extremely hot day and expected there to be a water stop at the half-way point – I expected it because all PRR Races 5K’s that I’ve run have water stops, but this wasn’t a PRR Race and I just assumed… Since then, I usually carry water.

    To answer the blog prompt question, “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at a race?” I once had my shin spit on by a guy during one of my Marine Corps Marathons. Yuk!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember during the Chicago Marathon in 2007 (yeah the year that it was HOT), there was no water nor cups at either the 1st or 2nd water station. I was mortified! I used to carry my own water bottles but now don’t do it anymore. Luckily I haven’t had another experience like that.

    Thank you for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had a lot trouble with water at races. And for me it’s hard to run when I’m dehydrated! I’d love to rely on aid stations — and I have done that — but I’ve also been disappointed too many times.


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