One of the things that I really dislike about races is the amount of trash produced. Its really one of my biggest concerns for this race series, especially considering how close we will be to the national parks. There is nothing that will ruin a view more than seeing a piece a trash in plain view from a view point.
That being said, one of the most important things in a half marathon is ensuring that aid stations are plentiful, efficient and that they do not run out of water. Hydration will make or break a race.
For this race series we are considering implementing Cup Free Racing. Click here to learn more. Have you ever heard of it? We actually really think it will be a good thing, but we want to know what you think before we make such a big decision.
Our tentative plan is to buy a hydrapouch for everyone and include it in your racer bag. They are expensive, but if we want to go cup free, we feel like we would need to buy them for you. Of course you could use a different hydration belt or bottle that you wanted, but you could use the free hydrapouch we give you as well.
We would then have water stations about every other mile starting at mile 2. They would be self serve, but as you can see you can get 6 oz of water really fast so there should be no waiting at all at any aid station, we would be sure of that. We would keep a sleeve or two of cups at each station in case of emergency, like if your belt falls off, or you lose your bottle. The cups would be self serve, but would be available.
The hydrapouch is not a water bottle. You run with it empty and attached to your belt or waistband. It is super lightweight, so you can hardly tell its there when running. When an aid station comes up, you pull it off your belt, fill it up in stride, drink it until you are done, then it goes back on your belt. Easy.
Personally, I am one that does not like to hold things in my hand, or wear extra things on my body, especially when running. But I think I can handle this, especially to avoid seeing mounds of cups on the course and finish line.
The other real bonus for me, is that I can sip water way past the aid station, instead of having to drink the entire cup right away in order to get it in the trash can. I would be able to drink as I wanted, and would not get that big hit to my stomach.
But, this is race is about you. What do you think? Will this make you more or less likely to register?
We want to make a decision about this before registration opens, so we hope you will chime in here or on facebook. If you have questions, please let me know.