Regardless of what I might have thought about the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon had events unfolded more auspiciously, it shall forever be recorded in my memory as the race without (enough) port-o-potties. That pretty much sums it up — if you don’t want to read further details about GI matters, turn back now! (Though I’ll at least reassure everyone that there were no digestive disasters — in spite of the lack of facilities).
I don’t actually have a great sense of who reads this blog aside from my mom and some lovely friends and relatives — most of whom are not runners. So, for those of you non-runners who are still reading, you should be aware that runners often have to poop mid-run. It’s a thing. This is why I pretty much always plan my long training runs around access to facilities. I do not want to be one of those poor running souls who ends up on the news for malicious fecal distribution.
Pretty much every runner out there knows what I’m talking about, and we all take various measures to try and address the issue before going out for a run. In my case, I drink an espresso as soon as I wake up, and that will usually do the trick. If that doesn’t work, I’ll bounce around, do some jumping jacks, and jog back and forth trying to get things moving. But sometimes none of that works, and I just have to start the race knowing I’m probably going to have to make a pit stop.
So. As you may have guessed, my morning routine before this race was to no avail. And somewhere around mile four or five, this became a bit of a problem. Not a dire problem, but an uncomfortable one. And it stayed an uncomfortable and increasingly urgent problem for the next FIVE MILES.
I passed two aid stations, neither of which had port-o-potties. I’ve never run a race where the aid stations didn’t have port-o-potties — this is such a fundamental aspect of race planning, it’s never occurred to me that there wouldn’t be a port-o-potty at an aid station. So. I was grumpy. And frustrated. And by the time relief came (somewhere around mile 10), I was just very ready for the race to be over.
To try and record some positive aspects of the race: I did get to pet a couple of cute dogs before it started! And I even took a picture of one of them — who really was very, very cute.
The weather was nice enough. The course was fairly flat. And the outdoor mall where the race starts had real bathrooms for use pre-race. Parking was plentiful, though I ended up having to use the feature on my phone to help me find where I parked…
Overall Assessment: Won’t Run Again
Time of Year: Early March (3/2/2019)
Start Time: 7:30 am
Temperature: 36° at the start, upper 40°s by the finish
Size of Field: 1200
Elevation Gain: 68 ft (according to Garmin)
- Decent medal.
- Unusual swag (hat and gloves).
- Easy parking/start.
- Good weather.
- NOT ENOUGH FACILITIES!!!!! Apologies for the shouting, but seriously. 5+ miles of no bathroom is not acceptable race planning.
- Not very good post-race food – weird nacho/chilli situation that did not appeal.
- Slow shuttle back to the start – took like 45 minutes.
- Not. Enough. Facilities.