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marathon runners

How are the ideal runners to toilet ratio determined for a marathon events?

Portable toilets of different range are a common feature during race events like half and full marathons. There are a lot of half marathons organised in London such as the Royal Parks Half Marathon, Royal Borough of Kingston Half, River Thames Half Marathon, North London Half and a few others. The Virgin London Marathon is the ultimate race in the UK accompanied by other popular UK 26-mile races such as the Brighton, Blackpool, Liverpool, Milton Keynes and the Greater Manchester marathon.

All of these races are usually organised by a team of people who continually strive to ensure the entire participants and their supporters have an incredible experience at the race venue and post race celebrations. One of the important things to provide during these half or full marathon events is sufficient portable toilets. Runners consume a lot of energy drinks, gels, bars and fruits before, during and after an event. This contributes to a higher demand for the use of portable toilets to answer the persistent call of nature.

Runners do not fancy queuing up for too long to use a portable toilet as this could negatively affect their race performance. Before the race, queuing up for too long to use a toilet adds a bit of pressure to your legs and makes them gradually fatigue before the race even begins. Runners like to rest their feet or do a light warm up before the run begins and not queue up to do a quick number one or two. Also, during the Marathon, queuing up to use a portable toilet could negatively affect a runner’s momentum and eat into their time. At the end of the Marathon, muscle cramp and strains have kicked in and the least desirable thing to do is queuing to use a mobile toilet unit when stretching and rest is the most desired activity.

Determining the use-to-toilet ratio

Concerts and festivals could have a higher user to toilet ratio when compared to races. Some concerts work on a 60 people to a toilet ratio while running events are slightly different. For races, the standard people to toilet ratio are 10 persons to 1 unit. It is quite simple, running events have a higher repeat visit to these facilities due to a high level of hydration when compared to gigs or festivals. It is believed that about 80 percent of runners use the toilets before the start of the race. This normally leads to a long queue before the commencement of the race.

At WC Portable, we provide race directors with advice on the appropriate quantity and quality of portable toilets required for a given event.  In some cases, the race budget could limit the required number and range of units dispatched to a given event. It is important to realise that running events are one of those outdoor activities that require more toilet to user ratio and the race organisers should always strive for the best user to unit balance. The range of toilets should normally comprise the standard portable units and urinals. Some of the urinals could be kept at the starting point of the race to ensure that male participants are able to relieve themselves by having a quick pee and reducing the demand for the standard units.

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