Thoughts that cross one’s mind when waiting to use a portable toilet at a running event




runners during an event

Portable toilets are commonly hired for a variety of running events like half and full marathons. Our previous articles have looked at determining the ideal use-to-toilet ratio and facility placements during a marathon event. Running is not everyone’s cup of tea or slice of bread. We guess you’ve seen a portable toilet facility at a given sporting event or site. These mobile units are quite important at running events and are often busier before and after the race. Occasionally, units placed at the early halfway intervals of the race can attract a good number of people. Requiring to use the toilets could lead to a long wait in the queue depending on the ratio of users to the toilet and the proportion of people seeking to complete a number two. Poop is expected to require a longer time than pee. Queuing whilst suppressing the call of nature might lead your mind to wander around the world or block. What are some thoughts that are bound to pre-occupy or flash through the mind of potential toilet users? Let the exploration begin. 

Some thoughts travelling through the mind of users queuing up to use the toilet facility 

  1. Is the current user having a poop?: Most people ask themselves this question before queuing up to use a portable toilet. This is a way of preparing our mind for the worst-case scenario and anticipating the wait time. When pressed for the toilet, our tolerance level is stretched thin and we yearn for preceding toilet users to be quick and considerate. The wait time and the intensity of the odour are two important factors that trigger us into asking this question.
  2. How long can I hold my pee or poop? The natural desire to use the toilet could be quite overwhelming in certain circumstances. In the event of a long toilet queue, and pressing toilet need, our mind is bombarded with thoughts around wetting ourselves or pushing our toilet use tolerance level to the limits. There are moments doubts can likely set in and a positive affirmation can help mitigate any impending concern. 
  3. Is there any toilet paper remaining in the portable toilet? Some popular running events can attract thousands of runners and supporters that can lead to increasing demand for portable facilities. Toilet paper is a necessity for most individuals and in number two situations. We don’t always carry toilet paper with us at all times, having a slight concern on its availability in these facilities is not out of place. 
  4. Do they have a hand sanitiser, gel or washing hand basin? The hygiene of humans differs. Some have high hygiene standards while others are within the low to medium range. The absence of washing hand basins or hand sanitisers could be worrying for some or most depending on the circumstances. This is one thought that could be expected to travel through the mind of individuals queuing to use the toilet facilities. 
  5. Can I still achieve my personal best running time? We all run for different reasons. Sometimes, there is a strong desire to do better than our previous time. A running stomach or a crying bladder is likely to make us stop, and use the toilet at some point before the end of the race. When this takes place, our running rhythm and time is stalled and can prevent us from achieving our target race completion time. 


These are some thoughts that can dance through our minds while queueing up to use the portable toilet. 


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