Lesson #3 Don’t pass the Aid station…

…There is critical nourishment and encouragement there.

In early Marathons, runners ran the entire distance without having aid or water stations along the way. This lead to a lot of casualties. Then a few runners started carrying water. Fewer casualties. Finally, someone got the idea to start having water stations at predetermined distances along the route.aidstationhandoff.gif

Still, there were casualties, but even fewer than before. When Gatorade was invented (for the University of Florida “Gators” football team), later discovered by runners who found they were able to replenish lost electrolytes, we began to see more finishers with better times.

Nowadays, every Marathon, Half Marathon, and even a 10k races have water/Gatorade stations placed strategically throughout the race, though some are further apart than others.

In the Chicago Marathon (my first), the aid stations were approximately every gatorade-aidstation.jpg1 to 1.5 miles apart. The World of Hurt run I did recently had them every 4 to 5 miles (adding to the brutal nature of the race), so you had to carry fuel and water with you. In fact, race officials would not let you start unless you had a minimum of 20 ounces with you at the starting line. The end result to all this is that even old guys like me can run and complete a Marathon.

Now for the runner’s dilemma. The question many runners ask themselves is, Continue reading