Runners Never Want To Stand Still And Wait In Line: Your Guide To Setting Up Portable Restrooms For Your Running Event

Posted on: 22 August 2019

Whether you're planning a 5K or a marathon, having convenient bathroom access is a necessity for your participants. Runners will be hydrating throughout the race, picking up water from your water tables, and will almost certainly have the need to use the restroom while they're on the course.

Without enough restrooms for your runners to use, long lines can form—you don't want your runners waiting in line during the race and losing time. If you're planning a running event, read on for how you should manage your portable restrooms.

The Starting Line Portable Restrooms Will Be the Most Popular

When runners first come to the starting line and pick up their bibs for the race, most of them will want to go to the bathroom before the race begins—no runner wants to be distracted during the race while they're trying to beat a personal best.

Because of this, the portable restrooms that you place at the starting line will see the most use. If you're short on restrooms, some runners may be unable to use one before the race begins, especially if registration begins shortly before the race does. You should count on having around one restroom per every 30 people participating in your race, and the majority of these should be at the starting line.

Place Portable Restrooms Along the Course

Some runners almost immediately feel the need to use the bathroom after they begin running. It's best to have a bank of portable restrooms placed shortly past the starting line. The best place to put them is at the 3-mile marker. For a moderately fast runner with a 9-minute mile, that's where they will be by the time they need to go.

Afterward, you may want to continue placing them every three miles so that they're spaced evenly—this makes it easier for runners to remember where your portable restrooms are located on the course.

You will also need some portable restrooms at the finish line for runners to use after the race ends. If your race loops back on itself (and your finish line is the starting line), then you can safely skip this—your starting line should already have plenty of restrooms available.

Portable Restroom Entry Should Be Parallel to the Course

An easy mistake to make is to arrange your restrooms so that they're facing the course. Queues will form in front of the restrooms, and people waiting in line may begin to spill over onto the course itself. Additionally, you need to place your restrooms in out-of-the-way areas to give runners a bit of privacy while they're waiting in a restroom queue.

Mark Portable Restroom Queues

Between all the runners and spectators standing around, it can be difficult for people to locate the actual line for your restrooms. The easiest way to prevent queue confusion is to clearly mark where they start and end. Set up stanchions in front of each bank of restrooms so that the line begins there.

With adequate portable restrooms, you'll keep your runners happy and interested in attending your future running events. A few weeks before your event begins, call a portable restroom rental company and have them visit the site of your event—you'll need to scout out locations for your restroom banks that follow the above criteria, are on level ground and are accessible by the company's trucks.