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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Race Day Water: Calgary Marathon

YAHOOO!! It's race weekend! Are you ready?
I have got most of my miles in and my aim is to finish with a smile! 
And thank all the awesome folks out there cheering us on! Thank YOU vollys!

We runners love volunteers. We Hi-5 em at races! We shout that we couldn't do it without them. We give and get hugs on course. We even let them dump water on us on those super hot days!

But have you wondered what happens to get the WATER on course? Or about the logistics that happen to ensure everything runs smoothly on race day?

Planning for a race like the Calgary Marathon begins as soon as the course has been finalized and approved by the City. It takes months of work! Flexibility is key -- because this time of year can also mean construction! Once planning is done..then come the runners. And with more than 10,000 of us, you have got to give kudos to the teams who 'make it happen'! 

In honour of of FAB volunteers who work so hard to put on a road race ... here are a few factoids about Calgary Mara's water logistics!
  • The logistics team makes a plan, then maps the route, then drives the route and takes photos of areas where each water station is planned.
  • A route report (driving instructions, photos) is created and then given to aid station captains, port-a-pottie delivery guys, and water, equipment truck drivers.  This detailed description ensures equipment, water and people all show up in the correct spot!
  • The logistics team calculates how many run through each aid station - resulting in a spreadsheet detailing equipment needed at each location – cups, tables, garbage cans, rakes, jugs, water, or gels! This year there are 10,000 (or so) runners! 
  • The night before the race, it takes about 5 hours to load trucks to be ready for race day set up. 
  • Starting at 430am on race day, volunteers drop off the equipment and do set up. Other vollys make their way to each station as assigned. And then more volunteers take it all down. There are a whole lot of folks out there but SOME are not finished until 6 pm. That is a long day!
  • While YOU might see 3 or 4 volunteers at an aid station, there are several shifts. On race day every aid station has had between 12-40 people working there to ‘make it happen’.

This year Calgary Marathon has 13 aid stations 
with 2 bonus “water only” stations
THAT means marathoners get 17 aid stops and 50k-ers get 19!
*Marathoners get water twice at aid station 11 and 12 along Memorial Drive*
**The 50k-ers pass by 4 times!**

How much water is that? 
Not including finish line or the water bottles you get with food
Calgary Marathon uses about 550 5-gallon water bottles!
That means well over 100,000 paper cups for the course alone! 
No wonder it’s a great idea to GO GREEN and bring your refillable water bottle!

Michelle Simonin, Logistics Coordinator 
Barrie Griffiths and Bina Wade, Aid Station Coordinators
on the Calgary Marathon Committee!   
Their work keeps us runners hydrated and happy. 
Hi5 (or hug) a volunteer when you see one on race day! 


  1. Have a great race Tina! I know you are an influential and do not let it get to your head :) Speak the truth! lol

  2. When I am alone, I come to see your comments. It is a very good comment, how strange is your loneliness in this city, there are thousands of people but no one is like that. One is changed because you are not there, yesterday even the sunlight did not come on the wall. Thank you from my heart.
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