Race Day Porta-Potty Etiquette

Dear Miss Race Manners,

I’ve never ever been to a 5K race and me and my 7,000 friends are doing one tomorrow.  To top it all off, we’re female.  How do I best behave when needing to use the porta potty?


Gotta Go 5K

Dear Gotta Go,

Congratulations on finding a race which isn’t male dominated!  I, myself, took photos at my first British race of the lines for the men’s porta-potty – because there were lines!  Races, especially for first-timers, can be a daunting experience.  From where to drop off your clothing to understanding where you should position yourself at a starting line, there are a plethora of things that one must learn in order to become a seasoned racer.

But most importantly of all, porta-potty etiquette is a MUST.

  1. When entering a porta-potty line do not loudly complain how long that line is.  We all know how long that line is, and reminding us only makes the bladder more likely to want to burst.
  2. Do not stare off behind you while in line as if something really amazing is back there.  The people behind you get nervous because it feels like you are staring at them.  Also, you will not be able to see the line move ahead in front of you.
  3. Do not allow your friends to join the line, especially if it is a really long line.
  4. Do not take children into the line in the last hour before the race.  You’ve got a large group of nervous people who are about to embark on a challenge, they do not wish to see 15 kids playing in the porta-potties with minutes to go before the starting gun.
  5. Do not wander to the porta-potty whilst having a deep and meaningful conversation with the person with you in line.  When a porta-potty opens up you immediately walk to that porta-potty and you go potty.  No time-wasting.
  6. Further, on exit from the porta-potty you hold the door open to denote to the people in line that this porta-potty is free and that they can walk to it directly.  Do not leap out of the porta-potty and run frantically away.  This causes some confusion in the line.
  7. Finally, do not be that person who thinks they can sneak into the porta-potties by casually wandering up and pulling on the doors before turning with surprise and saying, “Oh!  I didn’t realize there was a line!” and then attempt to cute your way to the front of a line of angry, bladder heavy runners.  Unless you are there two hours before the gun time or well after the race is over there is going to be a line. Always.

So there you have it, Gotta Go.  By following these simple etiquette tips you can make sure that a quick trip to the porta-potty is just that: QUICK.


Miss Race Manners

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