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5 Portable Toilet Tips for Race Directors

Portable Toilets
Every runner knows the routine: arrive at the race at least an hour early to allow time to use the porta potty. With hundreds or thousands of runners hustling to use the same row of bathrooms in the span of an hour, porta potty rental is one of the most important — and underestimated — jobs of a race director.

If you're directing a race, whether it be a local 5K or major marathon, adhere to these portable toilet tips to ensure a smoother experience for runners, volunteers, and all others involved.

1. Pay Attention to Ratios
If you quickly search the internet for porta potty rental ratios, you'll probably come across the recommendation to rent one toilet per 60 event guests. While this ratio works well at concerts and other outdoor festivals, this number is severely lacking for road races where almost everyone in attendance is trying to use the bathroom at the same time.

Long porta potty lines are a serious concern from runners and will deter them from ever entering your race again. You don't want half of your runners still waiting in the toilet line when the countdown to start begins. Keep lines short by renting at least one toilet for every 10 runners.

2. Arrange the Toilets in a U-Shape
Another way to keep the toilet lines moving is to arrange them in a big U-shape rather than in one long line. This way, runners can see multiple toilet options at a time when they enter the U, ensuring empty toilets get filled faster. The Hartford Marathon is an example of a race that uses the U-formation with great success.

If you do not have the space to arrange your toilets in a U-shape, arrange them in a straight line. But leave a few feet of empty space every 10 toilets, as this will help reduce some congestion in the lines.

3. Place Porta Potties Along the Course for Longer Races
For a 5k or 10k, you can get away with having porta potties only at the start and finish. However, for any race longer than this, you must plan for a few porta potties every few miles along the course. These toilets will be a lifesaver for competitors who come down with a case of the runner's trots or who over-hydrate before the race.

4. Place Garbage Cans Near the Toilets
One common complaint that toilet companies have after renting toilets out for road races is that the toilets become packed with other refuse, like race numbers of gel packets. This makes the toilets harder for your rental company to clean. Place trash bins in the same area as the porta potties so that runners can dispose of these items in the trash, rather than in the toilet, making the toilet rental company's job a lot easier.

5. Direct Runners to Toilets With Good Signage
You want your race to start on time in order to avoid frustrating runners and complicating your timekeeping. The faster runners are able to find the toilets, the faster they'll make it to the race start. Place plenty of signage near the parking areas, in the start chute, and throughout the gathering area. Include arrows on the signs directing runners to the toilets. Also, include the toilets on any race course maps you may design or print.

A good portable toilet experience gets your road race off to the right start. Follow the tips above, and contact Gotta Go Site Services Rentals if you're looking for portable restrooms in the Jackson area. Our standard units are perfect for road races, and you can add-on mirrors and soap dispensers if desired.