What would you do?
Posted in the Bowling Green Forum
#1 Jul 27, 2012
You just ran a 5K in this heat and are headed to find a water fountain near a local athletic facility where kids are practicing. You are looking for a water fountain to relieve the thirst. Two team moms, with whom you've been mildly acquainted for years and one who is your neighbor down the street, are there sitting next to two large coolers. Out of breath, you ask them if they know where the water fountains are there. They say, "We're selling ice cold water to raise money for the team!" You obviously don't have money or purse with you. You tell them, "Oh, I don't have any cash on me, sorry!" They sit there looking at you. Finally, you say goodbye and go find the facility bathroom to get a drink out of the sink in there because you're desperate.
If you were the team mom, is this what you would have done? If you were the runner, what would you do differently? Is this exactly what should have happened?
#2 Jul 27, 2012
Hmmm...selling water in this kind of heat is a little unethical to start with. I would have given you one and paid for it myself if I had too. Anyone who personally knows me, will tell you this is true.
#3 Jul 27, 2012
I can tell you as a runner that I would not go out in the heat of the day (which this week would include until sundown) without being prepared with something to drink. That might mean holding a bottle of water in your hand, wearing a hydration belt, or placing water bottles along your route in advance. But the best thing to do is avoid the heat as much as you can. In the middle of the summer, that often means exercising indoors or going at sunrise.
I would guess that you were not the first thirsty person who stopped by. If they gave everyone a water, it would make their fundraiser pointless. And many runners/exercises do carry emergency money on them in case they injure themselves and need a cab, etc.
If I were working the fundraiser, I would not feel compelled to hand out free water to every thirsty runner who failed to plan and exercise personal responsibility. Now, if it was a situation where the person was distressed, sure, I would give them a water and pay for it myself. Or if it were someone who I knew, I would either buy them a water or help them find a water fountain.
#4 Jul 27, 2012
I am a runner also and it was a rude thing to do. Boy, no one knows proper manners anymore.
#5 Jul 27, 2012
I just started running in the last month and it was at a track. It was just a 5K, not a marathon, and 30 minutes doesn't seem unreasonable to be able to do without water, unless one overestimates their initial hydration level. I'll concede that my preparation for the run was inadequate. Using that logic, it would follow that if anyone had a heat stroke - even a beginner - it's their own stupid fault. As a beginner, here's my vow to never become a merciless beast "Runner" that lacks compassion for those just starting out. Sadly, the question about etiquette was lost on this tangential condemnation of my poor planning.
#6 Jul 27, 2012
I responded to your question above about what should the runner do differently.(You did not say that you were simply looking for etiquette advice.) I am sorry that you did not like my answer. I was trying to be helpful and convey the seriousness of being prepared and offer you some safety tips to think about in the future. Possible heat exhaustion/stroke is a big risk when exercising when there are heat warnings, especially for beginners. The heat index at 7:00 p.m. last night was still 105.
I posted that I would have handled things differently than your neighbor and acquaintance, so I am not quite sure why I offended you so much.
Good luck with your running!
#7 Jul 27, 2012
You didn't offend me. I did ask for what to do differently and I failed to specify what should I have done differently with the women at the event, not what to do to avoid the situation completely. Again, my poor planning in run preparation seems to carry over to my framing of questions to get to the point I intend. Don't worry about it either way.
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