Running a marathon is a great achievement…but be careful if you need to use the bathroom mid-run

One of the most impressive physical feats that I can claim to have accomplished is my completion of two different marathons. I’ve run the Detroit and Chicago marathons, all 26.2 miles. When you finish, you feel euphoria, and for the next few days, you feel the sorest legs you can imagine.

There are many of ways to train for a marathon. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to run at least 20 miles one time, a few weeks before the big day. That way you can know what it feels to go through “the wall” or when your body runs out of carbohydrates and starts burning fat (which is far less efficient, and definitely slows you down).

There were also helpful clues to help me achieve what fewer than 1% of people can claim they’ve done successfully, from carbo-loading to limiting myself to short jogs in the week before the race, but there was one thing I did NOT expect…

When you’re running for over 4 hours…you might need to use the bathroom!

The first Detroit Marathon was launched in 1978 and is one of the only to take place over two countries. If you participate in the race, you spend time in both Detroit and Windsor, Canada. You even go through an underwater tunnel exactly 1 mile long to return to America, and runners are told their “underwater mile” time along with their half and full marathon times.

When I ran, I trained hard. I tended to average a 10-minute-per-mile pace for long stretches, and ended with a 4 hour 25 minute final time that roughly matched that pace.

But, after starting my day at 4AM and taking advantage of the complimentary bananas and electrolyte-heavy beverages provided when I checked in for the race, and after alternating between swigs of water and swigs of Gatorade at the hydration stands located at each mile marker, by mile seven I was feeling the need to relieve the pressure on my bladder.

And I learned something that day. You do not want to use a marathon Porta Potty.

What I encountered in this Porta Potty was harrowing. And inexplicable

Feces were splattered all over the walls. Literally. The walls. I needed to take care of my needs (thank God I did not have an emergency poo situation at that time) but I had to plug my nose to avoid retching from the pure stink of the situation.

I wondered…how? How was this possible. Poo was visibly splattered. HIGH on the walls. Again…how!?

Runner’s Diarrhea is an actual condition, though we don’t know its cause. But I know what it looks like. I sympathize with those who find themself afflicted, but also shudder at the memories of experiencing the aftermath.

A common phrase among runners is “never trust a fart.” But runners should also never trust a portable bathroom

Are you a runner who has any harrowing bathroom-related stories? Let us know, and maybe we’ll share your haunting tales!

By Jeff G

In other organizations Jeff would be known as the Managing Editor. However at Poopable, he is the Head Creative Poo (HCP). His online writing has received hundreds of millions of views. Thankfully he has not had nearly as many bathroom breaks. Jeff prefers his bathroom clean and tranquil, which is ironic considering the amount of time he spends in dive bars.