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Home >> Blog >> Emma >> Water Saving Tips for Runners

Water Saving Tips for Runners

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Trail Run
  • Fun Runs
  • Training

The current water crisis in Cape Town and the Western Cape affects every one of us, and we make a concerted effort to ensure we play a part in preserving our precious water supply. This goes for the Two Oceans Marathon as an NPC and organiser of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM), as well as the individuals that make up the team.

The OMTOM has a total of 27 000 participants in the Ultra (11 000) and Half Marathon (16 000), and we adhere to the Western Province Athletics Domestic Rules (WPA Domestic Rule 18.1.1 / IAAF 240 / ASA 21) with regards to athlete hydration. These rules stipulate that we need to provide at least three refreshments - i.e. water sachets, Coke or Powerade - per athlete per water station.  (We do not provide any water sachets on the Old Mutual Two Oceans Trail Runs, and require athletes to support themselves.)

In addition to the Coke and Powerade provided on the Half and Ultra Marathon routes, we also provide 88 000 litres of water, packaged in plastic sachets. Our water supply is provided by K3 Water & Energy Sachets, who use Municipal water with the full support from the City of Cape Town. Any sachets not utilised at the OMTOM are redistributed to other events, while expired water is used to water the grounds of selected organisations.

The number of water sachets provided per refreshment station depends on its location on the route, coupled with historic usage statistics, and we always review the number of sachets required within the stipulated rules we have to to follow. These sachets are pre-distributed on Race Day, and once a refreshment station has been passed, leftover water may be taken to other points if the need arises.

While we encourage runners to (1) support themselves as much as possible and (2) not add to wastage, we have to be cognisant of the fact that we are a mass participation event, and as such need to cater for the needs of all runners.  

Check out these 10 runner specific water saving tips and do your part to help in the water crisis.

  1. Did you only drink half of your water sachet? Don't just dump it! Squeeze it out on some flowers or grass, and then throw your sachet into the nearest bin.

  2. If you love your post-run showers, put a bucket into the shower to catch all the water, which you can then use to flush the loo or to water the garden.

  3. Back from your run? Skip the bath and save water by taking a refreshing 2-3 minute shower.

  4. Shower water taking long to heat up? Catch the excess water in a bucket for watering the garden.

  5. Take shorter showers. Showers can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute.

  6. Install a water saving shower head to go the extra mile.

  7. Thirsty after a long run? It’s a hot summer and sun on the water pipes can cause cold tap water to run hot. Don’t waste water by running the tap to cool, fill bottles directly from the tap and store in the fridge for later.

  8. Running hot? Use quick drying, breathable running kit to prevent the need to pour water on yourself to cool off.

  9. Stopped at a tap for a drink along the route? Make sure you close the tap tightly after use. Dripping taps waste a lot of water.

  10. Shoes dirty after a trail run? Pop them in the washing machine rather than using a hosepipe, but be sure to fill up the drum. Full loads use less water.