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Marathon Runners Question Water

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Some runners who participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas say water passed out during the race made them sick.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that health officials are investigating at least 10 claims of intestinal problems following the Sunday night marathon. They also have posted a survey to pinpoint a possible source for illness complaints that have been posted on Facebook.

Race organizers filled lined buckets or trash cans with hydrant water, which was used to fill cups offered to racers along the course.

Some runners complained that the water tasted odd or unclean.

Race organizers say the hydrant water was tested and found to be safe.

The event drew some 44,000 racers who paid up to $179 to run a half or full marathon.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Tom Tucker@aol.com

    “Race organizers say the hydrant water was tested and found to be safe.” Was that before or after they poured the water into trash cans?

    • Pepto

      What happens in Vegas……apparently causes diarrhea.

      • Spanky

        What happens in Vegas…sprays in Vegas!

      • Naveen

        I just found you through Zoot, and I am SO sorry about what epeapnhd in Chicago. I’m training for Houston in January and can only imagine, after all the work I’m doing, if I had an experience like that. How disappointing. I just wanted to say, though, try not to let it cast a darkness on all your running. I can tell you have a passion for it, and if you can, pick another race, and get that marathon experience you’ve been dreaming of!

      • Manuel

        krystlerox1 on October 24, 2011 This rlealy does work.. It’s called freebie trading.. I’m a freebie trainer.. Send me a message if you have any questions about it

    • Scott

      Motto for the finisher’s T-shirts “I got the runs at the Las Vegas” marathon.

      • Seth

        I went to Vegas and all I got was this stupid Inflammatory Bowel Disease…

    • Sgt. Schultz

      if you’re stupid enough to drink water from a trash can, you get what’s coming to you. Besides, running a marathon and pounding the hell of one’s knee joints does not necessarily reflect a high IQ, either.

      • csptqt

        Someone bashing runners without knowing the facts does not reflect high IQ. The rate of arthritis and subsequent knee replacement has no correlation with running. In fact, the rate of disability is lower and slower in runners vs. non-runners.

        Regarding the race…we were not informed of the source of the water prior to the race…we just saw cups of water at a water station.

        Your comments are unnecessary and uninformed.

      • Mommyofthree

        Make sure you ask at every single event from now on. This is very important to know.

      • jlatc

        Ask what?

      • Rick O'Shea

        I’ve often thought the same thing, people wearing out knee joints, because I sure wore out mine.

      • HM Phobe

        Our scouts hand it out in the race in our town – the can is only used for this, and it is washed before each race. Never had a problem.

      • Miket

        Quote..”running a marathon and pounding the hell of one’s knee joints does not necessarily reflect a high IQ”…. Why attack runners for being healthy and doing something that raises money for charity? Is that really necessary?

      • Sam M

        Don’t waste your time, less then 1% of Americans will run and complete and full marathon. It does reflect a high IQ and that not all people are lazy. That person saves thier energy for standing in line for handouts and welfare. In thier mind getting stuff for nothing makes them smarter.

      • Hydrants are rusty!

        My uncle used to run every morning til his Doctor told him to back off for his health’s sake! My oldest relatives (low 90’s) never exercised in their lives, although some did farm work when they were kids.
        I’ve seen the Firemen here flush out the hydrants and it always looks like rust and/or dirt.

  • Monte Zuma

    Hey, everyone should vacation in Vegas at least once.

    But don’t drink the water!

    • Pythagorus

      When you allow millions of 3rd World illegals to flood your city, you’d better get used to living in 3rd world conditions!!!

      Save Western Civilization! Join and support the Youth for Western Civilization today!


    • Charlotte

      Surfing around lebmustupon.com I noticed your web site book-marked as: What is the sister of Olga Farmaki being shot accidentally by well-known entrepreneur! | FreshCyprus. Now I am assuming you book marked it yourself and wanted to ask if social book-marking gets you a ton of site visitors? I’ve been looking at doing some book-marking for a few of my sites but wasn’t certain if it would generate any positive results. Many thanks.

  • http://www.fastnews.tv/?p=126499 Vegas Marathon Runners Sickened By Water Handed Out From Trash Can... | Breaking News

    […] (Second column, 13th story, link) […]

  • JustSayNo

    Can Vegas get anything right? First the Indy record car crash, the over building of real estate causing 50% equity loss, the helicopter tour crash near the Hoover Dam, (not to mention the Reno Air Races devastation). To top it all off they voted Harry Reid back in office due to voter irregularity caused by union shenanigans that hearken back to the mafia days. Should we talk about the boondoggle of a monorail project that got bought off by the taxi union? Or what about the train to nowhere that is being built to Victorville instead of Anaheim. Corruption, incompetence, cronyism, stupidity. If I could kick Vegas in the balls I would.

    • Mark Matis

      You neglect the Eric Scott murder by the Metropolitan Las Vegas Police Department, and the corruption, perjury, coverup, and harassment thereafter…

    • Bryan

      Keep Reno out of this, Most of us who live in Reno hates vegas anyways !!

    • RunningAway

      To add insult to injury the winner was a Kenyan, the same country Obama was born in.

      • Spanky

        The difference is that the marathoner didn’t cheat to win his place.

      • gsnarks

        Yes, Barack Obama SENIOR was indeed born in Kenya. Our President’s grandmother even admitted this to an interviewer. In fact, she told him that she knew this because she “was there at the time!”

    • Yes!

      Helicopter accidents happen quite often and all over the world. Are those Las Vegas’ fault as well? Since you are tossing out crazy theories, here is one. I bet the illness was from a volunteer’s hand who did not wash. And my guess was the volunteer was from your scurvy town.

      • JustSayNo

        Or Mexico. Did you see the story about the Las Vegas DMV employee on Sahara that just got busted for issuing drivers licenses to illegals at $1500 – $3000 a pop?

    • Lincoln

      Shouldn’t you say “Can Nevada get anything right” when you make comments about Reno, Hoover Dam, Harry Reid, and a train project to Cali??? I agree with you about the monorail, train project, Harry Reid, etc. But the rest of the stuff is private enterprise that has little to do with the governing of the city of vegas or the state ot Nevada.

      • thegoonsareloons

        The union goons try to run everything and mafia/union goons go hand in hand. Same story different era.

      • JustSayNo

        I knew someone was going to call me out on including Reno (thus the parenthesis in an attempt to avoid). But your reply is over-reach. For example, Texas didn’t have problems with overbuilding because they regulated that mess. In fact, Texas legislation made it so hard refinance it hardly had any equity loss at all. Secondly, the point of origin for the helicopter crash near the Hover Damn was Las Vegas. Part of the tourism draw to Vegas is to charter a helicopter and tour the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Damn. Where else do you think that copter came from? Las Vegas is the primary population for Nevada and the reason for Harry Reid’s re-election and epicenter for voter fraud. The indy car accident occurred because there were too many cars on the track which could have been banned by regulators. Finally, that train is totally green lit by the local and state government. There is a competing maglev train project to Anaheim that was submitted but Harry Reid and his government grants and the local City Counsel went with a completely ridiculous project to crime ridden Victorville the city that takes the prize in meth addicts.

  • JustSayNoNow

    No one ever had to tell me to ‘not’ drink water from a trashcan.

  • dred

    Water from fire hydrants dumped into lined trash cans?

    Uh, at least Las Vegas is really going all-out to give the runners their $179 worth!

  • firstpoppa

    Bet the workers ‘handled’ the trash cans, then ‘handled’ the liners – some of which probably got torn or pierced. As for filling from fire hydrants – how long had the water sat in those pipes? Real class there Las Vegas.

    • Terri mcDonald

      The article said hydrants, Not “fire” hydrant. Big differance.

    • JustSayNo

      As dumb as voting for Harry Reid. And taking $179 from these runners and not getting bottled water is as corrupt as a train to Victorville or a billion dollar monorail that doesn’t go to casinos or the airport.

      • Frank Doss

        My guess is they didn’t want to have the plastic bottles. But still, they were asking for trouble.

        But imagine paying almost $200 for a T-Shirt and the thrill of dripping your own sweat over 26+ miles of Nevada roads.

  • Humpy Brown

    Here’s a tip, idiots. “DON’T drink water from trashcans!”

    • IrishEyesAreBlue

      HAHAHEHEhehehehehehe!!!! gulp gulp Bro, I not feel so good!!!

      • Cowboy Runner

        I ran the race and we got the water in cups. We did not know it had come from a fire hydrant to a trach can. I drank a lot of cups of water during that race but i did not get sick

  • american

    And don’t take a cup of water from a stranger.

    Drinking water from a trashcan is stupid enough. For all the science illiterate, it’s not clean enough first, and if galvanized will at least put zinc in the water, or if plastic, will put plastic chemicals in the water. Drinking from fire hydrants is of course stupid, too. Dead lines breed microbes.

    • SC

      Dear idiot: From where do you get your science? Is it the back of comic books? Ten people got sick. 44000 participated. The real problem was not the garbage cans which were new or the plastic liners. It was the fact that many of my fellow runners were dehydrated. Vegas had under 10% humidity. It was cold so these people did not properly hydrate. Many of them probably used the porta potties and then contaminated their mouths. Many also partied in Vegas and probably ate the $2 hot dogs at slot n fun.

    • Sansadee

      Super su mi nove opcije za blog, ali što god da rpaiobsm ništa mi ne uspije, uvijek mi izbaci ovu poruku “Predložak nije moguće analizirati jer nije dobro oblikovan. Provjerite jesu li svi XML elementi dobro zatvoreni. Poruka o pogrešci s XML-om: The value of attribute “alt” associated with an element type “null” must not contain the ‘<' character.Error 500"Molim savjet i pomoć!

    • Olek

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  • Htos1

    I know I saw this concept,where water is purified and packaged in clear bottles,somewhere.

  • Aqua Pool

    if you go on youtube and search Pool Water Chemical Management by aquapooldealer you’ll see safety water guidelines

  • Clint Barkley

    To all those that weren’t at the race….the runners did NOT drink the water out of the trash cans, I never even saw a trash can. The water was TRANSFERRED to a trash can, and then TRANSFERRED to paper cups. which were then handed out to the runners. As a runner, I never saw the trash can, just water handed out by race volunteers in a paper cup.

    • Frank Doss

      I didn’t see where folks were thinking people were going face-down in the trash cans. I’ve gotten sponges and paper cups in what I have run.

      What people are challenging is the genius of A) scooping water, which requires volunteers to put hands into the water, B) using a trash can, even with the extraordinary measure of lining it with a trash bag, C) thinking a non-food grade trash bag could be used to serve consumables, D) serving people water from the hydrant system, and E) not testing the water in each can to ensure each solution was applied properly.

      Young children have had their lemonade stands shut down for less.

    • Denise Caldwell

      i saw lots of 1/2 marathon runners dipping cups into the garbage cans because the cups lined up on the tables were empty and no one was there passing out cups of water (I thought they ran out and i ran by the garbage can thinking it was disgusting to drink water that maybe hundreds of people had put their hands in). maybe you were running ahead of me and didn’t see the stations that ran out of water in this way.

    • Tom Menino

      Thank you for clarifying, Clint. I’m sure this will be an important distinction to bring out in court during the class-action lawsuit.

      • halfmarathonrunner

        Tom, I like your comment. I ran the 1/2 and saw what Clint saw. Nothing! Yes, I did have stomach issues for 3 days post. I carried my water in the PF Chang’s but didn’t here. Yes, for $165 that I paid for the run, this does disgust me. The CEO did send out an apology for the logistical issues. As if that makes up for them!

    • halfmarathonrunner

      Clint, I ran the 1/2. I never saw them either. It was kind of dark and hard to see! Unfortunately, I did have stomach issues later that night. I hope you didn’t. No matter what, running the strip at night was awesome! A logistical nightmare but the run itself was great! I hope your actual run was a great experience!

  • fuzzywuzzzy

    For $189 you’d think that the organizers could furnish bottled water. Perhaps if the runners agreed to gamble at a certain casino after they crossed the finish line, they could have gotten clean water…..

    • Spanky

      The environmentalists would have flipped out concerning plastic bottles…

  • Beautiful Detroit

    In Detroit our marathons hand out rainwater gathered in barrels and then tranferred to the back of the toilet tank(cleanest water in anyone’s house) and filtered through the numerous feral pit bulls mouth’s(clean as a human’s.)
    Then the last mile is run through a gauntlet of flash mobbing gangstas. A good time is had by all…tell a friend.

    • Spanky

      I sure hope those are UNION flash mobbing ganstas, otherwise I’m never running in that marathon!

  • Brice Trevors

    Running marathons to raise money never did make sense to me. Not only does it greatly interfere with the common activities of others by closing arterials, it alls puts unnecessary stress on local first responders and the police force.
    Marathon runners don’t care that they are damaging their bodies. Many of these people are simply addicted to the dopamine release by the undue stress to the body. The odd thing is that they tend to see themselves as somehow superior from a lifestyle perspective.

    • Dabaal

      Jan Petters (Mom) December 6, 2011 Unfortunately the squirrel post has been taken off by the NFL. So I mssied seeing it boo! This reminds me when years ago I and friends were at the Indy 500 (Memorial Day weekend when it should have been fairly warm). It was soooo cold that the race car tires were havng trouble. What should have been a couple hours turned into hours and hours. We weren’t prepared for the cold and had only lightweight clothes guess we didn’t look at the forecast! Miserable day!!!

    • Frank Doss

      The City of Richmond, VA puts on or hosts regular races and so on. They are always very nice affairs that cause only minimal disruption. I have heard of no serious complaints.

      Our city does many things that blocks streets here or there for the day. They are always wonderful events that help keep us all very proud of Richmond.

      Besides, the races are always early on Saturday morning, before it heats up and most of the region hits the city streets.

    • Spanky

      Furthermore, races are begun early in the morning and on weekends, so the impact on local travelers is minimal. Too, racers do indeed bring in a lot of money for the local economy. That’s particularly true for longer runs, where many of the racers spend money at hotels and restaurants.

      People who exercise regularly are generally in better shape than those who don’t. While some runners overdo it, most don’t.

    • Spanky

      Race organizers pay for the additional support they require from police, paramedics, etc.. Many races DO raise funds, even when all the expenses are considered.

  • QuitCryin

    I ran the half marathon, started in Corral 9, finished at 1:57. I drank at every water station, drank beer in the MGD64 beer garden, and continued to drink at Mandalay Bay. I had no upset stomach, diarrhea or anything of the such. IMHO 99% of your sickness/stomach problems came from those who did not properly train from the race and overexerted themselves. If you have ever ran a sanctioned race you would know you have tables filled with paper cups and volunteers handing out water to runners. Said water is first placed in lined trashcans, scooped out with a picture and placed in cups. If you have a problem with said sanitary conditions BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGE. Really CBS, you can’t look into this any further…poor reporting. To the knee pain whiners: Just stay on the couch, drink your Coke and eat your Cheetos and you will never have a health problem…yea you. Enjoy your Dancing with the Stars. We have enough non-hackers walking after mile one as it is.Oh, and to the genius complaining about fire hydrant water…I work for a Civil Engineering firm in Central Califonia and 99.9% of the time water for fire hydrants is provided from the SAME water main that your drinking water comes from; this goes for subdivisions and businesses.

    • Spanky

      “IMHO 99% of your sickness/stomach problems came from those who did not properly train from the race and overexerted themselves.”

      While that may very well be true, it’s still entirely possible for some very healthy people to contract a bacterial infection from water passed out at a race.

      I”d like to see you handle an infection of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Giardia, or Microsporidia and then claim your training or toughness could have prevented symptoms.

      • Spanky

        …or Schistosoma, Clostridium botulinum, Escherichia coli , Shigella, Salmonella, etc., etc., etc..

  • SD Harms

    Plastic articles intended for contact with food (or water) must be fabricated from plastic that meets FDA regulations. In general, afabricator of a trash can would not purchase food contact cleared material — they would purchase a cheaper raw material. So it is not the trash can manufacturers fault. DO NOT PUT FOOD OR WATER IN CONTAINERS THAT ARE NOT MEANT FOR FOOD CONTACT. How complicated is that?

    • Frank Doss


  • wpg420

    People are paying $179 to drink hydrant water?

  • Fred

    I ran it and drank water at every water station and no problems whatsoever. The big issue was the overcrowding at the finish that luckily did not end in a tragedy. The egress from the finish area was poorly planned leaving thousands of runners trying to get out of the cold and wind through some narrow choke points.

    • Frank Doss

      Luckily for me, if I were to run a marathon nowadays, the crowd would clear for me as the ambulance made its way through.

  • Comater

    Wasn’t this race to raise money for Crohn’s Disease?

  • http://www.phyllinphat.com/2011/12/it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times-part-2/ It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times (Part 2) | Phyllin' Phat
  • Midge Masters

    “You’ll know it’s true when it happens to you.” ~ Charlotte Iserbyt


  • jlatc

    Statistically, I think 10 out of 40,000+ is not that significant an occurance of gastro issues among longer distance runners. If it was 5-10%, then maybe.

    • Frank Doss

      Any restaurant that tried that same argument would still be shut down and just as severely fined by the City of Las Vegas.

      • jlatc

        Not an argument, merely an observation.

    • Michelle

      Actually from what I have heard the number is much higher than 10. Perhaps it’s only 10 that have contacted the specific authorities.

      • jlatc

        “from what I have heard” is a much more authoritative and reliable source, apparently. That’s what most on this thread are basing their opinions.

  • http://theprevailingethos.com/2011/12/11/marathon-runners-sick-from-drinking-out-of-trash-can/ Marathon runners sick from drinking out of trash can : The Prevailing Ethos

    […] offered to racers along the course. Some runners complained that the water tasted odd or unclean.  Full Article   Nutty […]

  • Oilfart

    $179 for a race and they use water from fire hydrants. Come on, race directors know that for that kind of price, there should be some type of quality control especially for on-course hydration protocols. There is absolutely no excuse to cut corners on water on a course, never. Even if no one got sick, you don’t use fire water!!

    • jlatc

      Fire water? I’d be very surprised if the Vegas water supply has separate systems for consumption and fire use. Dallas doesn’t.

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