LAS VEGAS -- Health officials are testing stool samples from runners in the Rock `n' Roll Marathon in Las Vegas who say water passed out during the race made them sick.
Southern Nevada Health District officials are testing for stomach flu and other diseases, and expect results later this week. An online survey they've posted has already drawn responses from more than 800 participants.
The Dec. 4 event drew about 44,000 participants, who paid up to $179 to run a half or full marathon. Dozens of runners posted stories on Facebook about nausea, vomiting and severe stomach pain after the race.
Race organizers had filled plastic-lined garbage cans with hydrant water, which was used to fill cups offered to racers along the course – a standard practice, marathon officials say. Volunteers wearing plastic gloves dipped cups into the garbage cans before passing the water to runners.
While some runners complained that the water tasted odd or unclean, Las Vegas Valley Water District officials say the hydrant water was tested and found to be safe days before the race.
Runner Charlene Ragsdale, 50, said she became violently ill during the half marathon and was treated for hypothermia and dehydration at a hospital.
"We've got to find an answer to keep this from happening again," Ragsdale told the Review-Journal. "I think (the health district) realizes they're looking for a needle in a haystack."source
As you know, I’m not one to overreact but it seems pretty clear to me: Don’t drink water when racing unless you want to vomit and shit yourself. And you can’t trust the Gatorade either. It might have been made with the same fire hydrant water mixed with powder. My best advice going forward? Either carry your own or don’t drink anything. Most of us can go 3-4 hours without any water. I do it all the time when I sleep. Next time a volunteer, aka “poisoner”, tries to give you a cup full of refreshing bacteria-filled shit water, I suggest you hold up your hand and say “No thanks, I’d rather not shit myself today.” I don't care how thirsty you are. Think you have a bad cramp and need water? Think how that cramp will feel with diarrhea running down your leg.
At least until this water fiasco is figured out, this is official F.M.S. policy and best advice: DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING WHEN RUNNING A MARATHON. You’re welcome, runners. Also, please note that I cannot be held accountable for my actions, your actions, dehydration, death, or dismemberment. Also, though I am smarter than most doctors, I am not a "doctor", at least officially, as I don’t have a fancy “degree” or a rubber “mallet” or a prescription pad for “legal” drugs.
No offense to Charlene “Violently Ill” Ragsdale, who thinks the mystery source of the Las Vegas shit water will be like finding a “needle in a haystack”, but maybe she should have looked two paragraphs above. Garbage cans, plastic lined (i.e. garbage bags in garbage cans), fire hydrant water, volunteers dipping hands and cups repeatedly in garbage can, handing cups to sweaty runners, hands undoubtedly rubbing against sweaty runner hands, repeat dipping motion into community pool of water in garbage can, sweat transferring to garbage can water. That’s a pretty BIG needle in that small haystack. For one, the repeated appearance of “garbage” is a tip off.
But until health officials solve this difficult conundrum, let’s not drink anymore water. The race organizer’s claim this method of water delivery is "standard practice" but I think they are full of shit. And now we are full of shit.
Or puke or stomach pain, what have you. I miss the days when I just had to worry about calve cramps and heart attacks.
Apparently, something similar happened at the California International Marathon as well. It's an epidemic!