September 4

Cup Free Racing


Many of you might be new to Vacation Races and our race series so there are a few things we do at our races we want you to be familiar with. This is a cupless race. All of our races are cupless races.

This is a picture of one of our runners using the hydrapouch during the Zion Half.

Having our races so close to the national parks, unnecessary waste and trash is something we are strongly against. We are dedicated to maintaining a clean race and preserving the beauty of the area we run in. There is nothing that will ruin a view more than seeing a piece a trash in plain view from a breathtaking landscape.

That being said, one of the most important things in a half marathon is ensuring that aid stations are plentiful, efficient and that they do not run out of water. Hydration will make or break a race.

For this race series we have implemented Cup Free Racing. Click here to learn more. We think it is a great thing. What we do is buy a hydrapouch for everyone who wants one and include it in your racer bag. When you register we will ask you to indicate whether you want a hydrapouch or not. We will buy you one to keep if you want us to. Otherwise you need to bring your own system. It can be anything that works for you.

We then have water stations about every other mile starting at mile 3. They will be self serve, but as you can see you can get 6 oz of water really fast so there should be no waiting at all at any aid station. We keep a sleeve or two of cups at each station in case of emergency, like if your belt falls off, or you lose your bottle. The cups are self serve and really there only for emergency, but are available.

The hydrapouch is not a water bottle. You run with it empty and attached to your belt or waistband. It is super lightweight, so you can hardly tell its there when running. When an aid station comes up, you pull it off your belt, fill it up in stride, drink it until you are done, then it goes back on your belt. Easy. We’ll have an aid station at runner check in so you can practice.

The other real bonus, is that you can sip water way past the aid station, instead of having to drink the entire cup right away in order to get it in the trash can. You can drink as you want, and you don’t get that big hit to your stomach.

Past race experience has shown us that the cup free system is very favorable among our runners. Aid stations were well organized so there was no wait to fill up, the hydrapouch is light and in no way cumbersome, and the course remained clean. Cup free doesn’t mean hydrapouch. This is just the system that we provide for our runners. You can bring a water bottle or camelbak or whatever form of hydration system works for you. 83% of runners found the experience completely satisfactory. When we cleaned up the Zion Half course, we found 6 Goo packets. That was all the trash we found!! You know who you are…

Here is what some of our runners had to say:

“The cupless hydration system was awesome.”

“It was wonderful to see clean roads along the way.”

“The reusable cups make you wonder why everyone else isn’t doing the same.” 

If you have questions, please let me know.


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