Cupless Races

We are a cupless race. What does that mean, and what do you need to do to prepare?

First, a little history. Trail races have minimized cups for years. There are two practical reasons for this. First, can you imagine all the cups you see on a marathon course thrown into the woods? Awful! Second, in a trail race, you often run miles between aid stations and need a hydration system.

Then…COVID came. We canceled our races in 2020, but in 2021, we restarted our events and provided cups as recommended by many running organizations. Now, we are returning to our pre-COVID practices.

What does this mean for you?

  1. You must carry a hydration system to carry water and your electrolyte drink (if needed) between aid stations. This never changed. Most of our aid stations are 2 to 5 miles apart, and you must carry water while on the trail.
  2. You will need a collapsible cup for soda or pickle juice at the aid stations. We will no longer provide cups at the aid station.
  3. We will have minimal water bottles (single-use plastic) at the finish line. We recommend that you bring a reusable container to fill with cold water. This is for both you and any family members who attend our events.

What type of cup are we talking about?

Here are photos of the cup we sell for $5. They are easy to carry, use, clean and reuse. You can also buy these cups on Amazon or in outdoor stores.


Will I have any way of drinking water (or anything else) if I don’t carry a hydration system?
No, you must bring something to at least carry water. This is standard for trail races.

Is this just a way to save money (not buy cups) and sell more of your cups?
No, paper cups aren’t that expensive. But they create a lot of garbage and litter. On the flip side, we don’t make money on the collapsible cups. As we sell the cups, we will save that money to invest in the next order. We prefer not to sell you a cup. We hope you use a cup that you already have from some other race/store/event. Fewer cups = less plastic.

Why don’t you give reusable cups to your runners?
Here is a great article that explains why that isn’t a good practice. Although it seems commendable, it pushes more plastic out to people who may or may not use the cups. For this reason, we keep the cost low, but you only get a cup if you need one and will use it.

Are there any exceptions?
We will provide cups for hot foods (noodles, soup, mashed potatoes) served overnight at cold weather races. This significantly reduces the cups used because it is only for overnight runners and only for hot foods.