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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001861. [Epub ahead of print]

Validation of a Mobile Application Water Planning Tool for Road Race Event Organizers.

Author information

1
Sports Science Synergy, LLC, Franklin, MA.
2
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.
3
Boston Athletic Association, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Water planning is an important risk management concern for road race event organizers.

PURPOSE:

To compare water and cup prediction outputs from a mobile application (app) planning tool against: 1) measured group sweat losses, 2) documented event water and cup usage, and 3) traditional mathematical planning solutions.

METHODS:

Group mean sweating rates (L/h) from 12 published outdoor running studies were each compared to 12 composite averages using the Road Race Water Planner© app (RRWP). Estimated water (gallons) and cup (#) needs were also compared to documented usage at a large marathon event and to traditional mathematical solutions.

RESULTS:

Thirteen group mean sweating rates from 286 runners were compared to composite RRWP estimates. Predicted sweating rate accuracy was 92% for RRWP and ranged from 0 to 69% for traditional mathematical solutions. The 2017 Boston marathon included 27,222 runners on a day averaging 21.5°C. Water and cup usage was 31,740 gallons and 1,036,003 cups, respectively. RRWP estimates were 33,505 gallons and 1,072,160 cups, respectively. The difference in gallons expressed as liters was 0.236 L per person. For a ~4 h marathon, the difference per person as a rate was < 60 mL/h. The difference in cups was a 3.5% error. All traditional solutions gave inferior estimates to RRWP due to large errors related to fluctuations in weather as well as complications related to water station numbers.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the RRWP analysis indicate that it can provide event organizers with a valid, quantitative way to narrow the uncertainties of water planning related to changes in participant numbers, race distance, and weather. 'Rule of thumb' alternatives are also discussed.

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