The Rally to Restore... Porta Potties?

By Carissa DiMargo
|  Monday, Oct 25, 2010  |  Updated 3:16 PM EDT
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Two major events will be sharing the same space, but not the same bathrooms.

Derrick Ward

Two major events will be sharing the same space, but not the same bathrooms.

Despite what Sesame Street informs us, sometimes it's not so easy to share.

Case in point: The Marine Corps Marathon has ordered portable toliets for the Oct. 31 event -- but it doesn't want attendees of the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies using them the day before.

Race director Rick Nealis said he plans to put metal padlocks on about 100 portable toilets on Oct. 30, reports the New York Times. That's when Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Mr. Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive are scheduled to occur on the National Mall.

Organizers for the simultaneous rallies on Oct. 30, which will have Comedy Central personalities as hosts, asked Mr. Nealis to share the toilets, promising to contribute to the cost and have them cleaned before the marathon's start at 8 a.m. the next day. (The rallies officially end at 3 p.m.)

Nealis ordered 800 porta potties for the 26.2-mile race course, and said he knows that organizers of the Comedy Central rallies have run into trouble finding porta potties to rent.

He said he usually used plastic strip ties to keep interlopers out of the units on the eve of the race, but was tightening security this time with "real, live" padlocks.

"It will cost me a few extra pennies, but it’s worth it to know that my runners won’t run out of toilet paper," he said.

But if you've ever watched a marathon (or run one yourself), you might have noticed that when some runners gotta go, they just, well... go. Even world record holder Paula Radcliffe has done so on the course -- and she was on camera. (We're not providing a link -- but if you want to search YouTube, that's your choice.)

Wrote one 2009 Marine Corps Marathon runner on Yelp.com: "Porta potty lines were long.... No shame on race day. Plenty of people dropping trough [sic] on the side of the roads."

Let's just hope we don't see the same from restroom-challenged rally-goers on Oct. 30.


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