Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July-4 Mile Liberty Run

After a one year hiatus, the 4th of July-4 Mile Liberty Run resumed.

This year's run had an interesting feature as it was touted as the first cupless running event in the nation.

No disposable running cups at the aid stations. Each runner was given a Hydrapouch at the start of the race. The Hydrapouch can be attached to your running shorts with a clip(well sort of) that you can easily(debatable) detach and reattach after filling your hydrapouch with water at the aid stations.

The hydrapouch concept promotes the concept of going green. No disposable cups to have to be thrown away.

We were giving a one minute demo on how to use the hydrapouch before the race, how easy it was to detach and reattach the pouch to your shorts and how to gracefully without breaking stride fill the pouch with water and run fluidly(pun intended) to the next stop.

Well, the demo didn't exactly unfold the same way in real time....

Laura selected a purple hydrapouch and I selected a sky blue model.

Laura ran back to the car to drop off her jacket before the race started and had her hydrapouch fall off her shorts and land in a mud puddle. Outrage #1.

After cleaning up her container, she reattached to her shorts only to have the clip completely fall off her hydrapouch. She ran back over to the tent to tel l them she had a defective pouch and was told to be more gentle in attaching/detaching the pouch and that is wasn't defective. Outrage #2.

With a little over two minutes to go Laura felt like her timing chip wasn't secure and the plastic tie had broken so she had to run back over to the registration area and pick up another plastic tie and reattach her timing chip to her shoe. Outrage #3.

She managed to get her chip secured in time and thankfully the race started without any more incidents.

I saw another person's hydrapouch fall to the ground within the first 20 seconds of the race. When there are no cups at the aid station, you don't want to lose the only way you can hydrate during the race.

I pulled my hydrapouch off of shorts and ran with it in my hand for the entire race. I didn't want to take any chances.

Laura's pouch fell off within the first half mile and she had to turn around to retrieve it. I saw one other forlorn looking pouch around the 1 mile mark. Wonder when that runner noticed it had been lost. No pouch, no water.

I got to the one mile mark in 9:01. Overall I was fairly happy with that. Fastest pace I have run in a long time and best of all, no glute/hamstring pain!

Aid station #1: I squeeze open my hydrapouch and try to fill it without stopping as shown in the demo. Managed to pour quite a bit of water on my shoe instead of in the container. Stopped at the next water container, came to a complete stop and filled my pouch. Off I went, not very fluid with the fluid.

At the 12:30 minute mark, I was passed by a double wide baby jogger. Oh well. Not the first time nor will it be the last time that will happen to me.

Washington Park is a beautiful place to run in. Lots of trees, lakes, flowers. I am enjoying this beautiful place to run.

Mile 2: 9:03, 18:04 overall.

Aid station is right at the 2 mile mark, didn't get quite as much water on my shoe this time.

Most people seem to be skipping the water stations. If everyone that was running were to stop, there would be quite a wait to fill the container.

Mile 3: 9:15 27:19 overall. This is the "hilliest" mile in the race. Washington Park is a pretty flat place to run, but it does have a few inclines during this stretch.

Aid Station #3-Took two attempts to fill up the hydrapouch. Took a couple of sips and poured the rest on top of my head.

Because of the 4 mile route, this is the 3rd time today on this exact same part of the course. Trying to pick up the pace, as much as I can, turn on the diagonal and it is off to the finish. I put on a burst of slow and get to the finish line.

Mile 4: 8:49, overall 36:08.

18:04 for first two miles

18:04 for last two miles.

That is even pacing. I couldn't do that again in a million tries.

They used to read the declaration of Independence in prior years by someone dressed in 1776 attire.

They didn't do that this year which was disappointing. I thought that was a neat part of the event.

I spoke to a mother after the race whose son was getting ready for his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As we celebrate our freedom in this country, lets remember to honor those who have served and are serving following in the words of our forefathers, "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor".


  1. the hydrapouch doesn't sound too promising :( But good job on the even pacing, down to the second!!!

  2. Hi Mr. Kinney - I'm Craig McSavaney, the founder of HydraPouch, and I apologize to you and your wife for your bad experiences with your HydraPouches and the HydraPour dispensers during the Liberty Run. I know that I can't undo your bad experience from Saturday's race, but I am committed to continuing to improve our products and how they are distributed and used by racers like yourself. Would you be willing to speak with me for 10-15 minutes on the phone, or meet for coffee or lunch (on me)? If so, please send an email to and let me know how to contact you. I'd like to know your thoughts about how we can improve our products, demos, instruction sheet, videos, website, etc., so future HydraPouch users have a better experience.

    With sincere apologies,


  3. Thank you for explaining the whole "cupless" thing... Because I was confused after reading your tweets. LOL!!!

    I'm scared of the hydrapouch. Thanks for being a guinea pig!!

  4. Great job on the race!!

    Dunno about this whole hydrapouch thing. Sounds like I'd be better off bring my own water bottle if they're going to do that.