Scenario 1: It’s summertime and it’s hot and humid outside. I’m not talking about “I’ll just get a splash of water before my run or walk and be fine” hot and humid. I’m talking about 70-plus-dew-point-sweat-everywhere-sticky-wet-need-water-every-step hot and humid. What are you going to do? You can’t just take the day off. You’re training for your next big running or walking adventure and a day off is not an option.
Scenario 2: You’re out for a run or walk and feeling great. Nothing can stop you. Today is your day. Then all of a sudden your stomach starts to get a little uneasy. You think back to last night and remember the spicy Pad Thai you had for dinner… A sudden panic sets in and you immediately start weighing your options.
Sound familiar? If you have run or walked long enough, chances are you’ve been in both of these scenarios. You’ve also probably made a pit stop or two that you’re not proud of. No judgement–we’ve all been there. This post is the first in a series where I’m hoping to help you the next time you need liquid relief (or relief of another kind). Here are some places to make a pit stop that you won’t be embarrassed to tell your friends about later:
Stop 1: The Runners Forum in Broad Ripple Village, located approximately 100 feet west of the Monon Trail at 902 E. Westfield Blvd.
Pro Tips: When you see a blue snow cone shack look to the West for a big red awning on the north side of Westfield Blvd. The Runners Forum is a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Runner Friendly Business. That means they are cool with you just popping in to get some water or take care of that “other” business. Unlike a lot of the other spots I will list, they don’t close down in the winter. This is also where I work so feel free to pop in, say Hi!, and share blog ideas, fresh dance moves, or whatever.
Hours: Weekdays 11-7, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
Stop 2: The Loft, located approximately 100-200 feet west of the Monon Trail at 6201 Winthrop Ave.
Pro Tips: Just like The Runners Forum, The Loft is a RRCA Runner Friendly Business and is open year-round. You will have to go around the building (if you’re coming from the Monon) to enter. They usually have a sign on the Monon about a quarter mile south of Broad Ripple Ave. If you stop at The Loft for a bathroom break you can check out the creative paper towel/toilet paper holder they rigged up!
Hours: Non-standard. It’s a fitness studio so the best times to catch owners Doug or Heather are in the morning or evening.
Stop 3: Canterbury Park, located just over a mile south of The Loft on the east side of the Monon. The water fountain and bathroom are approximately 50 feet off the trail and super easy to spot.
Pro Tips: This is a city park and only open seasonally (spring to fall) from 8am-9pm. I will warn you that I have been in dire need of a pit stop on a run or two and been burned by a locked door at a time when it should be open at this stop. Typically though, it is pretty dependable. It also has a pretty unique hand dryer that gives me the chills when I think about it.
Hours: Seasonal, 8am-9pm
The next two locations are hydration only and are located between 54th & 52nd streets.
Stop 4: Good Dog water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet off the Monon at 5345 Winthrop Ave., on the west side of the trail just south of 54th street. Just look for the Good Dog sign!
Pro Tips: This is also a seasonal stop: the fountain is turned off during the winter. On a personal note, I’m not sure I have ever used this fountain without first pushing the dog bowl water button first.
Stop 5: Half Liter water cooler, located 5-10 feet west of the Monon just south of the The Good Dog. If you missed the fountain at Good Dog, you don’t have to go much farther for your next chance for some good old fashioned H20 relief.
Pro Tips: This water cooler is brought to you by the nice folks at Half Liter and the Carmel Marathon! It is a relatively new spot so I haven’t had a chance to join in on any water cooler talk with passers-by. I have been told by a reliable source, however, that Half Liter does fill and put out water daily, so I’m saving up gossips for my next pit stop.
Stop 6: Porta-pots off 46th street. This is the hidden gem of all the stops featured in this post. It’s bathroom only AND seasonal, but if you absolutely cannot make it to a respectable place for “evacuation”, these porta-pots are here to save the day!
Pro Tips: They are not the easiest to find (hence the “hidden” part of hidden gem). When you come to 46th St. on the Monon, head east on 46th for about a quarter mile and look for the baseball complex on the south side of the street (If you hit Indianola Avenue, you’ve gone too far.). As you can see in the picture, the pots are located in the complex. I promise that there are no fences to jump or anything! They are unlocked–just don’t tell anyone who let you in on the secret if asked.
Stop 7: Near the Indiana School for the Deaf, located just north of 42nd St. and 10-15 feet off of the Monon to the east.
Pro Tips: This is not only our final stop, but also your last chance for water if you are continuing south on the Monon for quite a while… (The only place that I can think of that might have a bathroom and/or water fountain is a soccer park just south of 16th St.–but I cannot make any guarantees there.) This fountain is pretty easy to spot. Big thank you to the Indiana School for the Deaf Class of 2006 for giving us this nice oasis on our fitness journeys!
Hours: This fountain is also seasonal and shuts down in the winter.
Please leave a comment on this article if you know of a stop between Broad Ripple Village and 42nd St. that I may have missed. Also make sure to check out my next post, where I will go north on the Monon from Broad Ripple Village to 96th St. I hope that if you took the time to read this article that it will bring you relief on a future run or walk!
Yours in timely hydration and evacuation,