Hopkinton Plant Life Braces for Annual Onslaught of Urine




Here comes the pee.

Bushes, hedges, trees, and other flora in Hopkinton, Massachusetts are preparing themselves for Monday, when roughly 30,000 marathoners—and their overactive bladders—will descend on the small town for the start of the 121st Boston Marathon.

"Like any other resident of Hopkinton, we have a love/hate relationship with the marathon," said a blooming shrub near the intersection of Grove and Pleasant streets. "It's exciting, of course—the people, the energy."

"On the other hand," it said, "you get pissed on. A lot."

Marathon organizers take pains to provide an abundance of portable toilets, but, as one arborvitae shrub put it, "However many they provide, it's never enough." 

As a result, it's not uncommon to see runners—both men and women—relieving themselves as they walk from the Athlete's Village to the starting corrals, using whatever trees or shrubs they can find to provide some modicum of modesty.

Often that modesty comes courtesy of a hedge, bush, or tree.

"It's humiliating," said a rhododendron about a quarter-mile from the race starting line. "And the jokes don't help. 'Hey, excuse me, I've gotta go water the plants.' Yeah. You're hilarious. As you pee on me."

The woody plant paused before adding, "Then again, some plants are into that."