Falmouth Road Race – On Their Mark, The Porta Potties Are Set, Go!

Road Race porta potties
Written by Brian Tarcy

FALMOUTH – On Saturday morning at Lawrence School, Karl Mennenga of North Attleboro was getting ready for Sunday’s Falmouth Road Race, which attracts more than 10,000 runners to the scenic seaside course.

Road Race porta potties

Karl Mennenga, “I’ll get two miles in pushing toilets today.”

“I’m not running in it,” said Mennenga, a service tech with United Site Services of Framingham. “I’ll get two miles in pushing toilets today. I don’t have time to go running. Try moving 225 porta potties with a handcart all day long.”

He was in the parking lot of the school, where runners will be staged tomorrow morning to be bused to the starting line in Woods Hole. Several porta potties had been dropped there days ago, and he was in the parking lot Saturday morning to move them into position for Sunday’s big event.

And yes, there are positions. This is sort of like real estate for runner’s bladders.

Road Race porta potties


The elite runners, he said, get their own special toilet area while the other runners are also sent to different areas at the Lawrence School.  At the starting line in Woods Hole, where he placed 40 porta potties earlier, he said, any runner can use any of the units, he said.

At Lawrence, as runners are getting on buses to Woods Hole, “The special people get to use the ones in the basketball court,” he said. “This is the stuff that nobody knows except for the guy that moves the shitters.”

Asked for another porta potty secret that nobody knows, Mennenga said, “In parks, they’re used as housing for homeless people. They are wind and rain proof. I don’t blame them. And they only have to deal with one mean person every week: me.”

Mennenga got into the business 11 years ago, he said, after his plumbing work in Florida slowed down during the recession. He kept the job, he said, because the pay is good and when he is on the road he has a degree of freedom.

He is working his 10th Falmouth Road Race.

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Here is a short video of last year’s Falmouth Road Race

About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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