Coastal Trail Series - Marathon

I have entered the CTS South Devon Marathon and was looking for advice on what people have previously or plan to use to carry on the day.

I have done 3 off road/mountain half marathons and have previously used a Camelbak Octane XC hydration pack but it doesn't have enough space to carry all the gels, snacks, first aid kit etc I will need.

I have an Inov-8 Race Pro 4 waist pack (horizontal bladder) which can probably carry the right amount of kit but I'm not sure how often there will be water stops. If there are few, then I would prefer to have a rucksack and take the weight on my shoulders rather than my waist/hips?

The CTS website sells complete kit and for the marathon they offer an Inov-8 Race Pro 12. This seems a bit on the large size, volume wise but then again it is fairly light.

I would welcome your thoughts.


  • have a look at the Raidlight sacks on - they are very lightweight and designed for endurance events and they have a range of sizes
  • Smiley - the event website tells you there are water stations about every 6 miles on on the course but it is mandatory that you carry 750ml fluid.

    I have an Inov8 pro 12 which I use for trail marathons and have found it to be perfect for this use.  However, I must stress I'm no "racing snake" and tend to see these type of events of "journeys" rather than races.  The Pro 12 is an excellant fit and doesn't bounce around - its comfortable, light and you can fit in everything you might need.  Obviously, as with any kit recommendation - my view is subjective - I rate this sack highly but I'd suggest you go try one on rather than just buy over the internet.   

  • Thanks for the suggestions and info.

    I do rate the Inov-8 kit as I have two fo their waist packs which I use for shorter distances and short mountain runs. However, this race is 28 miles and my gut feeling is that I would prefer to have the weight on my shoulders for upto 6 hours as opposed to my waist.

    The problem is that I live in Northern Ireland and I can't find anyone which stocks the Pro 12 race pack. Hence the reason I am keen to hear peoples views.

    I think I shall just order a Pro 12 pack and if it doesn't suit I can use the distance selling rules to send it back.

  • Smalleyboy - 

     I ran the Gower event this weekend and to be honest, the whole spectrum is covered. Some people ran only with a bottle in their hand but most of the runners for the marathon had rucksacks with a water pouch. I currently use an Osprey Raptor 14 which may sound a bit large but fits perfectly for me. To be fair, you won't be running 7 minute miles so it is, in my opinion, not that important if a pack is 10 or 14.

    I'll be back for South Devon. Should be brilliant!

  • EI22RE -

    Thanks for posting. It is good to get an insight from someone who has done one of the races. It looks a great series of events. I agree that it is important to choose a pack which is comfortable because speed isn't top of my list of goals. Finishing is.

    There are more than enough hills to sap energy and speed so I need to be able to carry enough gels and bars to sustain me over the distance. I note the South Devon has nearly an additional 700 feet of ascent over the Gower marathon course. I'm looking forward to it but not underestimating the difficult nature of the event.


  • No problem. Be careful about looking at the GPX stats too much. All the big hills in Gower were in the first half but the second half was much tougher. Beaches and the constant up and downs are much worse than the actual climbs. I am sure you'll figure it out though and I will see you there!
  • I did a three-day three-marathon event recently, along the Cornish coast. We had to carry a small amount of kit - something waterproof, something warm, mobile, gels etc. I used an OMM 10-litre "Last Drop" backpack. It was ideal but the pockets for water bottles were out of reach. Very comfy, hardly knew it was there.
  • I used a smallish camelback (carrying fluid, jacket, first aid stuff) and a gel belt for the CTS marathons last year, sometimes had an extra top tied round my waist. This worked fine, although make sure whatever base layer you wear is long enough so the bag doesn't chaff at the neck or lower back . Their feeding stations are reasonably close together (think 4-5 total in the marathons) and have sweets and biscuits. This with 3 gels and a flapjack is plenty (for me).


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