Drop Bags

So, first ultra coming up, and there is a drop bag facility for one of the aid stations (halfway) - so what do people normally put in them?

I'm thinking - fresh socks, SIS powders to re-fill my bottles (using the water at the aid station), sun cream possibly (hopefully???) - all the aid stations have bananas, jaffa cakes and flapjacks, which are all fine with me... anything obvious i'm forgetting?

Was also wondering about a change of shoes - in case of sore feet wondering whether a change would be a good idea?


  • Vodka
  • Rocker - It depends on the length of the race. I dont tend to change socks and shoes but for a 100 mile race for example I would put them in there just in case I am having a bad day and feel the need to change! Anything less than that and I wouldn't bother with socks/shoes. I woudl also throw in a spare tshirt just ot be safe.

    General stuff : few gels, a spare water bottle (never know if you drop/damage/lose your current one), spare drink powder/tablets/electrolyte additives, some food that I know I can eat when on the run just in case what is at the checkpoints is not agreeing with me, tape, vaseline.

  • And vodka. image
  • WIB - it's Dukeries, so 40 miles - I'm thinking socks and shoes in case, but wouldn't just change them for the hell of it - don't change something that's working fine!

    Good point, re-stock of gels! And also shirt is a good idea.


    Lirish - I prefer JDimage

  • Rocker if it's only 40 miles I wouldn't bother with drop bags, unless it's just to leave a few gels and powder. Bear in mind if you leave stuff like spare shoes and socks you may have difficulty getting them back at the end of the race
  • Lirish - by the time I get back the aid station will have closed and the marshal be back LOL

    Seriously though, that is a good point...

  • I make maximum use of the drop bag facility in a 100 miler, and put everything in them except spare eyebrows. 

    In a 40 miler its easier just to carry the essentials and get on with the race. 

    Before your first ultra, you usually go mad obsessing about the minutia of kit that you will bringimage

  • Ben - how did you knowimage image

  • helly dhelly d ✭✭✭

    For anything approaching a 100 miler I go for socks, night gear such as base layers, (head )torch, restock of gels etc.and snacky food that I know I will fancy such as marmite sandwiches and crisps. If I can I put in another pair of shoes, this worked very well on the Thames path 100 where the first half was mainly hard surface and the second increasingly tricky trail. Getting your stuff back isn't always so easy so check out what will happen to it if you go home before it arrives at the finish.

  • Helly d - Marmite sandwiches yum, even better Marmite & crisp sandwiches double yum!

  • As one of the organisers of the Dukeries Ultra I thought I'd add a comment here.

    We included the provision for a drop bag for a few reasons:

    1: We wanted this to be a fast route, and so the drop bag at half way means that you probably don't have to carry as much kit/food with you.

    2: We wanted to give first time ultra runners a flavour of the longer events where you do get drop bags

    3: A chance for anyone doing longer events later in the year a chance to practice with a drop bag and see if they pack what they actually need or what they think they need (also good for number 2 above) A bit tenuous I know as how you feel at 20 miles is going to be a little different to how you feel at 50!!

    4: To give ourselves an extra logistical headache, because organising a race through 40 miles of forest and country park for more than 100 runners is just to easy otherwise imageimage


  • Hey Roger

    That's exactly why I was asking - I kind of know you're race won't really NEED a drop bag, but it will be good practice for other/longer events as well - and as a first ever attempt I kind of want to have a go at everything LOL!


  • It is also a great way for the RD to stock up their own supply of gels when people leave them behindimage

  • Okay, can't see how to edit a post? Want to change you're to your on my last post - it's annoying me that I was typing too fast and missed it!

  • Last race I marshalled at, one of the fastest runners just had a tiny bottle of sports drink with a single gel sellotaped to the side of it. A few folk had bags that weighed a ton. A few folk had no drop bags and didn't stop at all. One guy had two big slices of cold pizza and nothing else, which I had a good chuckle at.

    The only ultra I've done so far, my halfway drop bag was a banana, a spare gel and a bottle of fudge milk. By the end I was totally sick of sweet stuff and wished I'd brought something like a ham sandwich...


  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    I found the fresh socks a god send, even though my only ultra was only a 31 miler- some wet wipes to clean/ dry your feet, fresh vaseline/ body glide on any hopt spots, and the difference is amazing. Shoes- not so sure- risk of not getting them back too high.


  • I'm just doing the 30 mile option and hope to be finished before the CP closes so if I do have a drop bag it will be of things I intend to take with me rather than just in case socks shoes etc.

    Expect I will have a bottle of coke as they are only providing flat coke and I like mine fizzy and possibly a bit of food, maybe some chopped up apple or somethig that would otherwise be a bit bulky to carry. I love bananas when running but they are supplying those otherwise would have one in drop bag as thy are tricky to carry
  • Fizzy coke, have you tried that in training, it'll give you a second wind, but . . .

    I did a 50 miler on Sunday, and my treat for the last 6 miles was 'corpse revivers'. 500ml flat coke, the spoons of glucose, and added salt. Had to carry it all the way, didn't taste too bad, but really gave me the boost i needed and finished strong.
  • Yes I often have fizzy coke. End up belching for about 10 mins but a nice cold can from a newsagent in the middle of a long run on a summers days is so nice
  • Hi all ...

    I'm doing the Clyde Stride 40 on 21 July and there are CPs at roughly 10 mile intervals. Not sure about the official drop bag as I've amassed a group of supporters ... at each CP I'll have a can of full sugar Red Bull, a small ziplock of mini 1" square marmite sandwiches to eat as I run, plus crisp/snack restock (I take 2 bags of Quavers and two pods of mini jaffa cakes per 10 mile section) ... will also have rehydration tablets and bottled water to refill my camelbak. I know it all sounds terribly orchestrated but this is my first ultra and I've tested and tested the process along the route 4-5 times, so I know where I am going and what I am carrying and what I can get at the CPs. Plus on the last (30) CP I have a mini can of G&T ... and yes, I have tested this too! I also have spare socks and base layer at each CP although when I ran a 31 miler last weekend in the pouring rain, I made it all the way, sodden (the plasticky arch section of each shoe still has water sloshing in it) but fine ... I think in a weird way maybe the water kept my feet cool and lubricated?

    Anyone else doing the Stride?

  • It sounds like you are pretty well prepared. 

    You can go mad obsessing about the minutia of your kit on your first ultra if you are not careful.  However thorough your preparations, you will inevitably learn lessons and pick up ideas for next time. 

    One tip I will give you is to keep your mobile phone in a sealable sandwich bag in case you get caught out in a downpour. 

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