What kit and equipment do I need for Race to the Stones?

Unlike many ultra marathons, there is no compulsory kit list for the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones. It’s up to you to ensure that you have the right equipment, so take a look through our list of ideas.

 

These tips will be suitable for all of the Threshold Ultra Trail Series events:

 

Mobile phone

 

It might be obvious, but please ensure that you start the race with a fully-charged mobile phone. We recommend putting this in a Ziploc plastic bag to protect it from sweat and water.

 

Shoes

 

The most essential piece of kit is the shoes that you will be wearing to cover the 100km of the Ridgeway.

 

If you read our page about the right shoes for the Threshold Ultra Trail Series, you’ll see that there is no simple answer.  The official website suggests only that you have a ‘good’ pair of trainers or boots and that they are broken in.

 

Our advice is that you have your trail shoes or hiking boots professionally fitted. A run or trek analysis at Profeet looks at your feet and gait in detail before prescribing the right shoes for you.

 

This video tells you more about a Profeet run assessment:

 

 

 

Socks

 

Socks are really a matter of what works for you.  As with all your race kit, it’s essential to test your chosen sock in training well in advance of race day itself.

 

It’s worth taking an extra pair of socks in your backpack, in case of downpours or boggy ground. A fresh pair of socks at 50km could save you a blister at 80km…and a final 20km of pain.

 

You might also want to consider compression socks. As well as offering the calves some extra support, they can also form an extra layer around the foot and help keep out blister-inducing dirt and grit.

 

Another trick to think about is giving your feet a thin coat of Vaseline before you put your socks on at the start of the day. If there are any spots where your feet are rubbing, this can be the difference that gives you a blister-free day.

Teko Men's Enduro 2 Socks

 

Backpack

 

The most important aspect of a backpack is that it is comfortable. When you try it on, be mindful of any pressure points on your lower back or under your arms.  If there are any, 60-100km of sweat will make you painfully aware of them.

 

Unless you are planning on walking the whole route, we suggest using a running-specific backpack. Whichever option you go for, make sure you try it out on some longer runs (3-4hrs) to really find out how it fits your body.

 

The size of backpack will depend slightly on how much you are taking with you. Typically a 20 litre backpack should be sufficient to carry everything you need for the one of the Threshold Ultra Trail Series events. Faster runners (with less nutrition and night gear) might wish to go for a 10 litre pack.

 

Ideally you want a model with pockets on the front to load with gels and nutrition – you definitely don’t want to be taking your backpack off every time you want to eat.

 

Another point to consider when deciding on your backpack is whether you are going to use bottles or a Camelbak-type water pouch.

 

If you choose bottles, then front-mounted options are best – you shouldn’t need to contort yourself or take your backpack off to access them.

 

If you plump for a water-pouch then make sure you check how easy or difficult it is to top it up. You need to be absolutely sure that it’s closed correctly, or you’ll lose valuable water and your spare kit can get soaked.

 

Many people prefer a water pouch as it distributes the weight more evenly, and you can carry up to 2 litres easily. One key disadvantage is that you cannot see how much water you have left.

 

On an event like Race to the Stones you are only ever 10km from an aid station, so you never have to go too long without being able to fill up, but it’s still a factor to be mindful of.

 

Popular backpack brands include OMM, Salomon, Raidlight and Inov-8.

 

Rich modelling the Salomon Sense backpack

 

Hat and Sunscreen

 

The last couple of years Race to the Stones has coincided with one of the hottest days of the year.

 

As well as a spare warm hat for later, we recommend you wear a sports hat for the daytime and that you apply a good waterproof sunscreen such as P20 at the start of the day.

 

Waterproof jacket

 

This is an essential. The race can be warm, but also feature rain and hail.  Everyone needs their rain jacket.

 

If you can afford it, make sure that it’s not just waterproof, but also breathable.  When it’s wet, but still hot, you’ll feel much more comfortable.

 

RTTS-view

 

Warm layers

 

The weather in the UK is never predictable and even in July it can get very cold at night.

 

A spare layer, such as a thermal compression top or fleece is a good idea for all runners, but anyone anticipating running at night should also pack a warm hat, gloves and leggings. Your backpack might weigh slightly more, but it could make the difference that sees you to the finish.

 

Kit and Equip Waterproof jacket

 

 

Head-torch

 

If you are doing the non-stop challenge and are likely to take 13 hours or more, then you should take a head-torch.

 

Sunset on 11 July will be around 9.15pm – a headtorch may not be necessary until slightly later, but you don’t want to be in a position where you can’t see properly for the final stages of the race, when you will be at your most fatigued.

 

Make sure that you also have spare batteries (or a back-up headtorch).

 

Headtorch for Race to the Stones

 

There are many different types of headtorches available.  Try not to buy anything too heavy and stick to run-specific options.

 

If you’re looking for a recommendation, then try the Alpkit Gamma or Petzl Tikkina.

 

This video gives you an insight into and some tips on running at night:

 

 


Course Map

 

This is issued to you at registration and we recommend you take it with you. The course is very well sign-posted, but it won’t take up much space and it has the emergency contact details on it.

 

First Aid

 

A reasonable first aid kit won’t take up much space or be very heavy. Take a look at our ‘Blisters’ page for advice on a blister kit: this includes antiseptic cream, alcohol wipes, Vaseline, blister patches, gauze strips and tape.

 

You should also consider taking pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Paracetemol.  And make sure that you either have sun cream with you or have applied it fully before you start.

 

 

Nutrition

 

 

We’ve referred to hydration above. Whichever system you choose, we recommend you try and keep a reserve of 500ml at all times.

 

As for nutrition, have a look at our section ‘Nutrition for Threshold Ultra Trail Series events’ and remember that you will save time and comfort if you use a backpack that allows you to store your gels/bars/snacks in pockets on the front, as well as inside your backpack.

 

Nutrition - hydration





PROFEET LIMITED
867-869 Fulham Road
London SW6 5HP

APPOINTMENTS
call 020 7736 0046
email info@profeet.co.uk

facebook You Tube Google Plus Twitter InstagramLinkedIn