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Any downside to carrying water during a race?

Hey everyone, I think this topic has been touched on lately, but with more and more races happenig in the fall, I thought I would get a fresh take.

In my specific case, my half marathon only has 5 water stops, so roughly every 2.5 miles. Now that I have found this out, I think I may want to carry my own hydration. Any thoughts? I currently just carry a bottle with me on my long runs. I'm thinking of buying a handheld carrier for the race. For those of you that use these, do you find that's it's simillar to carrying a bottle, just easier? (I don't want to try anything drastically different right before the race...)

 

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Re: Any downside to carrying water during a race?

  • I only drank water at the water stations 2 or 3 times...I was used to hydrating but I still felt sick when I would see the water. 

    For me personally, I don't even like my hydration belt very much and I wouldn't use it in a race.  

  • The handheld ones are ok, feels like I am carrying a weight but if you are used to carrying a water bottle then you should be fine.  I have an Amphipod which had a place to hold keys or gels.  But I would do a practice run with it to see if you like it.  I prefer using a water belt so that my hands are free but do what makes you feel comfortable!
  • Unlike PP, I carried my hydration belt during both my half marathons. I generally need a lot of water when I run, I dehydrate easily and both races were pretty hot for the area. I still grab the sports drinks offered on the course, but the water in my belt is back-up for those long distances between water stops.

    I think it's totally personal preference. If you take water on your long runs and are used to drinking every 1-1.5 miles, then you should probably bring your belt just in case. If you go 2.5 miles now inbetween drinks, you'd probably be fine.

    I wouldn't do anything you haven't tried first during the race! Go with what you know!

  • I will be wearing my Fuel Belt for my marathon. I will only have fuel in the pouch and bottles (clif shots in my pouch, Hammer HEED in the bottles).  If I need water, I will get water at the water stops.  I did this at my 20 mile training run this past weekend and it worked out great. I stopped for water 3 times. 
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  • I'm like you in that I carry a water bottle during my long runs.  For my 1/2 back in May, I decided to carry a bottle with me (on a whim, not sure why I made that decision).  It was one of the best decisions I made during that race.  The water stops were, like you described, 2-2.5 miles apart and were poorly placed and over crowded.  I heard people around me complaining about not having been able to get any water and I was so glad I had mine with me.  Plus, it ended up getting warmer than expected, so I was glad to be able to hydrate as I felt necessary.

    I would be cautious about getting fuel belt unless you have a few long runs left to test it out and make sure it is comfortable.  You wouldn't want to find out that it chafes or rides up or is otherwise uncomfortable during the race itself.

  • I use a hydration belt for long runs, but have never carried it in races.  However, after the experience I had with getting heat stroke during the Boulder 1/2 marathon because they ran out of water at two of the stops (I think they only had 5 as well) I may be carrying my hydration belt with me in races from now on.

    I would just make sure you can try out whatever you are planning to use before race day so you are used to it and know if it will bother you. 

  • You could carry a plastic water bottle, then if you are fine you can toss it along the way.
  • I carry a hand held on my longer runs. I would say to practice with it first, though.

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  • I've used my fuel belt for both of my half marathons, and I have no regrets about it.  I was by no means looking to win, so it weighing me down a little did not bother me at all.  I would rmuch rather know that I could get a drink anytime I wanted, then have to worry about when the next stop will be.

  • I don't really like wearing my fuel belt even for training.  I might get water every 4 miles or so during a given race unless it's super hot out.  I don't ever drink the sports drink during training or races....my stomach seems to turn on me during every race lately and sports drinks make it worse.
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  • I can't imagine carrying a waterbottle in my hand for 13 miles!  Especially after drinking a bit and having the water slosh around inside....that would annoythecrap out of me.

    I've been in a number of big halfs and never had trouble getting water, but if you're worried about it I'd recommend a belt over hand-held any day.

    Px

  • I've worn my hydration belt for a half-marathon and 20-miler, and it didn't bother me at all. They ran out of water at one of the water stops during the 20-miler, so I was very glad I had my belt.
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