Gear preparation for an Offroad marathon in Patagonia during winter

24 hours before I will leave my home and travel around the world I started to prepare my race gear. The race gear was a point I thought about many many hours during the last weeks, because it’s the first time for me to run a race under this hard weather and terrain conditions, so I have no experience. Maybe this post can help someone later who will be in the same situation to choose correct gear. Or an experienced runner will read this and can give me some more advice.

The weather forecast for PN Torres del Paine
weather torres

I was already 20 years ago in this national park so I have some experience with the weather conditions at the race location. The forecast now looks exactly as I thought it will be. At 8AM when the race will start it is definitely cold. At least in my little sunny universe I call it cold. 🙂 But during the day, special when there is a minute without wind and clear sky, it will be strangely warm and you will sweat as hell if you continue with winter wonderland clothes. When we hiked inside this national park 20 years ago, we had to change clothes several times every day because the weather there can change within a few minutes. So at least the wind-stopper jacket will be constant on and off.

Anyway, me and my body will work best when it’s >28°C, so I have to be very well packed this time, special before the start when we just will be standing at the starting line and waiting unprotected like bloody penguins in the south Patagonian winter storm.

The gear I will wear

2014-09-17 16.00.21

 I am still not sure if I should take the trekking poles with me. The race track is on gravel roads, it’s not a rocky trail, but there is a 300m hill after 45km which might be better to get on with trekking poles. This decision will be fixed the day before the race after some chats with experienced trail runners at the race spot.

The race is a ‘cup free’ race, means they don’t provide any cups, bottles, etc on the water refreshment stations. Also the water stations are not located every 2.5km like at a fluffy city marathon. So the runners must bring their own water hydration system and fill them up on stations every 8-10km. That’s why I will wear my Salomon rucksack with 2x500ml flasks in the front and a 1.5L water bladder inside.

For the energy refilling I have planned every 20min. a dextrose tablet, every full hour an energy bar and a saltstick followed by a gel 30 min. later. That’s a total of 2400Kcal which should bring me around the course and hopefully also in a proper speed.

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