It’s countdown time to the 30th edition of the iconic Marathon des Sables. The training is done and it was time for Niandi Carmont to go through all her equipment, lay it all out, weigh everything and decide what to take and what not to take.
Running a mult-day race? Check out our 2017 training camp http://d.pr/f/18cqZ
To be clear for those who do not know. Minimum pack weight is 6.5kg.
Minimum food requirement is 2000 calories per day for 7-days.
In addition to the above, each runner must have ‘mandatory’ kit that includes venom pump, compass, penknife and so on…
Marathon des Sables is a self-sufficient race and therefore the runner must carry everything they need for the duration of the event. The only exception comes with water (this is provided and rationed) and a Bivouac (tent) for the evening which is shared with 7 other runners.
Niandi was very clear… my pack will be minimum weight: 6.5kg
It’s been an interesting process and one that has provided both Niandi and myself with some real eye openers… normally you would have too much kit and you would be deciding what to take and what not to take! The reality has been here that we have EVERYTHING that Niandi wants to take and we are under weight. A nice situation to be in.
Before we get to the pack. Lets look at what Niandi will wear:
- inov-8 Race Ultra 290 shoes with Raidlight gaiters (gaiters sewn on by Alex in London)
- Injinji toe socks
- Raidlight Skort
- Raidlight T-Shirt
- Arm Coolers
- Anita sports bra
- inov-8 peaked hat
- Oakley sunglasses
The above is essential and will be worn for the duration of the event.
The pack is an Ultra Aspire Fastpack that will have 2x750ml bottles that sit on the hips and provide easy access
*Update – This pack was changed at the 11th hour to an Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20 (available here). This proved to be a good decision! The UDF pack turned out to be a revelation at the 2015 MDS runners. Elisabet Barnes and may others used this. It’s simplistic, no-nonsence approach was a real winner and the bottle holders on the chest perfect for ‘on-the-go’ hydration.
Sleeping bag (with Piglet) Yeti Passion One
The North Face Summit Series down jacket
Raidlight Tyvek suit which has been tailored and modify for a tighter fit and to reduce weight.
Petzl head torch with spare batteries
The items below make up additional items that are optional extras (such as iPod) and mandatory kit. One or two items are missing: Spot Tracker, signalling mirror and sun cream.
Food is broken down on the excel spread sheet but here is a summary in words and images:
|Dehydrated Meals x6||672|
|Dried Mango 93g x 4||372|
|Porridge 59g x 7||413|
|Coffee 1g x 10||10|
|Peanut Butter 33g x 5||165|
|Honey 21g x 8||168|
|Mini Salami 10g x 10||100|
|Sesame Bites 27g x 6||162|
|Mixed Nuts 200g x 2||400|
We have not added photos of the dehydrated meals as currently we do not have them but we have calculated the weight and you can see a review of dehydrated meals and options HERE
So in a nutshell. With everything listed above we have a current pack weight (without water) of:
|*all weights in grams|
Niandi does have some additional optional items that she was considering taking and now based on the weight above she will add:
- Flip Flops 250g
- Cheese 150g
- Stove and fuel 150g
The above 3 items tip the scales at 550g
This will make a total pack weight of 6189 + 550 = 6739g
Read an in-depth preview of the 2015 Marathon des Sables HERE