@Elsa OK, so the truth is I have an on-again/off-again affair with running. But I have completed a marathon and some halfs and I’m working toward another next year. I have also supported friends on their marathon quest and I’m currently training for a wicked 16-mile trail run called the Hyner View Trail Challenge. Here are my thoughts:

1. Road marathons have aid/water stations every three or so miles. Part of marathon training should include figuring out your energy and hydration needs at specific points in your run. This is my way of saying that a water pack might be helpful during long training runs, but perhaps a burden on race day for road races, where organizers generally do a great job of seeing to runners’ needs.


2. Trail challenges  are different monsters. Trails can get very remote very fast and it’s not so easy for organizers to drag water, cups, energy gels, garbage bags, tables and more up the side of a mountain and back down again. If you look at photos of past HVTCs, you see lots of water packs on runners. I “ran” 75 percent of the course last weekend with two friends who both brought water packs. Neither friend emptied their pack over the 12.7-mile distance. I’m in the market for one now.