35 Miles Marathon

This is going to be my first participation in a race or competition. I have been mainly a solo kayaker, and this is going to be a good opportunity to kayak with people who share the same interest. This “marathon” is going to cover 35 miles on the gulf cost of Florida. I have paddled before for about the same distance in a Prowler 13 loaded with camping gear. I’m looking forward to cover this distance in my Cobra Eliminator.

I won’t have much time to prepare, because I just found out about this activity so my training plan is simple, just get in the water at least a couple of days before the race.

There is no much room for storage in my Eliminator, and I don’t want to have any thing loose or too heavy. I’m thinking to use a hydro back (I might have to adapt it for kayaking, I got it for hiking), but I think is the best solution to secure liquids and have them handy. I’ll have some “Cliff Hangers” for food and some energy gels. I have tried this before and I have loved the results. They are light, withstand the heat well and the taste is pretty acceptable. I’m not very happy with my long pants. Here in Florida it is very important to protect the body from harmful UV rays. I usually ware hiking pants that are very light and they dry fairly easily. I haven’t found good long pants for kayaking. I don’t want to ware wet suit pants, especially during the summer.

Any tips for a “marathon”? Any gear tips?



think comfort/fuel/fluids
Where is the race, btw?

I race marathon canoes and rate comfort at the top of the requirements. 35 miles would take me about 7 hours.

Can you put the hydration pack inside the kayak? I wouldn’t want something strapped to my back while paddling that far, that long.

Hammer makes a product called perpetuem. it’s great for long-distance events. Friends of mine paddle upwards of 20 hours or more at a time using only perpetuem and water.

test drive your food & drink first

– Last Updated: Apr-28-09 1:38 PM EST –

It's important to find out what works for you as far as hydration and food goes. I found for me that if I drink every half hour and eat every hour, I don't hit the wall or experience undesirable symptoms. I experimented alot with hydration and settled on a mixture of 1/3 Powerade, 1/3 Tonic water, 1/3 water. As for food, I like a baggie with diced up banana, melons, and Pineapple chunks. I also keep a fliptop container of homeade GORP handy. In my PFD pocket I always carry a peanutbutter Cliffbar and 2 strawberry/banana Power-Gels. That will normally suffice for about 6-8 hours in the seat. It's wise to carry more hydration than you think you'll need (unless you've got a pit crew). Generally plan for hot & sunny conditions as a worst case scenario. I'd take 1/2 liter per hour of seat time.

thanks for the tips
This race is in Florida, Cedar Key. I have never been there but it is a popular spot for kayakers; and you are right; I’m not going to put the hydro bag in my back. I’m thinking about tying it to the back rest of my seat. There is a small space behind my back rest that I think might work.

Eat well the day before your event. Lots of complex carbs. During the event keep munching. Do NOT let yourself get hungry. Something sweet and something salty to choose from. Your body will let you know if it needs sugar or salt. Peanut M&Ms (aka power pills) and pretzel rods (cigars) work well for me.

Good luck in your event.

Similar to Randy, but what works for me
!/3 gator aid to 2/3 water, in a bladder.

I just lay the bladder between my legs and have the tube clipped to my pfd. I try to have it rigged so I can just lean my mouth into the tube.

I drink by the mileage ( my GPS).

I take a swig at least every two miles.

On a race that long, I also take power gel every five miles. I premix it with water in a small water bottle.


It is way to sweet, and you will end up sick.

I would get rid of those long pants and use sun screen. You will just hasten your body over heating with them.

The lower part of your body will be protected by the cockpit.

Good luck, and let us know how you do.



second the test drive
I use to love a citrus flavor in my hydration. I seemed to cut “the dust” on th e water. Then one really long hot day on the Lumber river race it made my stomach go sour.The last 20 miles were the worse of any race I ever did in terms of misery.(I have done numerous 40,and 70 milers.)Now I know I can do the berry poweraide, but for a long hot day there is no way I will have citrus. RedCrossRandy can.

So try the stuff!