I am form Kansas and last year I was 652nd place out of 1,800 runners. My time was 4 hrs. 25 min. I was right at the average time. I took a 8 OZ. botle of water. I refilled it at every water stations and also drank the water out of cups. I took tums every hour. I would say no to Cammel pack.
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I've seen some mention of doing the Ascent with a backpack/camelback. Is it necessary? If so, what do people carry in it?