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Gel-on-a-String

Race Tip: Feeds

Fri, Jan  20, 2006 - By Stuart Picard & Dell Todd

Stuart Picard shows how he attached a Hammer Gel flask to boot string using duct tape.

Stuart Picard shows how he attached a Hammer Gel flask to boot string using duct tape
   

Taking a feed. Notice that the shoe string goes UNDER the bib. The bib keeps the flask from bouncing around and getting in the way while you race.

Taking a feed. Notice that the shoe string goes UNDER the bib. The bib keeps the flask from bouncing around and getting in the way while you race.

Here's way to carry a feed in a race - great for marathons: Duct tape a loop of boot string around a gel flask and hang it from your neck, under your race bib.

Stuart Picard gives this advice:

I use Hammer Gel and haven't tried any other type of gel in the flask. I do cut the gel with water to lessen it's viscosity. It's best to experiment with the water amount used in different temperatures. I haven't experienced any freezing of the gel whether it's been cut with water or not.

I would recommend also experimenting with the length of the boot string. One improvement I've made is positioning the duct tape so that a small amount of gel can be seen at the bottle of the flask, otherwise, it is difficult to know how much gel remains.

I first saw this boot string method used by Arne Borgnes. Dell Todd also uses this method to carry his gel and he uses Hammer Gel in his flask.

Dell Todd chimes in:

I have played with a tablespoon of water as a “viscosity reducer” The stuff gets pretty thick in the cold. My experience with it is that the crumpled race bib forms an excellent wind block for it, and it does flow surprisingly well. However, the fact is that you can squeeze the gel out by force, and by suction. I’ve found that at the end of the race I’ve never had much gu at all.

I’ve found that the various flavors have different freezing points!!!