First Race with Aid Stations (Strategy)

Next month I will be racing my first “point to point” style xc race (epic rides Bentonville) and my first race with aid stations. I have done plenty of races with similar distance/elevation, but they were all self supported, multiple lap races where I could swap out water bottles every other lap or so. The question I’m getting at is, do I need to run a hydration pack, or can I get away with carrying two bottles and refilling them at each aid station? It’s a 50 mile race with three aid stations that appear to be spread out pretty equally. I’m not concerned with the amount of water I’ll be taking in, but the time it might take to stop and refill my bottles three times. Thanks for the awesome podcast. It helps keep me motivated/focused throughout the work week!

Without seeing the course profile hard to answer. What do you think your finishing time will be, and does pack racing make a difference?

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I’m thinking around 5-5.5 hrs. I’m not sure how/if pack racing will affect anything. The average amount of people I race against here in Iowa are around 10-30 people so I have basically no pack racing experience. But in case my question is unclear, I’m basically just asking what it takes to refill a water bottle at an aid station. I’m sure all races are different but I was hoping some people on here have experience with the epic rides series.