Our HOTSHOT® Ambassador team of 26 athletes is ready to go Saturday morning in Kona at the IRONMAN® World Championship. Let’s learn more about their IM journey so far . . .
My IRONMAN quest began in 1999 when I took the flight to Kona with several triathlon buddies
to cheer on a friend who was competing as a professional. I never imagined I could do an IRONMAN at the time because the swim just seemed too ominous...that is until I got in the ocean in Kona. It was beautiful and buoyant in the salty sea, so I thought...heck, I can do this! Next thing I know I am towing the line in Kona in 2000 after a lucky roll down slot to 3rd place at the Vineman Half that year. I placed 3rd in my age group at IM Hawaii on my first attempt at the distance and had a blast while doing it. It was my first marathon too. Back then, I lived in a very hot climate in California and rarely experienced muscle cramping. Since moving to Colorado in 2004, that has changed. Fast forward to Kona, 2014....I was in the lead off the bike in my age group and was having the marathon of my life....and then, the deadly cramps started with just 3 miles to go. I tried everything (HOTSHOT didn't exist yet, at least not to my knowledge), but had to keep stopping on the Queen K due to the severe cramping. I finally made it to Palani hill with just a mile to go, still hanging on to the lead, and then the pass happened. Karen Smith of Bermuda went flying right by me in the final mile and there wasn't a thing I could do to respond. I happily took runner up spot that year, but was on a quest for how to prevent that from happening again in the future.
Now, I never do a half or full distance triathlon without a HOTSHOT in my pocket. It's saved me on multiple occasions in the past few years of racing and allowed me to race to my potential. I focused on half IMs in 2016 and, with the help of HOTSHOT, I took top honors in the AWA 70.3 rankings. Thanks TeamHOTSHOT!
I do not worry about cramps anymore
I started my fitness career as a runner in my late 30s. With some encouragement from my work colleagues I started to enter road races. I really liked them, but found that it was very demanding on my legs and hard to recover. I had a running buddy suggest swimming to aid in my recovery as it was a no-impact sport, so I ended up joining a Masters group. Most of the group that I swam with were Triathletes and they encouraged me to get into the local international distance Triathlon. But first, I needed to get a bike and start riding.
My first was a 1.5 swim, 25 mile bike including a very tough climb, and a 7 mile run. I still remember the run as it ran in the middle lane of traffic before the finish line. After that race, I was hooked. The next few years I raced only Olympic/International distance races as I always thought the rest were too far. I tried my first Half IRONMAN with a friend on his birthday. That was in 1999. I qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship, my first IRONMAN. I never wanted to race over the Olympic distance and now here I was with a 70.3 and full IRONMAN under my belt!
Fast forward to Kona 2017 when I will be racing my 29th IRONMAN. I have had issues with my calves cramping over the last few years as I have been aging and have had to slow my efforts and sometimes walk to complete the race. Last year in Kona I was introduced to HOTSHOT and was curious about how it worked. I talked to a few athletes who used it and decided to try it at the start of the run. I also took it at mile 10 on the Queen K highway and never felt better.
I now use HOTSHOT for all my racing and training runs. I never worry about cramps anymore and feel confident to push on the run. HOTSHOT has been a game changer for me.
This year I will toe the line in my 5th IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. As an endurance and masters athlete, I of course take preparation seriously, but I also I put a lot of effort into ensuring I’m recovering well. There are all sorts of things that I have in my recovery toolkit, but one little gem that I have come across is HOTSHOT.
I typically use HOTSHOT after long training days, because I find that it helps my legs relax so I can get to sleep. Back in May, I had the opportunity to put HOTSHOT to a new test. I wouldn’t say that I cramp often, but on this particular weekend my triathlon team, Team Psycho, was in the midst of our annual training weekend. Needless to say, we pushed our bodies to the limits for swimming, riding and running. After a particularly hard day, I was resting in bed, and my toes completely cramped up – I’m guessing a lot of you are familiar with that feeling. Luckily I had HOTSHOT next to my bed, so I grabbed it and swallowed it down! It was like magic, I immediately felt my toes release and the cramping was gone. It sounds hokey, but it works. And, if you are prone to cramping, HOTSHOT is a game changer. And even if you aren’t necessarily someone who cramps all that often, HOTSHOT can help your muscles relax so you can get a good night’s sleep after a hard day of training or racing.
HOTSHOT has become a key tool for my recovery, and I know I’ll have a bottle or two handy by my bedside in Kona.
Good luck to our entire HOTSHOT Ambassador team and to all the athletes who will be competing in Kona. See you there!