Gavin Coombs smiling

Runner Gavin Coombs: "I Know It Works!"

I’ve been running for about 22 years now. I ran my first marathon in the spring of 2010, and my second one in May of 2010. After finishing at 2:22, I was excited about my potential in the marathon. Up until this point, I had never had any serious problems with running, including muscle cramps. However, in the summer of 2010, I ended up getting injured which resulted in me having to take some time off of running. Over the next several years I got married, had kids and could never really seem to get fully back into training at a high-level.

Fast-forward to November 2014 and I decide that I was going to start training again. I ran a few races and ended the year with a PR in a half marathon. At the end of 2015 I turned 30, and I was told running isn't the same after 30! Since I wasn't as quick as I used to be, I started dabbling in Ultra Marathons and ran my first 50k in January 2016. It went well and I continued with my runs. Four weeks after the Ultra, I run a very hard, technical 40 mile trail race. The first 25 miles of the race went well, but by mile 26, my hamstring started to cramp and by 29 my quads, calfs and back begin to cramp as well and I am reduced to a slow walk. At the Mile 32 aid station I had to drop out of my first race. This race beat me up pretty good and the rest of that day was spent fending off cramps.

A few days after the race, I saw on Facebook that Shalane Flanagan had posted about this new product called #ITSTHENERVE. I read up about the product and was really impressed with the claims. I shared my cramping story with them and received some sample bottles to try. In the meantime I had signed up for marathon just five short weeks after my disastrous trail race.


tobacco road
During my training leading up to my next race, I was still dealing with lingering cramps caused by the Ultra Marathon. I was nervous heading into this marathon, especially since the weather was mid 60s at the start and 85% humidity! I had used #ITSTHENERVE a couple of times before during some workouts and definitely felt like it was helping prevent and treat my cramps. I also really liked how convenient it was to use.

I drank a bottle before the start of the race to ward off cramps for the first half and had my wife stationed about halfway with another bottle just in case. The first half went well, better than I was expecting, but at mile 14 I could start to feel my hamstring start to cramp.

Fortunately that was when I saw my wife and was able to grab that second bottle of #ITSTHENERVE. By mile 15 the cramp was gone! I was able to finish the last 11 miles of the race as fast as my first 11 and with no cramps and ended up running about 5 minutes faster than I thought I was going to. #ITSTHENERVE definitely saved my race, without it I probably would have had to slow down if not stop altogether. After the race I had no cramping problems at all. I was tired and sore from my hard efforts, but didn't have any cramps that day or the following.

I will definitely be using #ITSTHENERVE for all my long training runs and races because I know it works. It will for sure be in my bag for my next races!


 *Our product, formally known as #ITSTHENERVE, was tested by athletes throughout the past year as we prepared to launch HOTSHOT. Read more about our transition from #ITSTHENERVE to HOTSHOT here.

Back to blog