By: Jason Haddy: Ultra Runner
I’ve been a competitive athlete pretty much my entire life. As a young child I was a wrestler and as I got older, I gravitated towards high school football and track. Both now, and then, I would push my body to its limit, which as I’ve gotten older, has been both good and bad for me.
In 2007 at the age of 31, I decided that I wanted to get into running and started signing up for local 5 and 10K races. After a few years of competing in small local events I had my mind set on running a marathon. In 2009, I competed in the Eugene Marathon in Eugene, Oregon. I was lucky to even finish the race due to improper training and extreme cramping in my legs. The results of this race made me second-guess whether or not I had what it took to run that distance at all.
I continued to take part in 5K and 10K races for the next handful of years until 2015, when I got the chance to be a part of a relay team of 12 runners that was going to compete in a 218 mile race in Southern Oregon, called the Wild Rogue Relay. As part of my training for the relay race, I started running on trails instead of the street to help with the constant pounding of the roads and in turn I developed a newfound love for trail running.
Flash-forward to 2017, I am preparing for the biggest race I’ve dared to enter, the Grand to Grand Ultra; a 170-mile self supported stage race that runs through the Utah and Arizona desert in September. I’ve logged many miles in preparation for the race. Along with the miles, I’ve also dealt with debilitating calf cramps. I’ve tried stretching, changing my diet and staying hydrated, all with no relief.
During my first training race this year, I ran in the Alsea Falls Spring Fling half trail race and was fortunate enough to have two bottles of HOTSHOT that I had received in an ambassador package that I got from IRUN4ULTRA. At the halfway mark I started to developed calf cramps, so I quickly downed a bottle of HOTSHOT. Within a few minutes my cramps disappeared, and as a result I bettered my previous time on that course by almost four minutes! I’m not a podium runner and most of the trail races I compete in don’t hand out participation medals (which I love), so just being able to finish a trail race is my reward.
I have now used HOTSHOT strategically to keep cramps at bay in my first 50K (Sasquatch 50K) and 50miler (Mary’s Peak 50). I have been extremely pleased with the results and there is no way I won’t have HOTSHOT in my backpack for the Grand to Grand Ultra.
After this year I’ll have my eyes set on the Pine to Palm 100 in hopes to qualify for the granddaddy of them all in my mind, the Western States 100 and I’m sure with the help Of HOTSHOT I’ll be smiling the whole way.