SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Improve Your Race Results – And Life – With Wilderness Athlete Mountain Mocha Gel

Need a way to get that win on a trail ultra? Need to pass that snowshoer whipping you to the finish line? Here’s how: first, change your stinkin’ thinkin’ where past results have tainted your view of gels. You may have worn out stomaching something that wasn’t providing the results you were promised, yet you kept at it until . . . until you stopped.

I’m on a hairy trail. It is wet, wild and wooly. Gunk replaces dirt, newly formed creeks are where paths used to be; how am I ever going to get through this? An occurrence happening only ever-so-often in the endurance life saves the day. I reach in my vest and pull out this little brown packet of Wilderness Athlete Energy Gel, the mountain mocha flavor. First, I’m surprised – the mocha chocolate tastes great, really, not like some of the dry, squirrely flavors I’ve been used to so much that I retired gels except in emergencies. “Okay, I’m gonna die or take a gel. Let me think about it . . . .” I’ve had medicines that tasted better than popular gels, but nothing comes close to this liquid chocolate pie for the soul by Wilderness Athlete.

Literally I can’t believe the WA Energy Gel tastes this good, is so palatable out here in the woods, all by my lonesome.

Then the nutrition kicks in. Like a mule with a friendly kick I get pushed on down the trail by Wilderness Athlete’s “Blast Energy Gel;” a more appropriate name has never been created. I was, in fact, rocketed with energy. Importantly, particularly after dragging along, my mood is suddenly enhanced, my attitude changed.  It is dark and gloomy in the woods, but all I see is bright and fun coming. The only thing, the only difference, was I found nirvana in a little sealed packet by WA. Finally!

A while later, I’m thinking that won’t happen again, but I’ll try. Blast-o-matic, yes!, it occurred again, an enhanced mood accompanied by  fresh energy stimulating my run and spirits to a degree I start looking forward to the odd steps one has to take out in these conditions just to stay upright.

Highly promoted gel products sweep consciousness until we, spending all of those hours humping up and down mountains to train for the next big major, begin to doubt anything in the category works. Worse, we become so habit formed that we omit things under our nose that really perform, yet we fail to discover them because . . . well . . . because it’s work to change. Do you find yourself saying, “I always do it this way, I never vary; The old didn’t work, I hate new. Don’t bore me with change. I can only wear the gray ones on a fifty mile; I save the red for a 50 K.” Sound familiar? Don’t let the past get in your way of using this new name.  Though Wilderness Athlete has been around a long time, they’re just starting to share their products with snowshoers and ultra endurance performers. Remember, you heard it here first.

I have subsequently used my mountain mocha chocolate in heavy lifting exercises I do pretty much on a daily basis. Something north of three tons of various weights moved and lifted over a few hours to simulate real life versus just gym weights and machines. My experience is, I enjoy the process even more with a blast from my Wilderness Athlete gel packet. I can do the weight without it, but the attitude is much improved and the whole act becomes . . . enjoyable, of all things.

Their website gives detailed information on the gels, and you can spot differentiation with other products by looking closely. A couple of notes here, though. One, WA includes extract of golden root in the mix, a wonderful addition of a natural mood enhancer that no doubt played a role in my improved outlook from the physical stress felt in either the trail race or under the load of a heavy lifting. What a bright thing to do by WA.

Also you have the choice of a shot of caffeine or not by using the mountain mocha chocolate, with, or the mountain berry, without. I don’t drink coffee but enjoy the mood enhancement I receive from caffeine, so I gravitate to Mr. Mocha.

The preference is maltodextrin – taking a clue from 100-mile ultra trail machine, Allan Holtz, and his buying bags of the stuff – and I add scoops from my personal stash for the combined mixes I drink on the trail. That key carbohydrate is a part of their gel recipe, thank goodness.

Unpacking my gear from the ultra endurance trail event, I found myself valuing like pieces of gold the remaining mountain mocha packets scattered in drop bags, pockets, and vests. Carefully separating them from the goopy mess my clothes and towels had become in the post “remove the trail dirt from self” process before beginning the drive to civilization, I begin to calculate how many I will need for another upcoming event. My only stress there is . . . will I have enough to complete it if my new order, going in now, doesn’t get here in time.

Visit www.wildernessathlete.com for more ideas.

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write phillipgary@snowshoemag.com
www.ultrasuperior.com

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About Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition including drag racing, his favorite motor sport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING:Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING:Keys" in a unique way. Currently he has two books in the works. Twitter: @iHarmonizing