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Big Day at Badwater

Hammer-fueled Kostelnick wins; Hammer Aussie Wynd takes 1st female

By Endurance News Staff

What a difference a year and smart fueling can make. Last year, Pete Kostelnick barely finished Badwater 135. Fueling with 300 calories per hour of gummy chews "had me throwing up by mile 70 and completely bonked by the end." This year, relying exclusively on Hammer Nutrition products and its unique fueling strategies, Kostelnick has experienced nothing less than a breakthrough year, capturing a string of overall wins in ultras around the country. His latest: the Badwater 135, where Kostelnick finished an incredible 7 hours ahead of his 2014 time, and less than 36 minutes off the course record!

Called "the world's toughest foot race," the Badwater is a 135-mile test of extreme endurance, starting in Death Valley at 280 feet below sea level and finishing at Whitney Portal (8,300 feet). This year, the race's 38th competition, Badwater challenged 97 runners from 24 different countries.

Pete's Badass Badwater Recipe

While Kostelnick struggled to finish the 2014 Badwater 135 in a time of 30:38:09, fueling with a combination of trendy products and a bit of Hammer, this year was a different story. "The nutrition changes I made were huge," Kostelnick says. "Perpetuem Solids and Perpetuem drink mix were my major fueling go-tos during the race. I also took Endurolytes Extreme, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and Endurance Aminos hourly."

Kostelnick adjusted his calorie intake, too, following Hammer's "less is best" fueling advice. Instead of the 300 calories he took in hourly last year, "this year I went with closer to 200 and my stomach felt great."

The results speak for themselves. Competing against Badwater 135 favorites that included the OA course record holder, Brazilian Valmir Nunes, and the 2014 Badwater winner, Harvey Lewis, Kostelnick won the 2015 race with a time of 23:27:10, more than 7 hours ahead of his 2014 time, 2 hours ahead of the 2nd place finisher, and just 36 minutes off the overall course record!

Badwater 2015 by the numbers

135 miles; 14,600 feet total vertical ascent; 6,100 feet total descent; 97 runners, 24 countries, 79 finishers

Kostelnick's winning time: 23:27:10

Australia's Nikki Wynd 1st Female at Badwater

Hammer Australia-sponsored Nikki Wynd took 1st female with a winning time of 27:23:27, the second fastest course time recorded for a woman.

Hammer Australia-sponsored Nikki Wynd set a new age group course record for women at Badwater 135, often billed as the world's toughest footrace. Her 1st female overall finish together with Hammer-sponsored Pete Kostelnick's overall win made it a double-headed Hammer victory.

The notoriously challenging 135-mile course features extreme heat, dryness, and elevation changes. Nikki's fueling formula for the first half included Perpetuem and Endurolytes Fizz, alternated with sips of plain water. "The second half of the race I switched to Hammer Gel and iced water. I also ate small portions of Hammer Bars and fruit - watermelon, oranges, and strawberries."

"With the help of a dietician and Hammer products, my nutrition was spot on. I felt amazing the entire time, and experienced no cramping or digestive issues whatsoever."