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Taming The Inferno

Hammer athlete defeats the desert at Badwater ultra-marathon

BY JESSICA EVANS

"Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Every runner has heard of the Badwater 135. If they haven't, they soon will. Universally referenced as "the world's toughest foot race,” this ultra-marathon is worthy of inclusion in Dante's epic poem, Inferno.

Hammer athlete Pete Kostelnick first descended into the desert to experience this ultra-marathon in 2014. He has been enduring it's extremes annually ever since. This year, Kostelnic won. Again.

The 2016 STYR Labs Badwater 135 began in Death Valley, right next door to Badwater Basin, the lowest place in the continental United States. Runners pace themselves to endure over a hundred miles of scorched earth where temperatures would get so high it would melt the soles off their shoes. Dust and strong winds are a common obstacle as well. The race crosses three different mountain ranges to finally end at the California peak of Whitney Portal where it is 8,360 feet above sea level.

In 2014, Kostelnick's time was 30:38:09. The next year, in 2015, he won the race by shaving off six hour of his time. He credits the lessons he learned the year before. "The nutrition changes I made were huge," Kostelnick said. "Perpetuem Solids and Perpetuem drink mix were my major fueling go-to's 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.

This year, he was able to take almost another two hours off his time for his 2016 win, speaking to the efficacy of his Hammer fueling system. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of this world-renounced race. Hammer will be there. Will you?

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