Written by Dirk Burgon, Tailwind Sr. Sales Director
I have always loved anything outdoors, and as a kid, I did a little bit of everything, both summer, and winter. When I was 10, we moved to Australia to an 880-acre dairy ranch. My favorite thing was to go out on long runs, everywhere and anywhere; I just loved to run. I moved to Byron Bay for a while and lived right on the beach, where I would surf as long as my body would allow me to. The main issue was that I would experience severe cramping (life-threatening in those waters). At that time, I did not understand how essential hydration was in preventing cramping and providing peak performance. To break it up, I still ran a lot, some bike riding and skimboarding to keep it fun.
The next year I did a full 180. I got a job on an Italian Cruise Ship going from Australia to Cape Town, South Africa, via numerous ports. I was going stir-crazy on the ship, to say the least. You can only do so many laps before you know every inch of the ship. For the next ten months, I traveled from the bottom to the top and side to side of the entire continent of Africa, where we had limited storage, so most of my workouts were going out for long runs (trolling for Lions). I was able to focus on my speed work, ha! After Africa, I traveled through many countries on my way back to the states, but with the same confinement/workout challenges.
When I returned to the US, I went crazy to make up for lost time. I started free climbing, doing a lot of skiing, competitive waterskiing, swimming in the Sacramento River for additional challenge, lots of cycling, and of course, running, all in the heat of Redding, California. Once again, my biggest limiting issue was cramping. I always prided myself on being a Camel; I would do 10k’s, half and full marathons without drinking a thing. I can’t tell you how many times I regretted it afterward, but I just did not like any of the rehydration products on the market, and they all gave me gut cramps.
In the 80s, I was a sponsored competitive Triathlete with my heart set on Ironmans and Ultras. I raced every weekend and sometimes 2x per week. One of my sponsors was the top-ranked fluid replacement and energy drink. Unfortunately, it was so sweet and over-flavored that I could barely drink it. Most of the time, I could not keep it down, so I would just not use it. As result, I had a lot of cramping challenges and heat exhaustion in the longer events.
In a Bud Light Ironman in 1987, my dreams were doused by a high-speed crash caused by a spectator dragging a dog across the road in front of me. I suffered a fractured C-3, damage to several vertebrae, a class 4 clavicle separation, and cracked ribs. I was still able to do some of the races later that year but had to miss the Hawaiian Ironman, which I had qualified for. l went over and did the race the day before with a group of folks, but I had the added benefit of having an espresso and bagel in Hawi at the turnaround.
Since my Triathlon days, I have continued to change up my workouts just to keep it interesting. Kayak one day, a hike the next, or paddleboarding and cycling the next day, trying new routes and seeing new sights.
The big difference is that I now understand the importance of hydration during the event and recovery measures in the magic hour following the event. Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance fuel is amazing. It melts into the water the same way it enters your body, fast and seamlessly. No cramps, no GI issues, lots of PRs. The Recovery Mix makes it super simple to recharge what I used during the event.
I always tell people to change it up, keep it fresh… It keeps life interesting.