Finishing the Mont Blanc with BYE
By Robert Heinsch
How BYE’s Magnesium electrolyte shot helped me finish the Mont Blanc 23 KM mountain trail race
I love running, and I love the mountains. This is what I realised about two years ago, and thought it was a great idea to combine those two passions and sign up for one of the oldest and most popular mountain trail races, the 23K Mont Blanc run in Chamonix, France. Only after I had signed up, I realised that this included 1700 m of elevation gain, and for a short time I had second thoughts whether this was such a great idea after all, especially given that I live in The Hague, in The Netherlands, and the highest elevation close to my house is a 25 m high dune at the beach near Kijkduin.
I was somehow relieved that last year the race had to be postponed due to Corona in June 2020, which gave me the chance to prepare a bit better and join the great team at www.trailrunnen.nl where I am currently training for my first ultra-marathon. And apart from the wonderful community and the helpful training advice they gave me, they also brought me in contact with a great product line, “Boost Your Energy” or B-Y-E food supplements, energy bars and energy drinks for runners, triathletes, and any other endurance athletes.
As every long-distance runner who thinks about how to get additional energy on those long runs, and who wants to recover as quickly as possible, I already have probably 20 years of experience with various products which promise better hydration and stronger endurance. But with everything which lives on big promises, I often have been disappointed by those products, especially because my body seems to react not well to artificial flavouring or ingredients of any kind. And it does not like too much sugar, either.
Therefore, I was very curious when I first had the chance to test the BYE products, because they promise to deliver great performance without any chemical flavourings but rather rely on a natural basis for their products. I had the chance to test the BYE energy bars, their magnesium shots, the isotonic drink, and the isotonic gel, and I have to say that all their products are very welcome alternative to the established brands (which are usually way too sweet and sugary for my taste). The BYE energy bars have become one of my preferred snacks on these 2-3 hour long runs; the isotonic gels have sometimes helped me to finish a long run strong when I was tired and maybe over-trained; but since last weekend the magnesium electrolyte shots are definitely my favourite BYE product.
Last Saturday, I finally stood at the starting line of the Mont Blanc 23 K race (this year almost 25 km long because of Corona measures – don’t ask), and I was eager to climb up these 1700 m of elevation gain … until came out of the first aid station where I might have had too much Cola and one sugary snack too many: and my left calf started to cramp. This has happened before when I was not properly hydrated, was sweating too much, or my system reacted to a high sugar intake. So, I was just starting to tackle the longest and most challenging ascent of the race, and my left calf was feeling like a muscle might rip soon (which it had done four years ago during a ski accident), and I was seriously getting worried whether I would be able to finish the race.
But then I remembered that I still had an ampoule of the BYE magnesium shots in my race vest. I drank half of it, and within seconds my left leg relaxed, and the pain went away. Clearly, I had not hydrated enough and was missing the minerals the body needs when performing during endurance races. 3 km later I took the rest of the ampoule, and could enjoy the rest of the race, the amazing views at Mont Blanc, as well as the great atmosphere along the course, until I crossed the finish line happily being cheered on by my fiancée who had no idea that she might have had to comfort a very disappointed runner if he had not made it to the mountain top.
Overall, I really can recommend testing out the BYE products. I very much appreciate the natural approach and the avoidance of any chemical ingredients. The energy bars taste well and don’t give you an immediate sugar rush, but rather release the energy in a controlled way, and I want to believe that this has something to do with the natural ingredients. I hope the BYE company will continue their success story and that you will be able to find their products being widely available in the future. From my side just a final “thank you” for helping me finish the Mont Blanc 23 K race and making 1700 m of elevation an enjoyable experience!