Zandy hammering in Katonah, New York. Photo: Tom Casper
BY SAMANTHA STEVENS
The first time Zandy Mangold ran 155 miles, he needed two IVs, placed last, and referred to it as a death march in Australia. Seven years and four Atacama Races later, he placed first in the Atacama Crossing Ultra-Running Race in Chile.
Like any success story, Zandy viewed his initial failure as an opportunity. Instead of wallowing in his rock bottom, he rose with dogged tenacity to learn, to improve, and to win. Indeed, the first thing he did after his Atacama bumble was he climbed Mount Everest.
I learned so much from Hammer. Before my first race, I had crammed race nutrition into one condensed week. Over time, Hammer helped me fine tune my approach because I better understood my physical and mental limits.
After that first Atacama race ignited Zandy, he dove into Hammer products with zeal and started running marathons. I knew if I could handle a week of hell, I could handle three hours of hell.
Zandy's Hammer staples are Nocciola Hammer Gel, Peanut Butter Chocolate Vegan Protein Bars, and Endurolytes Fizz. For the winning Atacama, Zandy liked to dissolve Grapefruit Endurolytes Fizz in his water the night before, sleep with the water bottle so it wasn't ice cold, and then pound it first thing in the morning.
Thirty minutes before races, Zandy mixes Fully Charged to his Endurolytes Fizz drink, and takes two Endurance Amino capsules and two Race Caps Supreme capsules. When he dissolves Energy Surge under his tongue during his running, he reflects, It feels like I'm cheating, it works so well! During the race, he consumes Nocciola Gel consistently and a Sustained Energy two hours in. I love Sustained Energy, so underrated in my opinion.
His after race regimen starts with immediate Recoverite, Endurance Aminos, and Premium Insurance Caps. Later in the day, he takes EndurOmega capsules and Tissue Rejuvenator with a freeze-dried meal. He especially enjoys adding banana and almond butter to his Chocolate Recoverite.
Zandy was on the fence about entering the latest Atacama because he had chronic ankle sprains. But his girlfriend and Tissue Rejuvenator convinced his mind and body he was ready. I ran Atacama four times, not just because it is an amazing experience but also because I never felt like I ran it to my potential until this year. The first race I was still learning, the second time I sprained my right ankle, the third time, I sprained my left ankle. But the fourth attempt, I was healthy, well-trained, and had nutrition dialed in and was simply able to compete right up to the edge of my maximum potential.
Outside of running, Zandy works as a prolific photographer. Indeed, it was covering races as a photographer that sparked his interest in ultra running. I'm a method photographer and want to feel what subject is going through. I was running the courses with my photography gear and I realized I was running 20K a day and faster than some people competing! I thought it would be fun to run the course myself. Never occurred to me before to run with a heavy backpack, seemed like a recipe for injury, but then I learned how to fuel.
Zandy's success story matches the gnarly terrain he runs. In staying the course and persisting amongst resistance, Zandy went from last place to first place. If that's not the epitome of hammering on, then nothing is! We're proud to sponsor an athlete of Zandy Mangold's caliber, rigor, and diligence.
Zandy's Top 10:
- Nocciola Gel
- Vegan Protein Bars: Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Endurolyte Fizz Tabs: Grapefruit and Lemon Lime
- Premium Insurance Caps
- Race Caps Supreme
- Tissue Rejuvenator
- Mito Caps
- Sustained Energy
- Energy Surge
- Chocolate Recoverite