Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make Mine a Chocolate on the Rocks...

So I did my last long run before the Eugene Marathon today (cut it a bit short, but that's another story), and thought it would be a perfect time to test out some different gels to try to find one that won't gag me during the race.

See, my overriding memory of gels is during the Seattle Marathon, lo those many years ago, and the fact that they had one flavor at the "wall" water stop (at mile 20 or 22, something like that).

Yes, it was banana flavor. Yes, I thought I was going to zook on the volunteer's shoes. It was straight nasty.

So I did a little shopping at my favorite local tri shop - Northwest Multisport - and grabbed a little assortment of goo. Plus, my main man Manny did me a serious solid and got me a bottle of Liquid Gold from the source down in Eugene. Apparently, that's what they're serving to the runners on the Eugene Marathon course, so Manny and I thought it would be nice to test it out.

So here is my review of the four gels in the photo:

Power Bar Gel (Vanilla): Straight nasty. And I'm a big vanilla guy, but it was so sickingly sweet. It was just awful. I could hardly choke it down. Did I mention it was sweet? It curled my toes when it hit my tongue. Never again.

Hammer Gel (Chocolate): Not bad. Pretty good, really. A little bit of an aftertaste that made me thirsty, but the chocolate flavor was pretty good and it wasn't overly sweet. A little thicker than the rest, if you like that. I could work with this one.

Liquid Gold (Citrus): I think the Citrus flavor was a bad idea. They actually make it in a bunch of different flavors, but someone working at the Glory Bee factory store told Manny that the Citrus might be the flavor they're handing out at the race, so he got that one. I liked the honey taste and texture a lot, but not the Citrus afternote. I think Chocolate Mint might work, but the Natural flavor is probably the one to go with - what's wrong with Honey flavor? Nothing.

GU (Chocolate Mint): We have a winner! Yep, I've decided Chocolate is the way to go here. And the slight Mint note wasn't bad at all. This one is a winner. A touch thinner than the Hammer Gel and a little tastier.

So do any of them give you a boost of energy? Hell if I know. The way I see it, it's all mental. I just need something to keep me going.

I'd prefer a cheeseburger, but that's not quite as portable.


  1. I'll use any goo product that is heavily caffeinated.

    Good luck in the big race.

  2. Yeah, I would agree with you there, Mikey. There's nothing that a strong dose of caffeine can't fix!

    And thanks for the luck...I just may need it.