On the weekend, Shaun and I were very privileged to have run a Marathon with a lady by the name of Donna Campisi (Run Donna Run). Having met Donna 11 months ago, she told us how as a child, she enjoyed running, but hadn’t been able to do it since. Most people would say hey, are you lazy? Just get off your rear end and run! But not in this case. A bit over 30 years ago as an 8 year old child, Donna suffered a stroke causing the right side of her body to be paralyzed.
Through some pretty intense physio at the Royal Children’s Hospital (who she is raising money for) here in Melbourne and a hell of a lot of hard work, Donna regained the ability to walk again, but the damage was done. To this day, her right side is underdeveloped and actually shorter than her left side. She needs extra height added to her right shoes, a brace to stop her foot drooping when she walks and her balance is quite poor. You can now understand why she couldn’t run. 30 steps was her limit. Now 11 months later, it’s 42.2k’s. That’s amazing!
Many people have helped her along the way including the likes of SUB4 supplying the clothes on her back and Tara from The Runners Kitchen supplying the food she used in training and the race. Tara was even kind enough to give Shaun and I some of her products to try out on our runs in the last few months. I will give just about anything a go, but have been hesitant to use any solid foods over the last few years during runs. None have really worked for me. Tara’s product Amazeballs, are just that, a solid food. So I tried them, although hesitantly.
I tried a couple of them after receiving my first batch, and they tasted pretty good. The kids even loved them. So later that week, I took a handful of these little balls in my water belt for my long run. One of the biggest issues with solid foods when running is breathing while you chew. But they were actually a good size and I was able to chew them quite quickly, without much issue. What I also noticed, there were no gassy gastric problems (flatulence may be a better term) as with many other “energy bars”. So they passed the first test.
I used them a number of times on subsequent runs and the whole team were using them during Donna’s Marathon. Even a couple of other runners who I spoke to during the race had a few. They really are something I can see myself using in future Marathons and Ultras. Even though I would have to pay for them in the future!
You see, the thing with these Amazeballs is, they are made with real food and real nutrients. When you have a gel, they hit the system really quick, their processed really quickly and don’t sustain your energy levels. Amazeballs have been designed as a low glycemic food, giving you a slower release of energy, which will last far longer. Sure if you are hitting the wall and about to collapse in a heap on the side of the road, have a gel. That’s where they work best. But if you are just trying to keep your energy levels consistent through an event, it would be hard to look past these amazing balls!
Thanks Tara, for the opportunity to try these balls and thanks Donna for being such a champion and achieving what many thought you couldn’t.