Harriet Brown is the current Nutri-Grain World Iron Woman Champion. She recently finished 1st in the Molokai 2 Oahu World Championship, setting a new record time for the female division. The 32-mile paddleboard race crosses the Ka’iwi channel and is the fastest downwind route in the world.

My *Lucky* Pants

I like to try to be organised and well prepared. “Try” being the operative word. Despite my best attempts at organisation, I tend to forget or misplace things when I get caught up in the moment, and my Molokai 2 Oahu experience was no different. I had everything planned, from my nutrition and hydration strategy to the earrings I would wear, and, of course, my favorite JOLYN bikini. Countless hours of training and preparation went into this race, so I didn’t want to leave anything up to chance. At 5:30 am, the morning of the race, we drove to the starting line on the other side of the island. Just as I was about to change into my race gear, I realised that I had left my Jolyn bottoms drying on my hotel balcony! Oops! But the race must go on. I ended up paddling the entire 32-mile race in my underwear (covered by paddling pants – thankfully.)


Keeping Dad Quiet  
Five hours and fifteen minutes is a long time to be paddling. I knew that I needed to enjoy the paddle and stay positive if I wanted to do well, so I told my dad, who was a part of my boat crew, that he wasn’t allowed to yell out at me. I’m happy to listen to my friends, but I knew that any parental commentary (even if it was well-intentioned) would just frustrate me – I’m sure many of you can relate! I love my dad dearly, but he kept quiet, and the ‘yewwwwww’s coming from my friends every time I caught a runner kept a smile on my face and helped carry me over the finish line.

Science of Sweat 

I love science and learning about high-performance sport. A couple of months before the race, I did a sweat test to figure out how much I would be sweating and how salty my sweat was. I didn’t want to get dehydrated from drinking too little or bloated from drinking too much, so I turned to science. By figuring out how much energy I would be using each hour, I could ensure that I was taking in the proper amount of hydration, electrolytes, and calories. It was amazing to see the difference that nutrition makes. After the race, I chatted with a few athletes who didn’t have quite such an organized plan and had ended up cramping or ‘hitting the wall’, and running out of energy. For me, I believe that nailing my nutrition was key to my success.


Jelly Legs 

Finishing the race, I was ecstatic but also exhausted.  When I first tried to stand up, my legs went to jelly and I fell straight down! I was so out of sorts I had to get the race officials to help me out of the water. So much for a photo finish.

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