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.)
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.
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.