To Date I have only finished one Ultra feeling really good. That was the Brecon Beacons Ultramarathon in November of last year.
I have put this down to two things. Firstly, being hungry for a result after dropping in my last race. Secondly, not being hungry- as I ate Mule Bars and Mule Gels all day long.
I came across them after Anthony Forsyth raved about them after his incredible run at the 2013 North Downs Way 100. I on the other hand had a torrid day at that race, in no small part down to my nutrition choices.
At the Brecon Beacons I had no stomach issues whatsoever and managed to consume a whopping two gels and one bar per hour for the whole nine hours (and a bit) of my race. I talk about Mule a little in my race report from that day.
Mule have since been my go to product but I didn’t use them at my return to the North Downs Way 100, opting instead for the aid station food during the day and taking a chance on Torq gels overnight. This was mainly because I wanted to carry the minimal weight possible and I wasn’t running with the support of a crew. Whilst I finished the race, my second half was poor and slow and I put this down to lack of calories as much as exhaustion. Torq gels were good, but they didn’t give me the same feeling that Mule gels do.
Since then and with my build up to the Brazos Bend 100 in December as my tribute to Lon Lomas, Mule have been great and come on board as one of my sponsors for this endeavor. In return, I offered to write a review of their new Eastern Express bar.
As with most runners, in the latter stages of an Ultra I am sick of aid station food. One of the key things I hate is sweet food later on and the only sweet I can handle is through drinks like Coke and Sprite. Mule have recognised this and taken feedback from a number of their sponsored athletes and customers to create the first savoury bar in their range, the Eastern Express.
To be completely honest I would say this is an acquired taste. If you aren’t a fan of spices (not heat, but flavour) then this probably isn’t for you. However, if you like Eastern food, as I do, you will love this bar. It has a hint of sweetness and is sticky like their other bars but is easily digestible and 90% savoury.
I haven’t yet used this in a race situation, only in training, but I will definitely be taking some of these to Texas in December and am pretty sure they will play a major part in the latter part of my race, if not before. The beauty of that race is it is 4×25 mile laps, so I can re-assess and collect what I fancy after each loop depending on how I feel.
In summary, another great bar from Mule and if you haven’t tried them as a brand, they have a great range of introductory packs and offers available. In particular, the Expedition Pack currently has 24% off the RRP and comes with two of the best water bottles around as well as gels, bars and recovery protein bars.