Melaleuca Athletes – World Championship Caliber

Lagat Symmonds

Melaleuca athletes Bernard Lagat and Nick Symmonds ran for world titles at the Track World Championships in Moscow.

Bernard Lagat

Bernard Lagat

2 OLYMPIC MEDALS

9-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION

3-TIME INDOOR WORLD CHAMPION

2-TIME OUTDOOR WORLD CHAMPION

American Record Holder in the 5,000-meter (12:53.6), 2-mile (8:09.49), mile (3:49.89) and 1,500-meter (3:33.34) 2nd fastest 1,500-meter ever: 3:26.34

Breaking Away

With just 200 meters to go, the men’s 5,000-meter National Championship had come down to two competitors: Melaleuca athlete Bernard Lagat and his consummate challenger, Galen Rupp. Taking the inside track, Rupp appeared to have the advantage as the two athletes started down the final stretch, but Bernard quickly moved alongside him.

“He’s obviously a legend in track and field,” Rupp said of Bernard after the race, “so he’s always going to be there.” Bernard opened a gap of a few inches and then pushed it to a few yards. In a matter of moments, what looked to be an epic duel rapidly became a blowout as Bernard kicked for the win and left his rival in his wake. The two challengers had zipped through their final mile in only three minutes and 54 seconds.

“That time was not surprising,” said 38-yearold Bernard, whom the media have dubbed “the ageless wonder.” “I came here prepared. I was ready for this race today. [My closing speed] is still there; it’s not going anywhere.” And you can bet that when he finished, Bernard went to his favorite source for recovery: Melaleuca’s ProFlex20®. “Drinking water or eating a banana—it’s not going to be enough,” Bernard says. “When we do all of those miles day after day, you tear your muscles or you get so weak, and you need the strength to work the following day. We have to run today and tomorrow and the day after, week after week, month after month. You need the recovery, and that’s why I looked into ProFlex20 and why it’s become my favorite Melaleuca product.”

Nick Symmonds

Nick Symmonds

Olympian – London 2012

5-TIME OUTDOOR NATIONAL CHAMPION

3rd Fastest American 800-meter ever: 1:42.95

3-TIME USA OUTDOOR RUNNER UP

Aiming High

In the 800-meter final, Melaleuca athlete Nick Symmonds took a valiant second-place finish in the swiftest field of American half-milers ever to line up at a National Championship—wherein the top three finishers all crossed the line under 1:44.

“I feel that I made some really big tactical errors, and I still ran 1:43.7 in only my second 800-meter final of the year,” Nick said after the race. “[It] makes me feel really good [to know] I could possibly shave off another second and get down into the mid-1:42s. That’s what I’m going to aim for in Moscow.”

UPDATE: Nick won a silver medal in Moscow.

For most athletes, winning a National Championship would, in itself, be a once-in-alifetime thrill. But for Nick Symmonds, who’s won five outdoor national titles, there are even bigger opportunities at stake.

“I want to go for the [800-meter] and the [1,500-meter] in the 2016 Olympics,” he says. “And if I’m going to make a realistic shot at that, I need to run the 1,500 at a championship race. In Watch the Athletes Nick’s 800-meter final at the Moscow World Championship is scheduled for August 13, and Bernard’s 5,000-meter final is scheduled for August 16. Check universalsports.com for coverage. 2015, I need to really jump into the 1,500 to learn what it takes to get through those rounds as well.”

Fueling Nick’s Olympic ambitions will, of course, be Melaleuca’s Access® Bars.”

“I have to say that I would not be the athlete I am today if not for the Access Bars,” Nick says. “On a typical day, we might be working out for six to eight hours. A lot of times, I’ll get up and have a 10-mile workout and a gym session afterwards. And I think, ‘How am I going to fuel up for three or four hours worth of work?’ I certainly can’t go out and have a Denny’s Grand Slam®—there’s no way it’s going to fuel me through that.

“But if I have a sensible breakfast and an Access Bar in my backpack, it’s just the right amount. Without being too heavy in my stomach, the Access Bar will leave me feeling fueled but not overwhelmed by calories.”

 

 

Nick Symmonds Takes the Silver at the 2013 Track & Field World Championships

Congratulations to Melaleuca Athlete & USA Track Star Nick Symmonds

Since 1997, no American has medaled in the World Championship or the Olympic 800-meters event—until now. Melaleuca athlete Nick Symmonds achieved a career-long dream when he won a silver medal at the World Championship in Moscow, Russia yesterday.

Nick Symmonds USA Track

Nick Symmonds (center) nears the finish line to win his 800-meter semifinal heat in Moscow. (The Associated Press)

“I raced for gold, and there’s no shame in finishing second,” Nick told reporters after the race. “I did everything I could to get it.” From the gun, Nick’s compatriot Duane Solomon led the race out to a blisteringly fast pace, clocking just under 24 seconds for the first 200 meters. When the pack rounded the corner after the first lap, Nick was in an unfamiliar spot—just off the race leader’s shoulder.

“I could tell it was a hot pace, but it was still very crowded,” Nick said. “I wanted to be as close to Duane as possible. I keyed off him the entire race.”

Into the final turn, Nick picked the pace up to a sprint just as his rival
Mohammed Aman broke free from the rest of the pack. For a moment hung in time, Nick had a solid body length between him and the next runner.

“With 100 to go, I flipped that switch,” Nick said. “At 75, I pretty much thought I was going to be the next world champion. I feel like I really raced for gold tonight. I wasn’t content to sit in the back and hang on for dear life for bronze or silver.”

A fan of Melaleuca’s products throughout his career, Nick undoubtedly turned to his favorite source for fuel: Melaleuca’s Access Bar.

“I would not be the athlete I am today if not for the Access Bars,” Nick told the audience at Convention just a few months ago. “The Access Bar will leave me feeling fueled but not overwhelmed by calories.”

Melaleuca Champion Bernard Lagat Sets Another American Record

Photo of Melaleuca athlete, Bernard Lagat

Bernard Lagat, Melaleuca Champion Athlete

AFTER CRUSHING THE LAST TWO LAPS at the Millrose Games men’s 2-mile race, Bernard Lagat crumpled to the track just as the announcer told the crowd Bernard had set a new American Record by a quarter of a second.

Just two months after turning 38—which might as well be 100 in track and field years—Bernard started his 2013 season off with a pair of wins at the Millrose Games and at an international meet in Karlsruhe, Germany. In both races, Bernard finished the last 400 meters looking like a sprinter as younger athletes melted behind him.

“I knew that if it came down to the last 400 meters, I was going to hold off anybody who came up on me,” he said after the race. “I saw 7:37, and I thought, ‘If I run a 32 [for the last lap] I’m going to get [the record].’”

At half the length of the outdoor tracks you’d see at the World Championships or the Prefontaine Classic, indoor tracks tend to favor younger, springier and quicker athletes. But Bernard proved—and then proved again—that older legs are not necessarily weaker legs.

“The old man is not going to say, ‘I’m done now’—not yet,” Bernard says. “I’m training really well right now and enjoying it.”

When it came time to cool down, you can bet Bernard recovered with his favorite electrolyte drink: Melaleuca’s Sustain® Sport.

“For me, Sustain Sport is a really important product,” Bernard says. “I have to replenish a lot of electrolytes with the intense workouts I’m doing.”

And Bernard, whose winter training plan included a trip to Hawaii with Melaleuca’s Standing Executive Leadership Council, knew he had cheers coming from Melaleuca customers all across North America.

“I feel like my career’s been easier,” he says, “because I have good people and companies who support me.”

In a world where people are questioning the wisdom of looking to athletes for heroism, Bernard is proving that nice guys really can finish first.

Running Legend, Father and Melaleuca Athlete

Melaleuca athlete, Bernard Lagat“THE MOST PAINFUL RACE OF MY LIFE” is how Bernard Lagat described his first-ever world-class 1,500-meter race in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1998.

From the moment the gun fired until he crossed the finish, Bernard felt as if he were sprinting, hurling himself to the line with every ounce of strength he could produce. When it was over, he’d run the metric mile in 3:34.48, a new personal best, obliterating his personal definition of the word “possible.”

When he got back to the United States, “Bernard talked about that 3:30 pace,” his coach, James Li, remembers, “and how he knew the difference.”

For Bernard, it was the confirmation that he could truly be one of the best—a puzzle-piece glimpse at what he could become. And now, 15 years since that summer, Bernard Lagat has pieced together the big picture.

His accolades today include a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney games and a silver at the Athens games in 2004; four gold, two silver and one bronze medal at various world championships; wins at some of the most storied races on the planet; and even a eight-win dynasty at the famed Wanamaker Mile at New York’s Millrose Games.

He is, in short, the most decorated American distance runner in history.

A Sister’s Legacy

Bernard’s story, however, started years before and in a place far from the stadiums where he became a legend on the track.

In a small town in eastern Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Bernard watched his older sister Mary mature into an international-caliber runner in her own right. Mary bought him his first pair of running shoes and encouraged him to discover what he was capable of.

“Every time I looked at her, I wanted to be like her,” he says. “She laid the foundation for all of us in the family to follow running. She told me I could be somebody out of this when I didn’t know what being somebody out of running was.”

But Mary didn’t stop at teaching Bernard about running. While he dreamt of glory on the track, Mary helped him see that running could provide him with even more important opportunities in the classroom. So, following Mary’s guidance, 21-year-old Bernard accepted a running scholarship to an American university—Washington State. And it was there that he met Coach Li, the mentor who would guide his training for the rest of his career.

“He had never experienced a temperature below 40 degrees in his life,” Coach Li told Runner’s World magazine. “He made new friends, he made good grades, and it was him who did that. It was that unflappable character from the start.”

Coach Li helped Bernard tailor his training to get the most out of his body, and it paid off quickly. After Stuttgart in 1998, Bernard set a U.S. collegiate record in the 1,500, landed a spot in the top five on the world rankings, made the Kenyan Team in 2000 and then brought home a bronze medal from Sydney. Then,in 2001, he ran the second-fastest 1,500-meter time in history.

Later, in 2007, Bernard was unbeatable at the World Championship, claiming gold medals in both the 1,500 and the 5,000-meter—the first World Championship win in the men’s 5,000 ever for an American. More medals followed at the World Championships in 2009 (a silver and a bronze) and 2011 (a silver).

Family Man

Lagat family Among the new friends Bernard met at college was an athletic trainer named Gladys Tom. Despite Bernard’s requests for a date, Gladys insisted she didn’t date student athletes. When Bernard forwent his final year of college eligibility, he asked Gladys again if she’d go out with him, and this time the answer was “yes.” Four years later, the couple married.

In 2004, Bernard decided to pay back the nation that had given him so much opportunity. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen before going to Athens, where he added a silver medal to his tally.

“When I came to college in the United States, I was given a scholarship; I didn’t have to pay for anything,” Bernard remembers. “So ever since college, I’ve wanted nothing but to give back to this country that has given me so much—to race as an American.”

In 2006, Bernard and Gladys had their first child, Miika, and Bernard immediately recognized that his true calling, even more than running, is as a father. In 2009, the Lagats added a second child, Gianna, and Bernard’s love of his children only grew stronger.

“Kids—my heart is kids,” Bernard says. “They’ve made me much more mellow before a race. Gladys now has to tell me, ‘Hey, time to get serious.’”

No matter how loud the track or how packed the stadium, Bernard says he can always hear Miika and Gianna cheering for him. And for Bernard, those are the voices that matter most.

Melaleuca—A Natural Fit

When Bernard discovered Melaleuca, he and his family immediately embraced it. Gladys loves MelaPower®, and the whole family has taken to the nutritional products.

“My children love it,” Bernard says. “When I received my first delivery, I opened a box of FiberWise™ cereal. When I came back from training, my kids had eaten all of it! We give them some Strawberry FiberWise cereal in their lunches every day, and they eat it as a snack.

“For me, of course, the Sustain® Sport is an even more important product, because I have to replenish a lot of electrolytes after the intense workouts I’m doing.”

Last month, Bernard celebrated his 38th birthday and reached an age when most athletes have hung up their racing spikes in favor of a comfortable retirement. But for Bernard, retirement isn’t even a consideration.

“I still want to do my best,” Bernard says. “The old man is not going to say, ‘I’m done now’—not yet. I’m really excited that I have some good years behind me, but right now, I’m having so much fun. I’m training really well, and I’m enjoying it.”