How Chocolate Became My Secret Weapon for Fuelling my Ultramarathon Running

How Chocolate Became My Secret Weapon for Fuelling my Ultramarathon Running

Hi, my name is Michelle, and I'm a chocoholic. I'm a "newish" trail runner from Southern Alberta and I want to share with you my journey to becoming a chocolate-fuelling ultra-runner!

As far as being a chocoholic, well, I come by that naturally as my Mom used to hide a chocolate stash away from her 3 daughters!

Discovering 7 Summits Snacks During the Pandemic

I first came across 7 Summits Snacks during the pandemic. I was researching small businesses based in Alberta in an effort to support local when the endurance bar popped up on my IG feed.

After chatting with Kristyn and sampling my first bar while out on a multi-hour training run in the mountains, I was hooked! I remember being at a point in my run where I knew my legs weren't going to perform any miracles, and after chowing down a full endurance bar, I had an unexpected boost of energy.

The Everest Endurance Bar: A Surprise Favourite

The Everest flavour - 65% dark chocolate with goji berries and Himalayan salt,  quickly became my favourite to my surprise. As a milk-chocolate enthusiast (Belgian chocolate is my usual go-to) I wasn't sure if the dark chocolate would appease my somewhat snooty taste buds. Once I tasted that Himalayan salt and goji berry combo, it became the flavour for me.

My kids however, are huge fans of the Denali milk chocolate Peanut Butter & Jam, which I do enjoy when I'm in the mood for my traditional milky fix.


The Role of 7 Summits Snacks in My Ultramarathon Training

The endurance bars have been an essential part of my ultramarathon training ever since. My trail vest was never without at least one bar, usually 3 or 4, in case the day went longer than expected, which was not uncommon on the snow-covered trails in Southwestern Alberta.


The portability of the endurance bar meant I always had enough nutrition at my disposal, which also meant there was no excuse not to fit my workout in. When I tried the larger 80g superfood infused "everyday" bar, I made a habit of keeping one at my desk at work for the same reason.

I started to replace my less-than-nutritious snacks with a few peaks of 7 Summits Snacks, even surviving on chocolate and crackers when I caught Covid and was bedridden for days.


Fuelling My Passion for Running

I have been a competitive athlete since my first love of soccer at 10 years old. I ran my first road marathon after having played two seasons in the WWCFL (Western Women's Canadian Football League) and giving birth to my first child. Struggling through the final 10km of that marathon and vowing 'never again', the thought of running for 4+ hours baffled me.

Then I was introduced to trail running- the sport that's known as a mobile eating contest.

Over the years I've tried all the gels, chews, protein powders, BCAAs, EAAs etc. etc. etc. but when eating a chocolate bar was not only acceptable but encouraged, my motivation to get out the door went through the roof. Instead of thinking, "time for my scheduled 30k training run" my mind went to calculating how many guilt-free bars that added up to.

After completing my first two 50km trail races with endurance bars and hydration tabs as my primary source of fuel and feeling as though I could have kept on going at the finish line, I knew I had found the missing piece of my racing game.

Lost Soul Ultra


Looking Ahead: Racing with 7 Summits Snacks as my running fuel

In 2023, 7 Summits Snacks posted they were looking for athletes interested in taking the challenge of racing using their chocolate as the sole source of fuel. I had been contemplating taking on a longer-distance event and reading that post was the push I needed to sign up. Within days I had an entry to my first 100km trail race. Unfortunately, I suffered a shoulder/rib injury that sidelined me for the 2023 season, but I am very excited to make another attempt in the Fall of 2024! That newfound love for trail running and my deep competitive spirit, plus a handful of chocolate endurance bars, are surely the recipe for success this time around.

For more chocolate-fuelled adventures, check out my training bubble on IG @trailtackler

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