Claire Kelley, who lives in Sarasota Florida, is an unlikely ultra-runner, but she accomplished a major feat finishing 16 ultra-run races in 2016, with each race comprised of at least 27 miles. New to the ultra-running community, Kelley soon realized that there were only 16 ultra-runs that year that she could participate in due to her schedule, so she'd have to successfully finish each one to meet her goal. It was a goal that seemed unimaginable to most and even surprised many in the ultra-running community. What makes her story so inspiring is Kelley was born with a clubfoot, and while she has been running for 15 years, she only took up ultra-running at the start of 2016. It was an ambitious, if not seemingly impossible, goal to have set. Her husband Steve is also an ultra-runner, and it's a sport they enjoy together.
Those who run long-distances know that one of the biggest challenges during a race is keeping dry, especially keeping feet dry to avoid pain and blisters. This is usually accomplished by changing socks and shoes during the race, but when time is short, these frequent changes can slow down a runner. Kelley and her husband were introduced by a mutual friend to Steven Wieder, founder and CEO of SAAKA. Wieder was interested in the ultra-runs that the Kelleys were embarking on for 2016 and gave them some of his SAAKA products to try. Both Kelley and her husband found that the headbands were exceptional products and really did the job of keeping sweat at bay better than any other. But Kelley knew what she really needed was something to stop the sweat from soaking her socks and shoes. She asked Wieder about an ankle band, a product that he hadn't even been offering at the time. Wieder quickly created a prototype and gave it to Kelley to try for her seventh run in May 2016. The run located in Alva, Florida was part of the 8 Hours of Hell series, the first of this kind in Southwest Florida. Runners only have from 10:00am to 6:00pm to finish as many miles as they can so time is of the essence.
"I started that particular race really worried because I was in a lot of pain because of my foot, and I knew I was running slower than usual. If I didn't finish on time, I wouldn't have met my goal," says Kelley. "I finished with eight minutes to spare and never once during the run had wet socks or feet because of the SAAKA ankle bands I was wearing. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have finished on time or met my goal."
Kelley continued wearing the SAAKA Sportbands through the rest of her 2016 races and she met her goal ending the 16 race series with a 100 mile run in Daytona Beach. Her next race, slated for Jan 28, 2017, is a 150 miles run as part of the Skydive Ultra in Clewiston, Florida. Her husband also has a 100 mile race upcoming. Kelley truly credits her success in meeting her goal in part to SAAKA products that were so effective during her races.
SAAKA Sportbands are the most innovative moisture management system designed to remove sweat and keep athletes at their peak performance. The three layers that make up a SAAKA band work together to pull sweat away from the skin and allow it to evaporate. A highly absorbent core of viscose from bamboo fabric collects 30 percent more moisture than cotton terry cloth and has natural anti-odor properties. The company offers a range of products including headbands and ankle and wrist bands and more.
SAAKA has now become an official sponsor of 8 Hours of Hell series. The company is also offering a special promotion of 10 percent off a purchase with special code Press2017. For more information about the company, to see all of their products and make a purchase, visit SAAKA.com.