John Heiss, Creator of Herbalife24, Tests the Limits

12 days. 6 races. 750 Miles.

During the summer of 2014, John Heiss – Ph.D., Herbalife Sr. Director of Sports and Fitness and creator of Herbalife24 – put his products to the test. 

As a competitive cyclist and ultra-marathon runner, John believes that the key to winning is in the details of an athlete’s training and nutrition program, and incorporates sports nourishment every day. John’s journey was a test of physical, mental, and nutritional training.

Race #1 / Leadville Trail Marathon / June 14, 2014

A race against the elements:
• Out-and-back mix of dirt roads and single track.
• Runners hit a high elevation of over 13,185 feet.
• Even in June, participants encounter snow on the course.

For 15 years, endurance athletes have competed in the Leadville Trail Marathon in Leadville, Colorado. This 26.2-mile trail runs through an historic mining district and is the first leg in earning the title of “Leadman” or “Leadwoman.” Finishing this race in under 8.5 hours is the first step toward qualifying for the legendary Leadville 100. Herbalife has been a proud sponsor of the Leadville Trail Marathon for many years. And throughout the course, participants are invited to refuel with Herbalife® products.

Race #2 / Schwalbe TOUR Transalp / June 29th – July 5th, 2014

A race against elevation:
• Over seven days, 1200 athletes from 22 nations ride 822 km.
• Competitors scale nearly 20,000 feet of elevation.
• Inclines can be as great as 19%.
• Weather can be inconsistent and can include desert-like temperatures, high wind and downpours.

Sponsored by Herbalife, Transalp is an endurance cycling challenge that spans four countries. Starting in Mittenwald, Germany bikers, including Heiss, Herbalife CEO Michael O. Johnson, and over 40 Italian independent Herbalife Members, scaled the Swiss Alps before making their descent in to Lake Garda, Italy. During the journey they stayed mentally focused and physically prepared by relying on Heiss’s own creation; Herbalife24 Prolong.

Race #3 / Leadville Silver Rush 50 MTB / July 11, 2014

A race against traffic:
• Course is a mix of dirt road, double track and Jeep trails.
• Over 7300 foot elevation gains peaking at about 12,000 feet.
• Track is not closed off to traffic.
• The cut off time is 8 hours.

The Silver Rush 50 MTB is a 50-mile trail and road race through the historic mining district of Leadville, Colorado. Billed as a race of “technical declines, burning lungs, and wild animals,” this is next step to qualifying for the “Race Across the Sky” also known as the Leadville 100 mile race.

Herbalife® Products are distributed at each aid station.

Race #4 / Leadville Trail 100 MTB Presented By Herbalife24 / August 9, 2014

A race against the Colorado Rockies
• Race starts at 10,152 feet and climbs to 12, 424 feet.
• The lowest elevation point is 9200 feet.
• Out and back course that takes place on forest trails and mountain roads.
• Cut off time is 9 hours for the prestigious Gold Belt Buckle.
• 5,500 calories are required to cover the distance.

With over 100 miles of trails across the rugged terrain of the Colorado Rockies, this portion of the “Race Across the Sky” is for only the most elite of athletes. To prepare for this Heiss moved up to the mountain [DH1] two weeks before to help acclimate to the lower oxygen levels.

Herbalife24® products are available throughout the course.

Race #5 / Climax Molybdenum Leadville 10k Run

A race against 10k
• Out and back course over paved and dirt road
• Encompasses the first and last 3.1 miles of the Leadville

Soon after biking 100 miles across the Rocky Mountains, Heiss continued to challenge himself with the Climax Molybdenum Leadville 10k Run. This is the 10k at 10k. The starting line is at 10,000 feet in Downtown Leadville, CO. It dips down over 3.1 miles to 9,750 feet, and then runners turn around and run right back up to 10k.

Race #6 / Leadville Trail 100 Run

A “Race Against The Sky”
• 100 mile out and back course. The majority is on forest trails with some mountain roads.
• Runners climb over 18,000 feet in elevation gain.
• There are over 700 competitors, but only about half will finish.

This is the big one. Since 1983, elite endurance athletes have been coming every year to compete in the “Race Across the Sky,” 100 miles across the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It is an endurance test that challenges the body, mind and emotions.

At the end of this physically challenging journey Heiss realized the reward wasn’t just in pushing himself to his limits – It was in the journey itself. At each event he met with, and was inspired by Herbalife employees and Independent Herbalife Members who were facing and conquering the same set of challenges.