Our top Halloween treats to fuel your spooky season

No tricks, just treats to fuel your Halloween – with a healthy twist to boost your training.

From sugar free drinks to healthy snacks that will help keep you hydrated and energised across the spooky season, these award-winning and delicious HIGH5 treats are the perfect partner for your killer Halloween workouts.

ZERO Cherry Orange

Hydrate this Halloween with the UK’s leading electrolyte sports drink.  The cherry orange is wickedly tasty. Each tube contains 20 tabs packed with electrolytes which help to replace important nutrients as you sweat. Simply choose your flavour, drop a tablet into water and and watch as your drink transforms.

• Light & refreshing electrolyte drink with natural fruit flavours
• Sugar free with zero calories
• Reduces tiredness and fatigue
• Suitable for a wide range of sporting activities
• Suitable for vegetarians and vegans







Protein Hit Cacao & Orange

If you’re going to be wickedly busy this Halloween season, Protein Hit is your tasty, healthy snack, perfect for when you’re on the go.

•    Healthy snack with whey protein
•    Fruits and nuts for both fast and slow releasing energy
•    Natural Ingredients: No artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners
•    Gluten Free, suitable for vegetarians
•    No added sugar



Energy Source Orange

A 2:1 fructose and electrolyte sports drink, perfect to keep your carbohydrate stores topped up for endurance sessions across the Halloween period. As well as orange (it’s Halloween of course!) you can choose from a range of fruity flavours including summer fruits, tropical and citrus.

• Consume up to 90g of carbohydrate per hour
• Maintains your endurance performance
• Helps maintain hydration during exercise
• Race proven in the World’s toughest events
• Light tasting and refreshing
• Suitable for vegetarians and vegans






Protein Snack

Our natural Protein Snack is packed with goji berries, chia seeds and brazil nuts. A great tasting snack for a healthy Halloween.


• 12g protein per bar
• Contains Goji Berries, Chia Seeds and Brazil Nuts
• Gluten and Lactose Free
• Vegetarian Society Approved
• Natural bar. No artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners






Click here to see the full range of HIGH5 sports nutrition.

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Time out from training: why an off-season break is good for performance success

Are you someone who has an iron-will all year round without taking a proper break from structured training?

Learning to know when to take a break and for how long, is key, before it damages your performance.

Particularly if you’re someone who follows a steady training regime for 3-4 months of the year or longer, it’s a tactic in your training arsenal that you probably can’t afford to skip.

Rather than launch yourself straight into a winter’s hard graft as if it’s unthinkable to lose even a shred of your summer fitness, a good training break, executed properly, will allow both your body and mind to return refreshed and enthusiastic.

If you’re someone who finds that training motivation wains in the winter, it can also help you commit to a period of ‘off-time’, rather than sliding into a never-ending cycle of bad training habits and poor quality training without any goals.

Time away from a strict training pattern offers a well-timed opportunity to review the season, identify your strengths and weaknesses, towards making a solid plan for the year ahead.

Typically, athletes take 3-4 weeks off at the end of the season in October, with a view to begin rebuilding their training base in the early weeks of November, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

We asked some of our #HIGH5fuelled elite athletes, who know how to train hard and rest hard, how they choose to re-charge the batteries after a season’s training and racing.


Gemma Steel – British long distance runner & European cross country champion

With the winter cross country running season just around the corner, British long distance runner and cross country champion, Gemma Steel, doesn’t typically have an off-season, so only has a small window of downtime which allows her to refocus on her new targets. Following this year’s Great North Run, Gemma went with her sponsors, New Balance, to a summit weekend in Wales to relax and try outdoor pursuits including abseiling and trekking in the mountains.

“It was great to let my hair down a bit,” she explains.

“It’s important not to burn out mentally and physically. A rest is crucial as a reward for all the hard training to refresh and refocus on the season ahead. We are only human after all.

“I think it’s important to do these types of activities as you can get so caught up in your own little bubble of training and recovering. It makes us the athletes that we are, but we can forget to enjoy ourselves sometimes. It really helped me to regroup with fellow athletes and realise that despite our dedication towards our sport, we can also have fun.”


Vicky Holland – GB Olympic triathlete

Vicky Holland nutrition

Despite being injured this year, Olympic triathlete Vicky Holland says time off is very important to re-charge and helps to avoid un-necessary risk of injury or illness. The triathlete typically takes three to four weeks, sometimes longer, to rest and relax after a full racing season, and only begins again when she feels ready.

Vicky limits physical activity and avoids anything structured, to allow her body and mind to refresh as much as possible. She’ll use this time to visit friends and family, take a holiday, or make appearances for her sponsors, even visiting schools. To beat any physical activity cravings, she plays tennis, takes walks and has even tried hitting the waves and learning to surf.

“It’s good to take a break from it every year so that when I start again, I’m excited to get going and push myself once more.

“It’s strange going from your fittest – which we often are at the end of the season – to our most unfit within the space of about two weeks, but it’s all part of allowing myself to completely switch off and recharge. I often find after the first week my appetite changes and it’s the only time of year I ever really forget about food,” she says.

Vicky also uses this period to sit down with her coach and review her racing season. At the end of her downtime, she likes to ease back into training with 1 -2 sessions a week before starting to increase her training volume.

“My only training commitment is to develop a plan for the next season which includes the races I want to target and the key areas we are going to try to improve upon in training. My coach then writes an overview of my plan for the coming year and we take it block by block, usually four weeks at a time, and adapt after each block if necessary.”


Kenta Gallagher – World Cup DH mountain bike rider – Polygon UR team

After a string of good results in the world of professional XC and cyclocross, Kenta followed his heart and made the switch to downhill competition in 2015. With a long racing season and competitions every weekend, he finds that travelling and prepping for races can make him physically and mentally drained after the season.

He takes 2-3 weeks to unwind, but emphasizes that it’s important not to feel like you’re throwing away all the fitness gains you’ve made in the season. Instead, he likes to limit any structure and focus on having fun.

“I like to play on my hardtail and do some trips. I’ll also hang out and have a laugh with my friends and family. I think that’s really important because you barely see them when you’re training and racing every weekend,” he explains.

“I also use the time to look at what my strong points were through the season and what I need to plan for the season ahead. This year I’ve been injured, so I know I need to concentrate on doing some work in the winter to regain my fitness. I’ll look at what’s worked for me and what hasn’t, and come up with a plan so I don’t go into the unknown. I’ve got a set routine that I can just go straight into. I don’t tend to stress about food – I like a few beers, and as long as you’ve got a smile on your face, it’s going to be doing you good.

“The key is to make sure you’re going into the season fresh, with all the structure you need laid out. Get a good support network around you and let everyone know what your plans are. A couple of weeks before I know I’m going to get back training, I’ll do a couple of rides in the week to make sure it’s not a shock to the system. The last thing you want is to be feeling rubbish after a break, so it’s important to make a steady transition.”

To get the best from your ‘off-time’, it’s still important to stay properly hydrated and to optimise your recovery after training, even if you plan to take a break or you’re staying active for long periods for fun. HIGH5 uses high quality why protein isolate for optimal recovery after hard exercise. Check out the benefits and browse our range of delicious tasting sports nutrition to help you recover better, faster, here: https://highfive.co.uk/product-category/recovery/

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A Guide to Your Alternative London Marathon

Didn’t bag a London marathon spot this year? Don’t be disappointed! There are still plenty of amazing running events across the UK calling on you to enter.

Events that will not only have you donning your daps in potentially unexplored places, but memorable locations which also boast a comparably exhilarating atmosphere with fantastic support, unique city landmarks to treat your trainers to, and a good chance to earn a PB.

It’s time to cast aside the disappointment and instead start re-directing all that entry excitement into your next best achievable goal – and who knows, the rewards might just be more satisfying!
Overcome the ballot blues and start planning with our top recommendations for seeking out alternatives.

Stop dwelling, start exploring

How many people can say they’ve run every major marathon in the UK? London isn’t the only great city to run. Look for locations you’ve never been to before and check if it has an event you can enter. From industrial Manchester, to historic York, every major city has a marathon, half marathon or 10K these days. Go abroad, be explorative, open you mind to new possibilities. Be the proud medal owner from somewhere fresh.

Mix it up

Road running isn’t the only option. A trail 10k or marathon will often boast stunning views and plenty of mixed or challenging terrain to keep things interesting. Events can feel more relaxed but still equally competitive for those who like to test their limits – you might even discover you prefer muddy trails to pounding pavements!

Enter a relay

Unless your heart is really into entering an event, the idea of putting in the training hours alone can seem daunting. Focus on having some fun instead, round up your best running buddies and enter a relay. Re-discover how it feels to work as a team and it might just improve your personal running.

Of course

Many runners enter marathons based on cities they’re inspired to visit. Instead, put your running first and base your next marathon on the route. Consider what kind of runner you are and check course profiles for compatibility; perhaps you like flat and fast with plenty of crowds to cheer you by, maybe you prefer hilly courses, or a route that takes you into rolling countryside. You might even use it as an opportunity to select a course that addresses a weakness. Think route first, location later.

Go shorty

A 10k has different training requirements to preparing for a full or ultra-marathon. Change things up and try training for a distance you’ve not tried before, or select a race with a shorter distance, but aim to run it faster. Learning to master shorter races, and doing it well, is no less credible that getting a huge distance under your belt.

This year, we’ve issued over 700,000 EnergyGels and IsoGels  to #HIGH5fuelled running events across the UK, providing on-course nutrition to help fuel you to the finish line. We’ve enjoyed fuelling you with our best-selling electrolyte sports drink, HIGH5 Zero, in a range of delicious flavours, and even delighted you with Goji Berries, Chia Seeds and Brazil Nuts at the finish line when we included Protein Snack in race goody bags.

We’re looking forward to keeping you hydrated at a series of events again next year, so if you’re eager to tie your laces again in 2018, here’s a just a handful that we highly recommend:

Central: MK Marathon Weekend, Milton Keynes
Date: Sunday 6 and Monday 7 May, 2018
Organised by: Runner’s Base
Website: www.mkmarathon.com

Consistently ranked in the top 10 UK marathons, an AIMS/IAAF Grade A certified race, with BARR Gold accreditation for outstanding race management. Milton Keynes is lucky to have a world-class system of cycle paths and surrounding natural beauty. The race takes advantage of these factors, giving runners a course that’s interesting, inspiring, fun to run, fast and different from other marathons.

Scotland: Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Date: Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May, 2018
Organised by: GSI Events
Website: www.edinburghmarathon.com

Fast and flat, this course was voted the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World, ideal if it’s your first marathon or you are looking for a PB. The second largest marathon in the UK behind London, it has sold out every year since 2018.The Edinburgh Marathon Festival has it all, incorporating a full marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10K, 5K and junior races across May Bank Holiday weekend.

Picture by Lesley Martin 27/05/12 Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2012. Pictured are runners in the half marathon.

Wales: Snowdonia Trail Run
Date: Sunday 15 July, 2018
Organised by: Always Aim High Events
Website: www.alwaysaimhighevents.com

A challenge in every sense of the word, this is a stunning trail Marathon, Ultra Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k, starting and finishing in Wales’s outdoor capital, Llanberis. The full marathon ascends 1,685 metres over 26 miles of iconic and spectacular trails, eventually climbing Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon.

South West: Race to the Stones, North Wessex Downs
Date: Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July, 2018
Organised by: Threshold Events
Website: www.racetothestones.com

For those looking to push themselves a bit further, this event promises an unforgettable 100km along Britain’s oldest path. Part of the biggest ultra marathon series in the country , Race to the Stones, is managed by Threshold Events who feature other ultras across the country. Run it, jog it or walk it, this event is designed to suit everyone from elite runners to bold fundraisers.

North: Yorkshire Marathon
Date: Sunday 14 October, 2018
Organised by: Run For All
Website: www.theyorkshiremarathon.com

The Yorkshire Marathon has quickly established itself as one of the highlights of the White Rose County’s sporting year. This popular and picturesque run, with fantastic PB potential, takes participants past some of York’s splendid historic sites and along scenic country lanes, making it an attractive prospect for runners of all abilities. There’s also a relay option for groups of friends and businesses.

South: Bournemouth Marathon Festival
Date: Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October, 2018
Organised by: GSI Events
Website: www.bournemouthmarathon.com

The Bournemouth Marathon is ’running as it should be’. Beautiful coastal views, a chance to run the Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers with a spectacular finish. Loved year round by more experienced runners, it’s also ideal for beginners, incorporating a full marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10K, 5K and junior races all in one spectacular setting by the sea.

Action from the 10km race at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, {iptcday} {iptcmonthname} {iptcyear4}. Photo: Paul J Roberts / RobertsSports Photo. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Paul Roberts | RobertsSports Photo

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10 things every runner should do in the final 24 hours before a race

The running experts share 10 essential tips to ensure your last 24 hours deliver you confidently to the start line.

The last few days before your big running race, and your fate is sealed.

Any fitness gains you make now are most likely going to be marginal. It’s the final workouts, meals, mental preparations and logistical plans in the 24-hour window before your race, that will help transform all that hard graft into a fantastic performance.

In fact, what you do now could make or break how well you perform.

Tom Cragg, UK Head Coach at Running with Us – the experts in endurance coaching – understands the importance of those final hours, even when you’re wracked with nerves!

From behaving like a cow, to summoning your inner hero, Tom has 10 fun, but essential guidelines, to help you relax and ensure your final countdown places you in the best possible form, so you can enjoy your race.

Action from the 10km race at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, {iptcday} {iptcmonthname} {iptcyear4}. Photo: Paul J Roberts / RobertsSports Photo. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Paul Roberts | RobertsSports Photo

1. Perfect practice

These final hours are about routine. What have you done the day before your best long runs? Stick with what you know.

Try this: Keep a training diary noting down your nutrition, hydration, rest and training patterns before goal races and long runs. Check the correlation with your best performances….and replicate! Get your kit ready early and know you logistics for the race start.

2. Shake it out

A combination of nerves and cutting back your training can leave your legs feeling quite rusty on race day. Maintain some frequency in your running in race week, to keep your legs ticking over.

Try this: Consider a very short, easy 20 minute run 24 hours before the race. The more experienced might even add 2-3 sets of ‘strides’ picking up your pace to about 80% of maximum for around 80 metres. 

3. Tame the beast inside

We all manage our nerves and excitement differently.  Some of us internalise and reflect; some of us are bouncing off the walls and telling everyone! Your job in the final 24 hours is to manage your emotions and save some adrenaline for race day.

Try this: Warn your family, friends or racing partners that you might be a little irrational and that you will be looking for a bit of time and space in those final 24 hours to be with your own thoughts, and race plan. Even if you’re a talker, do take some time to be with your own thoughts that will help you focus  – the race is about you, after all.

4. Horizontal gains

Caught up in the excitement and fever of a new city, or a race expo, it’s very easy to spend hours and hours on your feet the day before a race. Imagine your legs after a full day of Christmas shopping, and genuinely ask yourself if you want that feeling come race day!

 Try this: If you possibly can get yourself to the race expo on a Thursday or Friday. Failing that, get in and out on the Saturday so there’s time to put your feet up as much as possible. Relax and leave the sightseeing to your family…you’re the elite athlete for the next 24 hours…or so…

Action from the half marathon at the Half Marathon Bournemouth Marathon Festival, 2 October 2016. Photo: Paul J Roberts / RobertsSports Photo. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Paul Roberts | RobertsSports Photo

5. Affirm yourself 

The gremlin will be firmly climbing up your back to sit on your shoulder today, but you must ignore it. Have you done enough training? Are you being too ambitious on your race plan? The bloke on the train said he was taking one gel and you have planned for five!!! Ignore them, be confident in your plan. It’s time to get your mind ready for your peak performance.

Try this: Look back over your training dairy and remind yourself of those top 3-4 sessions or races that you nailed. We all miss training at times and sessions don’t always go to plan. Remind yourself of what you HAVE in the bank, not what you’ve missed. You’re as ready as you ever will be.

6. Load the tank

Get your nutrition right in those final 24 hours. We cannot stress this enough. If you under eat now through distraction or nerves, and dig an energy hole, it’s game over tomorrow before you start.

Try this: After taking in 10-12g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight over the last 2 days, the final 24 hours is about maintenance. Snack and graze throughout the day and don’t go more than 3 hours without topping up with something small. Don’t leave yourself empty and stuff yourself with pasta in the evening – you’ll feel heavy and bloated tomorrow. Snacking on HIGH5 Energy Bars or sipping Energy Source are perfect options – not too much fibre and not too heavy.

7. Dream of success

Here’s some news you might already know….this might not be the best night of sleep of your life. Nerves, perhaps a hotel bed, and new city or race route can all add up to the night before the race sometimes feeling a little broken. Don’t worry!

Try this: Focus on getting a bit more sleep during the week in the build up. If you’re struggling to sleep the night before the race, stay in bed with your feet up resting…don’t get tempted to move about…

8. Be more cow

When the alarm goes on race morning it can be tempting to sit bolt upright and then attempt  to do everything at a million miles an hour. Then you end up cramming in a minimal breakfast in the naïve hope of not getting any digestive discomfort in the race……slow down! The secret here is to graze.

Try this: Set the alarm early enough to allow you to get to the start with at least 60 mins to spare, travel and eat your normal pre-long run breakfast. Crucially, aim to eat well, but grazing slowly over about 20-30 minutes rather than cramming it in quickly. Take a snack with your such as a HIGH5 Energy Bar and sip on Energy Source until about 45-60 minutes before the gun goes.

9. Sip don’t gulp

Getting your hydration right in the final 24 hours is critical to race success. Too many runners start their race already a little dehydrated, and either have to gulp down fluid in the race, or see their performance drop as a result. Instead, consciously think about your hydration strategy.

Try this: Aim for 2-3 litres of fluids the day before the race, ideally water with electrolytes such as HIGH5 Zero. Avoid alcohol until after your race and aim to sip throughout the day. Don’t leave it to last minute and gulp it all down before bed.

10. Your inner Clint Eastwood

As you make your way to the start, the hard work is done. Your mental approach from now is what will make or break your race. It’s time to find your inner Clint Eastwood, your Lara Croft, ride confidently into the village, and get the job done. You’re ready!

Try this: Find a bubble and shield yourself from the negative voices of other runners, their training and their race day plans. Write your splits on your hand or use a pace band. Have 2-3 key affirmations, and remember to dedicate some of those final miles to someone special in your life. Now bring it home!

About the authors:

Running with Us offers bespoke endurance coaching, training camps, sports consultancy, as well as personal and group training to runners, cyclists and triathletes. Experts in endurance coaching, the team has over 40 years’ coaching experience, they have been coaching editors for both Runner’s World and Men’s and Women’s Running Magazines, and coaching consultants to the UK’s foremost online running community – The Running Bug (www.therunningbug.co.uk). For more information visit www.runningwithus.com

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Callum Hawkins

Callum Hawkins: the secrets to fuelling a marathon

Britain’s rising distance runner, Callum Hawkins, shares his well honed nutrition strategies for tackling a marathon.

He may have just missed out on the medals at the 2017 World Championships this summer, but there’s still no stopping the 25 year old.

Despite finishing 4th, he still put in an impressive performance with a with a personal best time of two hours 10.17 minutes – enough to equal the best performance by a British athlete in the men’s marathon at a World Championships.

Now with his eyes set firmly on next year’s Commonwealth Games, the HIGH5-fuelled athlete shares his nutrition secrets and tips for those hoping to crack their marathon PB this Autumn.

For a runner who’s pipped to race alongside the likes of Mo Farah in future events, it may be easy to assume that preparing for the full marathon distance comes easily, but what resonates most is Callum’s honesty when he admits that for him – as for most of us – the challenge of making up the miles and the volume of training required, is still testing.

“I think the hardest thing is just the amount of training that is required just to be able to run one,” he explains.

“For London, I was up at 120 miles a week with my shortest run being 8 miles which was closely followed by another 8 miles later that day. The harder sessions that I do often go over 20 miles. Training for a marathon can really take its toll on the body but it’s so rewarding when you finish.

“Finishing 4th at the World Champs, I felt both over the moon and disappointed. To be able to see a medal just down the road was tough but looking back I don’t think I could have done much more than I did. It was quite a stressful build up as I got injured and ill during it, which allowed some doubts to creep in, so to finish fourth was amazing and a huge relief.”

Running at such a pace requires impeccable precision not only in his approach to training, but when it comes to fuelling. The reasons behind it may sound straightforwards, Callum is quick to impress the importance of getting your nutrition right, both for training and recovery – to runners of all abilities.

“Nutrition is huge for a marathon for three reasons. The first is so that you are able to train hard. You need to make sure that you are taking in enough calories to make up for what training has taking out of you so that you can recover and are ready for the next day’s training,” he says.

“The second is to make sure you have enough fuel stored up for the race itself. The marathon is a long way, so the fuller the fuel tank is before the race, the better. And the third reason is making sure your nutrition is right during the race.

“The human body is not designed to have enough glycogen stores to go the full distance. That is why nutrition during the race is key.”

For Callum, being sponsored by HIGH5 has enabled him to use a range of sports nutrition, which each perform their own specific role.

“I use Protein Recovery drink and Protein Recovery Bar as I find it is a great and easy way for me to get carbs and protein in after training. I use the Sports Bar as an extra snack in the lead up to a marathon as I find it is an easy and tasty way to up my carb intake before a race. During a race I use both Energy Source drink and Energy Gel to make sure I have enough fuel in my body to make it to the end without blowing up.”

Callum Hawkins
NYC Half Marathon, March 19,2017
Photo: Victah Sailer@PhotoRun

Intrigued to know more about his fuelling strategy, we ask for his insight on what he takes on board in the days before to help  prepare for a 26.2 mile onslaught, given that the intensity he runs at is considerably more than your average runner.

“I don’t really do anything fancy in the few days before a marathon. I just try to eat a little bit more than I normally would. I do this by having slightly bigger meals but I’ve found that snacking regularly is the easiest way. For hydration I just try to make sure I have a bottle of water on me. It encourages me to sip on it which in turn keeps me hydrated and I sometimes throw a HIGH5 Zero tablet in.”

Come race day itself, a pot of porridge and some bananas throughout the morning of the race are his favoured meal, and of course, the additions of HIGH5 Energy Source which contains added carbohydrate.

“I start drinking it two hours before and make sure I finish it before an hour to go,” says Callum. “Around 10 minutes before the race, I have an Energy Gel.”

Being an elite runner, Callum has the benefit of being able to access his own water bottles every 5km, but there are still added preparations to consider, requiring some forethought and a good understanding of the race route and conditions.

For Callum, each water bottle contains 150ml of Energy Source, each with a gel strapped to them in case he misses one. Even still, extra bottles are taken, positioned and strapped just in case. You can never be too sure.

A typical race situation requires 120ml of the drink every 5km, and a gel at 15km, 25km and 35kms, so making sure there are enough should one go astray, is key.

In warmer weather, he will adjust his fuelling strategy to include more fluids.

“Fortunately for me, my marathons haven’t been in extreme heat so I haven’t changed my fuelling strategy, but when I go warm weather training I do drink a lot more during runs and sessions as you just need to. I also use a HIGH5 Zero tablet in a drink after every run when away somewhere warm, so that I can replace what is lost through sweat.”

Being an elite athlete obviously brings its benefits, but we’re keen to know what best piece of racing advice Callum might be compelled to lend someone hoping to rack up a PB in their marathon this Autumn.

“Pacing is key. It’s so easy to get excited in a marathon and go too deep too early. In all four of the marathons I have run I have negative split. I have found that having a conservative but still quick halfway split goal the best way for me. This allows me to get to halfway in good shape then from there I determine if I should push on or just maintain. Halfway is the point in a marathon when I know exactly what I have in the legs.”

So, where should we expect to see Callum next?

“My next big goal will be the Commonwealth Games marathon in April of next year and after that I will most certainly be looking forward to Tokyo 2020. I will have a few marathons in between the Commonwealth’s and the Olympics but I haven’t decide on what they will be yet – all my focus is on the Gold Coast.”

Need advice on your marathon nutrition strategy? See our easy-to-read nutrition guide or download our free 12-week HIGH5 marathon training plan.



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The Major Do’s and Don’ts of Running a Marathon

It’s nearly here – you’re just weeks away from your marathon day, and it’s time to put the finishing touches to your training.

But there are still a few essential things you need to do if you’re going to ensure you’re in the best possible form.

Follow these tips from our friends at Running With Us to make sure you get the most from your marathon performance.




The Do’s:


Motivation and positivity: It can be common to find yourself getting bored on the longer runs in the final few weeks, especially with temperatures dipping. Do stay positive – it happens! Surround yourself with people in training that will help you along the way. Plan to meet up with other runners to help motivate you to get out the door, and get the miles in. If that’s not possible, log your miles on Strava and encourage friends to share comments and kudos when you complete your next milestone. Use your running to explore new routes and places every now and then to keep things varied.


Nutrition is key: Make sure to fuel yourself cleverly. You will be burning more than you realise. Getting your nutrition right during training will help set you up for the perfect race day and give you the best possible chance of achieving a PB. Nutritional products can contain varying quantities of carbohydrate, protein and caffeine, so it’s very important to trial your nutrition during your longer runs and find what works for you. Don’t leave it until race day to try a new gel or bar. A HIGH5 trial pack offers a wide selection of options for both training and recovery. This simple nutrition guide will help you to fuel yourself properly so that you get the best from your marathon experience and enjoy it more.


Taper: Allow yourself to rest in the final couple of weeks. You need to go into the race feeling fresh rather than over-trained and tired. It’s good to keep muscles active and moving, but don’t be tempted to try and log the last-minute miles.


Pacing: Make sure to stick to your pace. Come the big day, try to avoid getting caught up on those running around you at the start. Remember all the hard work you have put into it and run the race just like you have in training. Stay focused and keep to your plan. If you’re attempting to run to a pace maker but find the pace too high, be honest about how you’re feeling, and whether you can maintain it. If you need to tag back to maintain better form mid-race, you might help yourself in the later miles.



The Don’ts:


Gear:  Don’t wear anything on the day you haven’t done in training. This can cause chafing and might even give you a reason to stop. Try out potential race day kit ideas in training on your easy runs to see how you feel in them… never on the day.


Sleep: Don’t be tempted to stay up too late and stand on your feet for long periods in the week leading up to your event: recovery is vital.  Make sure in the final weeks leading up to the race you are getting early nights and allowing maximum recovery. You need to listen to your body and sleep when you feel tired. The day before the race you need to be lying down as much as you can. Let family and friends around you know that you need to do this. This is a key period in your preparation – you have one chance.


Hydration: Try to avoid drinking too much, or in excess, during the final few days. It is possible to over-hydrate yourself which can risk leaving you feeling more tired as your body attempts to manage the extra fluid. Little and often throughout the day, (around 3-4 litres daily) is plenty when training for a marathon, however make sure you’re spreading it out. If you need to become better at hydrating yourself, start practising good habits early in your training. Electrolyte drinks are the best way to hydrate without having to take on huge amounts of water. They are filled with key nutrients. Check out this advice on hydration for what to drink and why.



For advice on what to eat and drink for your marathon, click here to see the HIGH5 Marathon Nutrition Guide and How To Carbo Load.

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What it takes to fuel a continental pro cycling team

When it comes to fuelling world class cyclists, we know how to produce great-tasting performance nutrition, but how do the riders and teams actually make the most of it when it reaches the pro peloton?

We recently went behind the scenes at the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, The Tour of Britain, to catch up with Xenia, soigneur for An Post-Chain Reaction, the UCI Continental pro-cycling team founded by Irish cycling legend Sean Kelly, to ask what it takes to feed a team across eight days of competition.

Photos: courtesy of SweetSpot



Being a soigneur, or ‘swanny’ as they are colloquially known, isn’t for the faint-hearted.  Part housekeeper, part masseur, as well as driver, confidant and responsible for fuelling a team of six to perform at their very best against 114 other competitors, there’s a lot at stake.

Often on-call first thing in the morning to last thing at night, no set working hours and huge distances behind the wheel (sometimes up to 1,500k just to get to a race), it’s easy to question what could motivate someone to take on what is arguably one of the toughest jobs in sport.

For Xenia, there’s no doubt. “That’s simple. You have to be passionate about cycling,” she says.

“Right now, the thing I love the most are the races in the mountains, even if I have to be in a car day in day out. The views you have – and that combination with cycling.  You don’t become a “swanny” if you want to be in touch with “famous” riders. You do it because you love the sport. If you do it with passion, it’s the most beautiful job in the world.”



Xenia started out going along to races to support friends and became a swanny with the Lotto Ladies’ Team. It was a trip to Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April this year, the infamous one-day classic in Belgium, where she met team managers of An Post CRC and moved into the men’s peloton.

“The way I see it, I take care of the whole team – riders and staff – as if they are my kids,” she says.

“I feed them, take care of them, listen, be good to them but I’m firm when I need to be. I’m the “mummy” of the team.” We’re already sensing her warm and caring approach.

But what might at first sound a glamorous position of responsibility, beneath are endless lists of jobs to be done from driving, washing kit and cars, shopping, preparing bottles, massaging tired muscles, and repairing kit – basically, everything and anything the riders and staff ask for. Incredible amounts of passion and boundless energy are required to ensure her team has everything they need, on demand.

“It can be exhausting, but it never kills you and I just love it. We’re never alone, and most importantly, we’re like a family in this team.”



Despite a network of riders, mechanics and race staff to continually rely on for mutual support, it’s apparent that to be a good soigneur, you’ve got to be the family member with the sixth sense – the ability to anticipate five steps ahead of the game, even when you’ve no idea what the next day is going to throw your way.

What might first seem a simple task, can require meticulous attention to detail. Depending on the kind of race, be it a one-day classic or a multi-day stage race, Xenia’s main task is to prepare the race bottles for the riders.

Over the course of a stage race like the Tour of Britain, she can prepare a staggering 400 bottles or more, sometimes taking up to an hour to prepare the relentless number of bidons needed each day.

“You can never have enough of them,” she explains.

“Before the start, we give every rider two bottles with HIGH5 Energy Source or isotonic. These make sure the riders don’t get dehydrated and keeps their energy levels up. We also prepare the bottles to go in the team car; roughly four spare bottles for each rider. Then we prepare bottles to hand out in the feeding zone, and sometimes add HIGH5 Energy Gel to them.”

That’s on top of making sure there is additional water, HIGH5 Energy Source, and a raft of empty bottles in the team car, just in case.

With up to six riders on the team each day, a complete eight-stage Tour of Britain can require 84 bottles for race start, some 168 in the team car, and a whopping 210 for feeding.

“The main thing is, we need lots of HIGH5 to get the guys energised, hydrated and focused,” Xenia explains.


Even this in itself can be tricky when pro riders have a reputation for being rather demanding on times, albeit understandably when it’s your professional career at stake. What might seem absurd or peculiar to the everyday cycling enthusiast, a good swanny will always generally try to oblige, since it comes with the territory.

“We always try to keep that in mind,” Xenia tells us. “During the race it can be harder, but still, I try to manage!

“Some of them like their energy source to be sweeter and sugary; others just want water with the exact amount of energy that is necessary. I start to know their habits little by little.”

Demanding it may seem, when you’re pushing your body to its limits in racing, it’s important to have nutrition that you can work with.

“The important thing is to make sure it’s good and healthy, so they race well and don’t get sick. That’s why the team loves HIGH5. We always prepare start-bags for the riders, with two HIGH5 bars, two HIGH5 gels and a biscuit that they take with them to start the race.”

We were keen to learn what kind of selection makes it into the mystery musette – the infamous bag of energy-boosting goodies that teams are given permission to hand-up to riders in a dedicated ‘feed zone’ around mid-race.

“We always put in a HIGH5 Energy Bar, a Sports Bar, two gels, two bidons and a Coke. Sometimes extra, when they deserve it,” we’re told.



The feed zone is a precarious place for both riders and the swanny feeding them, usually due to the risk of riders crashing. Indeed, there are cases of relationships having been negatively affected by the failure of the swanny to connect with a rider on the feed in that defining ‘moment’ when the rider reaches for his musette hoping for a reliable exchange.

What’s the secret to getting it right, we ask?

“Is there a secret? I always blame the riders!” Xenia laughs.

It’s easy to tell how her easy sense of humour makes her the perfect fit for the job. Despite the pressure, the ability to laugh and have fun during the process is often essential.

She continues: “Jokes aside, it’s intense, but when they try to grab it too late or another rider is in the way, it’s hard.

“The only trick I think is not being afraid to put yourself out there, but at the same time, not being a dare-all and bringing the guys into danger. If they don’t grab it, try to get to another spot as fast as you can. And always try to say to them before the race where you’ll be standing, and make sure they see you. They will come to you when they need you.”

Despite the risk, she is still busy putting her riders first.

“As long as we can enjoy making riders happy and see them race and shine on the stages, that’s the best thing,” she adds.

What’s clear is that with Xenia’s incredible support onside  – and possibly a never-ending supply of bidons  – there’s little doubting that we’ll be seeing more of the HIGH5-fuelled An Post CRC team putting in some shining performances in future.

You have until midnight on Sunday 17 September, 2017 to WIN a full set of An Post-Chain Reaction pro cycling team kit in our competition. Enter online here: www.highfive.co.uk/tob-2017


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Racing legend Sean Kelly talks cycling

Seven time Paris-Nice victor, nine time winner of the monument classics, and now one of Eurosport’s most well-respected commentators, Sean Kelly arguably headed up a golden era for Irish cycling that saw him emerge as one of the most successful professional road cyclists of the 80’s.

As his HIGH5-fuelled cycling development team, An Post-Chain Reaction, prepare their bikes and bidons for the start of the 8-day Tour of Britain from 3-8 September, it’s a stark reminder of just how far today’s advances in nutrition, technology and training have come since the days when Kelly scooped his Grand Tour win at the 1988 Vuelta a España.

In this interview, the Irish cycling legend tells us what he’s been getting up to and shares his views on cycling’s latest advances in the pro peloton.



Apart from helping riders to launch their World Tour careers with An Post-Chain Reaction, what else has been keeping you busy?

“I spent three weeks in Mallorca, where I’ve been involved in biking holiday tours. Of course, for the month of April, I was commentating on the classics during the weekends and I’ve been busy over summer at the big tours.”

Do you still find time to get on the bike?

“I try to get on the bike as much possible, so when I’m in Mallorca, I get on the bike most days. But when I’m away on commendatory duties with Eurosport, on big tours such as the Giro and Tour de France, you don’t really have time. The days are long, and if you take a bike with you, maybe you’ll get to ride two or three times during the three weeks. Instead, I have to do a bit of jogging to try and keep myself in some sort of shape.”

Which season do you regard as your most successful and why?

“I think ’84 was my best. I can’t remember it very clearly – it was a long time ago but I won over 30 races, as well as some of the classics. It’s really when you retire, and look back at your palmarès, you appreciate the great performances you had in your career.”

Is there a race that’s stayed clear in your memory more than any other?

“I enjoyed Paris-Nice because I had huge success, winning 7 times. It’s a race I had a lot of luck in. Some people say you make your luck as well in races, but I don’t believe that. There were years where there were lots of crashes and I just seemed to be on the lucky side of the crash, a number of times.”



Is there anything you regret, or wish you’d done differently in your career?

“Lots! I think hindsight is a great thing because you can look back and I certainly did too much racing in the early part of the season. I was riding for a Spanish team and they wanted to do a lot of the Spanish programme. At the beginning of the season – Andalusia, Tour de Catalunya, Tour de Valencia, Pays Basque – were all on the calendar, and of course the Vuelta was also at the beginning of the year in the ’80s. I think the one I have regrets about most, is the Tour de France. I should have done better, maybe have gotten on the podium, but there were just too many races in the early part of the season.”

What was a typical hard days training when you were in your prime?

“The hard days were when you were not going well in the big tours. When you are not in your best shape in the big tours, you have to suffer from fatigue, maybe half wheel through the race and look ahead. Maybe there’s a week or ten days to go and that’s when you’re really stat suffering, because you feel physically drained and that grinds on you mentally. So I think the most difficult ones are certainly the big three week tours when you are not in good shape. If you’re in good shape then you can get through it, you do suffer but it’s a different sort of suffering because you enjoy it more. When you’re at the rear of the pack it’s very difficult to keep motivated and to keep going.”

Who was your best friend when racing and are you still in touch?

“I think my best friends would be the ones I raced with in my team. Fellow Irish men, Martin Early and Acacio da Silva. Others, who maybe were on opposing teams as well, Adri Van der Poel and Stephen Roche, of course who I raced against a lot but we’re still very good friends. You meet so many people at races like the Tour de France. We don’t have contact, we don’t call each other every two or three months, but we meet regularly during the bike season.”

What was a typical hard day for you, when you were in your prime?

“The hard days were when you weren’t going well in the big tours. When you’re not in your best shape you suffer from fatigue, so you have to maybe half wheel through the race and look ahead. Maybe there’s a week or ten days to go and that’s when you really start suffering, because you feel physically drained and that grinds on you mentally. If you’re in good shape, you still suffer, but you enjoy it more. When you’re at the rear of the pack it’s very difficult to keep motivated and to keep going.”

Athletes can sometimes be superstitious. Did you have any superstitions that you believed in?

“I wasn’t a superstitious guy. I didn’t really believe in that, but sometimes before the big events you think ‘My God, hopefully I’ll be safe tomorrow’. To get through a race without any problems – that’s a big part. Mechanical problems, getting caught up in crashes. In the big races for example; Tour of Flanders; Paris Roubaix, they are races where there are a lot of crashes so, sometimes you say a little mantra.”



What would be your ultimate training tip for younger riders?

“First of all, follow what your coach tells you. Most youngsters who are serious about cycling have a coach nowadays, from at least junior level. At times, I see a lot of riders try and do more despite what their coach is telling them. When you’re feeling good, you think a bit extra will lead to you getting a bit better but that’s when you make mistakes and can potentially over train. It’s like a race, when you’re having a really good day, that’s the time you can make a lot of mistakes and it’s the same in training.”

And would you have any advice for someone new to cycling?

“I suppose you need patience. If you’ve come from other sports then you have a basic fitness and that does help a lot, but if you’re somebody who hasn’t done a lot of sport, you have to give it time. Biking is something that you have to build up slowly. If you really charge into it, you can get fit very quickly, but you don’t hold that. Fatigue and all those things can be a problem so you have to build up over a number of years to get to a high level. It also depends on what you want to do, what sort of level of racing you’re at; if you’re racing as a fourth category or third category you don’t need to be doing a huge amount of training. So there are a lot of things you have to consider before you can give advice to a person beginning his or her cycling career.”

What’s your opinion on the technological advancements now in cycling compared to when you were racing?

“Well, there are huge advantages. First of all, the bike is the biggest one, they have improved so much over the years. Carbon fibre, the wheels, everything is rigid and also aerodynamic. I think the performances are much better because of that but the way the athletes prepare has also improved. I think they are much better looked after. As I said, everybody seems to have a coach and that is something which is important because they can follow a programme and they can build up over a number of years. At the beginning of the season, you can begin to build up your fitness level. All of this has improved the performances of riders, so I think those things have been big improvements in cycling but not only in cycling but in other sports as well. You look at rugby and other similar games, now you can monitor performance a lot better, such as how far the players have ran during a match. It’s all development and it’s improved the performances of the athletes enormously.”

Disc brakes? Yes or no?

“Well I think disc brakes are the thing for the future. We’ve been hearing a lot about the dangers when the riders crash and if you fall down on the disc you can get badly burned. Also, the disc is very open if you crash into it. There are still a lot of improvements to be made there but I think the most important thing is that everybody involved in racing should use disc brakes, rather than normal caliper brakes, due to the huge difference in braking performance between disc brakes and normal calipers.”



What are your thoughts on the nutrition athletes adopt in today’s peloton? 

“Back in my day, we didn’t have the nutrition which cyclists have now and it is one of the biggest improvements. The energy bars, the gels and all the recovery shakes have improved the performance of the riders. The recovery in cycling, as we know, is of huge importance because cycling is such an endurance sport and when you’re in a big tour with four or five on the bike hours every day in very warm conditions, having the right nutrition is a huge benefit to bike riders.”

What’s next for Sean Kelly?

“My commentary job with EuroSport. I’m enjoying it and it keeps me involved in cycling – that’s a great thing. To stay involved in the sport is good for mind and for body and I hope to continue.”

Are there any plans you can tell us for the team’s future?

“We have had a lot of plans for the team and going back on the past number of years; we have always been trying to move up to Continental Pro after many years at the Continental level. However, there’s no point in being at the bottom of the rankings because then you are only following the races and you’re not getting success. I would prefer to stay at a good continental level than to be at the bottom end of the continental pro ranks.”




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The untrodden path to the pinnacle of boxing

Anyone who’s pulled on a pair of boxing gloves to do a class or workout or just hit a punch bag, can attest to the difficulty, stamina and power it takes to box. It’s not just the physical exhaustion, but the mental stamina required in the ring.

Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane has sparred with the world’s greatest boxing champions, from some of the toughest gyms from London to Brooklyn, fought in world famous venues from MGM Grand to Wembley, in front of crowds in their thousands.

The long-term HIGH5 fuelled athlete has carved himself an enviable reputation in one of the world’s toughest sports.

With preparations for his next fight against Ishe ‘Sugar Shay’ Smith, in Las Vegas next week, going well, we asked the former British light welterweight champion, to share his thoughts on training and preparation.

How’s your training been going in preparation and without giving us all of your trade secrets, can you suggest how it’s been structured?

“Training is going well. When preparing for a fight I leave no stone unturned, and this means I normally train two or three times a day incorporating a mixture of long runs for endurance, short sprints for explosiveness, swimming, strength training, boxing, yoga and pilates. In total I train between 20 to 30 hours a week.”

You’re currently fighting in Light-Welterweight, where typical fight-weight ranges from 61.2 – 63.5 kg. What weight do you typically sit at?

“When I start training camp, I typically weigh around 75-78kg and then over the three months of training camp, I’ll bring it down to the weight limit of the fight.”

How do you approach the weight-cutting process? 

“As you can imagine, Las Vegas is hot. Training between 20 to 30 hours a week in this climate combined with eating healthy, the weight falls off. I eat between 2500 – 3000 calories when cutting weight so, I’m never starving. I typically start my day with porridge but my diet consists of plenty of fruit and veg, and protein after my training sessions to aid recovery.  The weight-cutting progress is more mentally hard than physical, but consistently being on a healthy eating regime allows me to reach my goal weight.”

Have you had any bad experiences cutting weight or is there anything you need to be careful of? 

“Now I’m a qualified nutritionist and dietitian so, as a professional boxer I’ve always made weight well and in a non-extreme manner. However, as an amateur I was clueless so, I used to starve myself and have no energy for the fight. It’s a shame there’s no information in the amateur system about cutting weight which leaves the kids at danger of starvation and dehydration.”

Alongside your training, which HIGH5 products are you currently using and what are you favourite flavours?

“In preparation for the fight I tend to use a combination of IsoGel and EnergyGel when I’m running. I particularly enjoy the orange IsoGel, and apple and banana EnergyGel.  Additionally, I am using Isotonic to provide me with carbohydrates as well as ensure I’m hydrated in the Las Vegas heat.”

What’s it like sparring with some of the biggest names in boxing like Floyd Mayweather? How important would you say it’s been to your career?

“Sparring with more experienced fighters is how you improve and allows you to gauge where you are. Floyd Mayweather did the same thing as a kid. He’d spar all the big names. For me sparring these big names made me know I’m good enough for the top level.”

Having fought in the likes of MGM Grand, Aintree, and Wembley to name a few, what’s it like to fight on such a big stage? Have you any favourite venues to compete?

“It gets no bigger than a Floyd Mayweather fight at the MGM Grand; it’s really the pinnacle of top level boxing. However, I really enjoyed Wembley Arena as I won and defended my British title there.  Fighting in Saint Lucia was special for me as my father was born there and having 10,000 people in the crowd, cheering me on is one of the highlights of my career.”

If you could give your younger self or any young and potentially upcoming boxer’s a word of advice, what would it be?

“If I could give my younger self advice it would be, “everything works out for you.” To any younger boxers, it is surround yourself with a positive team that wants the best for you and work super hard. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”

Where does your nickname ‘Treasure’ come from? 

“Treasure is my mother’s maiden name and my grandfather’s last name so; it’s a way of using both my mother and father’s names.”

UK fans have really embraced boxing in recent months due to fighters like yourself, Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua. What’s your opinion on the UK’s current boxing landscape?

“British boxing is on a high; it’s in a healthy space right now and can only get better. Female participation in the sport has increased which is nice to see.  My career shows British boxers that everyone’s path is different. I’ve had more success abroad than at home and serves as a great example that sometimes you have to walk the untrodden path.”

The Mayweather vs McGregor fight has recently been criticised by media suggesting that it’s all for the money and no longer about the sport or fans. What’s your view?

“It is for the money but what’s wrong with that? This is professional boxing, it’s about getting paid and there is no professional fighter in the world that wouldn’t fight a mma fighter for 300 million dollars. It is obviously for the fans, as they are the ones helping the fighters make so much money but all those criticising the fight will still watch it.”

Finally, we couldn’t finish without asking; what’s your favourite boxing movie and why?

“I have to say Rocky. It’s a classic and the soundtrack is so motivating.”

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Callum Hawkins

What is it like to prepare for a World Championship Marathon?

With the IAAF Athletics World Championship taking place in August, we asked Great Britain middle-distance runner, Olympian and HIGH5 athlete, Callum Hawkins  about his recent training in preparation for the World Championships Marathon on Sunday 6th August.

March saw me finish off my winter racing season with a hard fought 2nd place in the New York Half Marathon. I was slightly disappointed to be beaten by only 4 seconds and just being on the wrong side of the hour mark. However, I’ve got to be happy with running so close to my personal best on a tough course and pushing Olympic silver-medallist Feyisa Lilesa.  Racing through the streets of Manhattan was a great experience, it’s a fantastic race to be part of and the race organisers treat you like one of the family. It’s most definitely on my list of races to do again.

After New York, I took 10 days off as it had been a long winter season, after which I headed to Boulder, Colorado for a 5 week altitude training camp where I was staying with marathon legend and ex world record holder Steve Jones.

Training at altitude is harder, so recovery becomes hugely important especially as I was starting back from a rest period and ramping up the miles quite quickly. So packing lots of HIGH5 products was a necessity.

However, I quickly got into the swing of things and got some quality miles and sessions in with Steve’s group.  The weather in Boulder was great until my Dad (Coach) turned up and the weather went from slightly overcast to a few inches of snow.

Thankfully, my Dad and Steve did manage to keep the track clear for us during the session but they were definitely struggling for fitness at the end. Maybe I should have given them some Protein Recovery?

The training camp has set me up for my marathon specific training-block as I gear up for the world championships in London.  This is the hardest training block I do but it also has one of my favourite training sessions which is 11 x 1 km with 1 km float recovery or 1 km in and outs as we like to call them.  We reverse the session and start with a recovery pace effort first so, we finish on a fast one.  Paces for the fast kilometres are about 8 seconds faster than marathon race pace (3 minutes) and the recovery kilometres are around 3-8 seconds slower than race pace (3:10-3:15 minutes).

During the session, I also practice my race hydration and use EnergySource every 5 km, simulating what will happen during a marathon. I also keep an EnergyGel on hand in case I need a bit more fuel.

With warm up and cool down the session is around 20 miles and takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.  It’s one of the hardest sessions I do so, recovery and refuelling afterwards is vital.

My immediate refuelling after the session is Protein Recovery mixed with milk and a ProteinBar. Those particular products are really good after a hard session as sometimes I can find it hard to eat a big meal so soon after training. I follow that up later in the day with my favourite, Spaghetti Bolognese using my Grandpa Drew’s secret recipe. It has a great balance of protein and carbohydrates which are essential for refuelling after a big session, especially when it is over 20 miles.

There’s one week to go until the World Championships on 6th August in London and I can’t wait to go up against the world’s best marathons runners again at a home championships.

Follow Callum Hawkin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/callhawk

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