Mission Pharmacal Launches Performance Team Sponsorship program supports elite athletes with products to boost their competitive edge.
SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Weinhold's dream came true in relentless rain, intermittent snow and four inches of mud, high up a peak in the French Alps.
The long-distance runner from Doylestown, Pa., had qualified in 2012 for the ultimate endurance race, the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, or UTMB. The 104-mile trek through France, Switzerland and Italy leads an elite field of runners up and down the heights surrounding Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Those who finish the race will have climbed more than 31,500 feet – almost half a mile higher than Mount Everest – in total altitude by the time they complete the circuit.
As he battled through the lofty course, Weinhold relied heavily on a product in his pack that he once thought he didn't need: Heat Guard®. Produced by Mission Pharmacal Company, the tablets release sodium and potassium chloride slowly, to replenish the body's essential electrolytes lost through sustained exertion.
The over-the-counter tablets had become Weinhold's secret weapon as he tackled one of the world's superlative endurance competitions. And despite its name, Heat Guard was critical during the 2012 UTMB, which had to be revised at the last minute to a 62-mile course solely in France because of a wintry storm that swept in on the eve of the race.
"Heat Guard is mostly meant for when it's very hot and you're sweating a lot," said Weinhold, 43. "But it was solid rain and cold, and when you're wearing Gore-Tex and multiple layers and your body's engine is working hard, you're going to sweat a lot."
Weinhold took Heat Guard about every 45 minutes during the race, a strategy he credits with helping him place 682 out of 2,122 finishers, clocking in at 18 hours, 58 minutes and 40 seconds. "I really put Heat Guard to the test in that race," said Weinhold, who got hooked on long-distance running after his first marathon in 2008.
Weinhold believes in the product so much that he agreed to become part of Mission Pharmacal's first-ever athletic sponsorship program, the Performance Team. Mission launched the team in September 2012, according to Derek Huddleston, the company's senior director of Performance Solutions & ShopMPC.com.
The company sponsors the four athletes on the team, providing them with a stipend, gear and product samples. In return, the athletes share their experiences using Mission's products with their fellow competitors and give Mission feedback on their experiences. They also distribute samples of the products, where appropriate.
"It's a grassroots approach to getting the word out about our performance products within these elite athletic circles, whether it be marathons, ultra-marathons, Iron Mans or similar endurance races," notes Huddleston, himself a licensed athletic trainer.
In addition to Weinhold, the team includes another ultra-marathoner, Nick Ferrara, Bill Peace, a marathoner, and Kathia Lopez, who competes in half marathons and triathlons.
Besides Heat Guard, which Huddleston describes as a "sports drink in a pill," the company's performance products also include Fosfree® Performance, a dietary supplement with calcium, vitamins and iron to help prevent leg cramps caused by low calcium levels; and Thera-Gesic®, a water-based pain-relieving creme. Another product, a cream to protect against skin chafing, is in development, Huddleston noted.
Lopez uses a version of that cream, which is based on Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment, to prevent chafing during triathlons. She also relied on Thera-Gesic when she headed into Walt Disney World's 2011 Goofy Challenge: a half marathon one day and a full marathon the next, a total of 39.3 miles.
"I had fallen the week before, and I was limping when I arrived in Orlando for the race," said Lopez, who also is a sales manger for Mission. "I put on Thera-Gesic and I was able to run the half marathon. Then I put it on again that night and I was able to run the whole marathon the next day."
Heat Guard, Fosfree Performance, Thera-Gesic and Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment may be purchased easily and conveniently online at Mission Pharmacal's ShopMPC.com.
About Mission Pharmacal Company
Mission Pharmacal Company is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in San Antonio, Texas. For more than 65 years, the company has been committed to meeting the unique healthcare needs of women throughout all stages of life, pediatric patients, and those persons dealing with urologic and dermatologic conditions. The company has a proven track record of identifying unmet healthcare needs and developing both innovative prescription and over-the-counter products to meet these needs. Using only the purest ingredients and FDA-approved methods of manufacturing, Mission Pharmacal provides physicians and consumers with the highest quality pharmaceutical and dietary supplement products on the market today. Mission Pharmacal is a proud national supporter of the March of Dimes Foundation®, whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. For more information about the company, visit missionpharmacal.com.
SOURCE Mission Pharmacal Company