At XTRACT, we’re all about celebrating athletes from all walks of life, empowering them to break personal records and reach new endurance heights. We believe that with hard work and determination, anyone can become an endurance athlete, and we’re proud to support and sponsor athletes all over the world that share these core values.
Today, we're excited to introduce you to Shiva Zanoli, our XTRACT-sponsored athlete who embodies these values. At 43 years old, this mother of one son and two stepchildren is rewriting the playbook on what it means to be an athlete, with an impressive 7.5-year running streak (yes, it means she ran everyday for 7.5 years straight) and a “beat your best” attitude that mirrors the XTRACT spirit.
Her latest challenge? To compete in this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc - Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (UTMB TDS), a race in the well know Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) series, as XTRACT’s sponsored athlete. Join us for an inside look at Shiva’s journey, her preparation for the UTMB TDS and how she came to be one of our XTRACT-sponsored athletes.
Meet Shiva, our XTRACT-sponsored athlete
Hailing from Hilversum, in the Netherlands, Shiva Zanoli is a 43-year-old powerhouse not just as an athlete but as a dedicated mother of one son and two stepchildren. Her athletic journey is as diverse as it is impressive, ranging from football and horseback riding to CrossFit. However, it's in the discipline of running where she’s truly found her stride.
After the birth of her son, running became a convenient and independent means of exercise, eventually transforming into a life-changing passion. This passion led Shiva to start a remarkable 7.5-year running streak. This means she’s run every single day, at least a mile at a time, for over seven years.
For Shiva, running isn't just about fitness; it's a tool for self-exploration, personal growth, and resilience. And it's this relentless that makes her such an inspiring athlete to support and watch.
Although we started the XTRACT athlete sponsorship in search of athletes just like Shiva, it was she who ultimately found us, thanks to the wonders of social media. Our all-natural products immediately struck a chord. She explains:
"Joining the athlete program felt a little crazy at first, because I was unfamiliar with the product. But I saw an opportunity there and decided to seize it. I like that XTRACT is all-natural. It helps me counteract acidosis, particularly in mountain terrains where it plagues me most. Now, I'm all in.”
Athletes like Shiva are the reason why we started the XTRACT sponsorship program. Her approach to sports and life truly exemplifies XTRACT as a brand – fearless, adventurous, and relentless in the pursuit of dreams.
Next stop, the UTMB
In true XTRACT spirit, Shiva is now looking to take on her biggest challenge yet. The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc - Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (UTMB TDS).
Spanning 145 km and boasting a mind-boggling altitude ascent of more than 9000 m, the UTMB TDS is a globally recognised trail run through the French and Italian Alps. This edition of the classic and well know UTMB starts in Courmayeur, Italy, and ends in Chamoix, France, taking runners through a series of high mountain passes like the Passeur Pralognan, the Col de la Sauce, and the Col de Tricot.
Trail runners from all over the world come together to tackle this epic challenge, creating a vibrant and supportive community that is truly unique – and this year, Shiva will be among the legends running to claim the prestigious title of UTMB TDS Champion.
Training to win
Shiva's journey to the UTMB TDS is no leisurely stroll. It's a path she's paving with determination, grit, and a meticulously designed training regimen.
First on her list is considering the help of a coach. She recognises the benefit of a guiding hand, someone with expertise who can help her navigate the terrain challenges of the UTMB TDS. Her preparation also includes altitude training, strength training, cycling, and night training sessions to prepare for the round-the-clock demands of the event.
She's also prepared a supplement strategy that includes multivitamins, vitamin D, B12, and magnesium - elements vital for maintaining energy, supporting recovery, and promoting overall health. She’ll also be incorporating an ORS solution to keep her sodium levels balanced, a crucial step in combating the acidosis that can result from excessive sweating.
We’re thrilled to sponsor Shiva at the UTMB TDS - supporting her with a financial sponsorship of €1500, a bundle of free XTRACT samples, and a range of athletic gear valued at €500.
The UTMB is a global attraction for the elites, but Shiva isn’t phased, explaining:
"On the one hand, I think 'What am I doing there?' but at the same time, it’s a chance to show that I can do this too. Last year 700 women participated, and over half didn’t hit the 100 km mark. My aim is to finish the race. But I'm keeping it real, I know it's a mountain to climb."
The UTMB TDS isn’t Shiva’s only challenge. She’s already signed up to join Follow the Coast next year, and she considering the Grizzly 100 ultra trail as well as the Valencia Marathon later this year.
Think you have what it takes to become an XTRACT-sponsored athlete? We’d love to hear from you! Apply here for a chance to get sponsored in your next endurance event.