Mary Beth Ellis (also known as MBE or Honey Badger) is known as one of the toughest Ironman athletes to ever participate in the sport. So her amazing comeback from illness to win this past weekends Ironman Maastricht should be no surprise to anyone.
If you don't know, Mary Beth was diagnosed with Lyme Disease back in June. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection primarily transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease causes a rash, often in a bull's-eye pattern, and flu-like symptoms. Joint pain and weakness in the limbs also can occur. Most people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate antibiotic treatment. Thankfully it was diagnosed early by MBE's doctors and treated to allow for a full recovery.
In an interview with Witsup.com, MBE talked about her emotional return from her layoff. She hasn't raced a full Ironman distance since the Ironman World Championships in 2015.
“I’m nervous but excited,” Ellis said
“Trainings been going well, but I don’t know what to expect after Lyme disease and so much time away from racing.”
Those fears and emotions were put to bed early during the race as MBE took an early lead in the swim. When she exited the water in a time of 48:18, Ellis was 2:30 ahead of Sarissa de Vries (NED) and more than 6 minutes in front of the rest of the pro field. Heading onto the bike course, MBE was first place in the female pro division, and sixth place overall. Ellis looked comfortable on the bike even though it was raining and she continued to stretch her lead. Through 66 kilometers, her advantage was more than 10 minutes over de Vries. As she entered T2 after a tough and at some points slippery course due to rain, she had a comfortable lead heading into the marathon.
The 10x IRONMAN champion started into the marathon more than 22 minutes ahead of Tineke van den Berg. Ellis had a consistent and solid run and finally enough time to enjoy her first race back, and 10th IRONMAN victory of her career.
Now in her late 30's, Mary Beth realized her nutritional needs were more critical than ever to her training. She decided to try the EnduroPacks line of all-natural, vegetarian daily nutrients.
Following an initial trial, Mary Beth said "After testing their entire line of vitamins and minerals in their daily nutrient system, I was surprised to find myself feeling more resilient physically and healthier than I have been in years. I don’t think that is a coincidence."
Convinced by the benefits of adding micronutrients to her daily routine, Mary Beth decided to join EnduroPacks team of elite and professional athletes. The former American record holder at the Ironman distance has been training with the benefit of added daily nutrients with great success.
Ellis stated, “As an endurance athlete, the key to success is consistency and being able to stay injury-free and healthy day after day to get the most training load with the least stress.”
With the help of EnduroPacks products, MBE looks to add to her dominant performance at Ironman Maastricht, and qualify for Kona.