Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GU Winner and Gel-Bot Review and Giveaway!

The winner of the GU promotion pack is:


Congratulations!  Email me (40somethingsjourney@gmail.com) with your contact info and I'll pass it on to Scott at Outside PR.


And now, I have yet another product to tell you about and stay tuned, because there's a giveaway at the end.

I was sent the Hydrapak Gel-Bot to review, and I have to tell you, I took one look and was skeptical.  The concept is good, in theory - it's a water bottle with a reservoir to hold an energy gel, so you don't have to tear open the gel package while you're running or bicycling.  Because the gels (or GU) are super concentrated, it's recommended that you drink water when you take them.  OK, again, good concept.  Plus, when I was running in the cold, cold temps of early January, my gloved fingers had a hard time tearing open my GU.  You would take care of this ahead of time.  Except that on my 10 mile run, I needed two energy gels - so what would be the point of this bottle - it's not like I'm going to stop and refill the gel reservoir mid-run.

So yes, you can see that I went into trying this out with a large dose of skepticism.  And as I can't run, I took one for the team (ok, I also wanted to try the Espresso Love GU flavor), and decided on a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  First surprise?  After squeezing the GU into the reservoir, it became obvious that it can hold at least two energy gels.  Well, that was good.  Second surprise?  How well it worked, especially considering I didn't even do everything right - but apparently the bottle self-corrects?  Anyway, I put in the GU, filled it with water, screwed on the lid and popped the top of the squeeze bottle all the way up, and drank some water.  Then I pushed the top all the way down, and sucked out some GU.  Hmmm.  That was easy.  Traded off drinking water and taking the GU - worked better than I thought it would.

After I tested it out, I went on their website and discovered that you are supposed to squeeze the gel out, but what can I say - I sucked it out like you would if it were in the packet.  You are also supposed to push the plunger of the reservoir up, if you only put in one packet of gel, but like I said, I didn't, and it worked perfectly.  It was easy to clean - I just popped the everything into a sink of hot water for a few minutes, rinsed, and it all came clean.

The only thing that I would have an issue with, if I were taking this on a run, is that I use a water bottle with a handheld strap/carrier.  This is a heavier bottle, so I'd definitely want that - I swiped the Nathan carrier that Jeff has been using for his water and this bottle fit into it perfectly.  So that would be my recommendation, if you're a runner.  This bottle would fit into the bottle cages on bikes, which would be nice if you bike long distances and need some quick fuel mid-ride.

At a retail price of about $14, it's not bad...but you can win one, which would make it free, and that is always the best price of all!  To enter, tell me what you'd use this for - do you have a race in mind, or a long training run, or a bike ride?  Heck, is there another sport that I'm missing that this would be perfect for?  Just leave a comment telling me what.  If your name is not linked to a blog, please be sure to leave me an email address in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.  U.S. and Canada only (but don't fret, Fran - I'll be having a giveaway in a few weeks that is open to everyone!) - prize will be supplied by Outside PR and Hydrapak.  I'll announce the winner next Tuesday (providing I remember to draw a winner - I will be on vacation, after all...but I'll do my best!).

FTC disclosure:  Outside PR provided me with one Gel-Bot for review and will provide another one for the winner of this giveaway.  The opinions expressed regarding the bottle are mine, all mine!


  1. That bottle is really cool - glad it lives up to what it promises!

    Water is definitely needed after Gu/gel - I found that out the hard way at the Disney Princess half marathon...they had a gel station, but no subsequent water station anywhere near it!

    Your vacation sounds appealing...are you able to share where you're going? Hopefully somewhere fun and relaxing :)

  2. I'd use for cycling. I've two water bottle cages on my bike. Using one cage for just plain water and the other for water + fuel sounds like a fine idea!

  3. It better be a good one Shelley LOL

    I don't like holding things in my hand during runs, I use a belt for water bottles. But what I like about this one is that you can carry the gels in the bottle.

  4. This bottle sounds really interesting - I think I'd take it on hikes, because when I run & bike, I wear my Camelbak!

  5. Glad you liked it! I can see how it could be "iffy" at first :)

  6. Ooh, I'm intrigued! I'd use it for the Montecito half marathon coming up in July I'm pretty sure I'll be sweating buckets and need something other than just water. I'm also signing up for the San Antonio Rock n Roll Full marathon and this would be great, especially since I have a Nathan handheld and can use the strap!

  7. Sounds awesome to me - I was just out on our first "hot day" training row and reminded the crew that it's time to start bringing extra water for short rows and electrolyte drinks or whatnot on the longer rows.

    And since we have that handy-dandy footwell to store our shoes and all, I wouldn't even need a handle thing to carry it with me!

  8. The first thing that comes to mind when you described this thing and the GU was that I desperately need to clean my carpets! Anything that rhymes with goo and comes in a bottle will probably work on those stains.

  9. I would use this on my runs...and probably take it to work to use just to drink my water :) I am known for my cool water bottles/glasses :)

  10. Well, I am running my first half marathon of 2011 next weekend in Nashville...so I guess this super cool bottle might not make it to me (should I win) by then...so I will just have to find another 1/2 Marathon...because you know...I am only half crazy!!! :)

  11. Neat concept! I'm training for my 1st half (November - yea I'm "early" but I like to be prepared *s*) so I'd love to have something like this to try!

  12. Super cool - I would love this one! I would definitely use it for long runs as well as training bike rides....


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