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Squirrel’s Nut Butter Review - by Running Without Injuries (earlier this year)

Squirrel’s Nut Butter Review - by Running Without Injuries (earlier this year)

It doesn’t matter if you are an elite runner or a weekend warrior, if you have ever had chaffing issues, you never want to let it happen again.  There are a bunch of different products out there and I have tried most of them.  I was given a sample of Squirrels Nut Butter at the Salmon Falls 50k last year and decided to give it a try after hearing great things about it. 


Squirrels Nut Butter makes an anti-chafe and restorative skin salve.  Chris and Stacy Thornley founded the company out of their own necessity.  Their daughter battled severely dry skin and Stacy, who is a Registered Nurse specializing in allergies, decided to start exploring solutions. None of the skin health products she had found could properly help with her daughters eczema and other conditions.  She put her knowledge to work and started trying to create a salve.  It took a ton of trial and error, but finally an effective product was created. 


Chris and Stacy started offering the product to friends and family around Flagstaff, where they live.  Everybody loved it!  Eventually the new product made its way to a guy whose nickname is Squirrel (who works for Chris’ tree cutting company).  He tried the product instead of his normal anti-chafe product and raved about how well it worked.  Chris came up with the name and started marketing the product to endurance athletes.  Once he knew he would be able to sell the product, it was time for a name.  Because the original blend was made with almond oil, he knew the name had to be Squirrels Nut Butter.


Squirrels Nut Butter is now made with four simple ingredients; coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and vitamin E oil.  They have been selling their product since 2015 and it has really taken off.  It is now utilized in several sports including running, cycling, triathlon, hiking, and any other sport where chaffing may be an issue. 


They now have a spicy salve for pre and post workouts called Born to Rub.  Happie Toes is a foot-specific salve blended with peppermint and tea tree oils.  They even have a vegan version of the original Squirrels Nut Butter.  In addition to being an anti-chafe product, it prevents blisters on your feet and can heal and restore your dry, irritated skin (including eczema).


I have been using Squirrels Nut Butter for months now and have to say that I like it way better than the other products out there.  There are several reasons why.  The first reason is that it isn’t clumpy like Bodyglide.  It isn’t greasy and won’t stain your clothes like other products either.  It isn’t made with a ton of chemicals that I can’t pronounce.  It simply is easy to put on and works forever.  I ran my recent 50 miler and didn’t have a single chaffing issue after 13.5 hours of really wet and hot running.  I couldn’t have thrown more at Squirrels Nut Butter and it protected me like my own personal secret service. 

They recommend that if you are looking to use it in colder temperatures, that the stick works best, which is my favorite option.  They also have a double-walled tub that works great in heat up to 120 degrees.  In cold weather the SNB can get rather hard.  I just rubbed it between my hands for a few seconds to have it melt.  Then I applied it where needed.



I really liked the Happie Toes as well.  My feet really get thrashed, especially when I am doing a lot of runs in the rain and mud.  My feet get dry and sometimes even start to crack.  Other brand’s products are okay, but I really liked the effectiveness and feeling of the Happie Toes. 



Great anti-chafe product lasts forever


All natural

Washes off easily and won’t stain clothes

Great prices


I can’t say enough good things about Squirrels Nut Butter.  It really is an amazing product and would definitely recommend it over other products.  The only downside is that because it is made with cocoa butter, it does have a chocolaty smell (more like cocoa), which makes me want candy.  Hopefully it doesn’t make a bear think I am a huge candy bar. 

Tip’s when tackling your first 50km trail ultra words by Jenni Hadfield 

Tip’s when tackling your first 50km trail ultra words by Jenni Hadfield 


Train specifically. The more closely you simulate the trail terrain you'll be racing on in training, the more prepared you'll be.  The more you know the better you can tailor your training to weave in similar terrain and optimally prepare your body and mind for race day.

Merge off road gradually. Although the impact forces while trail running are lower than road running, the demands on your muscles, tendons and joints will be greater when you begin to run on trails.  Start your journey to the trails with a few shorter runs during the week and hold this pattern for the first 4-6 weeks.  Once you begin to feel comfortable, begin to transition your long endurance runs on the trails.

Watch out for trail drain. One sign you know you've run hard on roads is the unmistakable muscle tightness and fatigue that comes from the impact forces.   You can literally feel the effects of the impact on your body.  This is not the case on trails.  The body hurts less and fatigue shows up in an overall energy drain and decrease in the ability to maintain strong running form (tripping, falling).  Like marathon training, it is just as important to follow the flow of easy and hard workouts to allow your body to acclimate and recover efficiently.   It is wise to respect the new demands of trail running and in the initial stages treat trail runs as harder workouts until your body adapts.  Listen to your body for signs of trail drain.

Modify your long run strategy. Yes, in order to race longer you need to train longer but you don't need to go crazy.  Remember to build these long runs gradually just as you did for the marathon training.

Mix it up, run on roads and cross-train. Balance out the rest of your training program with a mid-week 60-80 minute easy run, a faster paced road run (tempo or intervals) to maintain foot speed, and one or two shorter easy paced road runs.  Weave in cross-training activities that are lower in impact and will complement the needs of the ultra-athlete.  Mountain biking is one of the best forms as you are in and out of the saddle developing core and leg strength in your hips and quads all while training without impact.  Don't skimp on the core strength.

Run with the rhythm of the trail. The greatest part of trail running is it teaches you to run by the terrain rather than your watch.  Set a goal to run by effort (how you feel - breathing, heart rate) rather than pace.  This can and will change the way you run forever.  

Be self-contained.  Although there will be aid stations on the ultra-course (bananas, chips, sports drink, water, electrolytes and more) you will need to carry fluids and gels with you on the trail.  Fueling for an ultra is much different than a marathon because you will be out there longer (due to the longer distance and the demands of the trail).  Find the right balance of fuel for you while training this season and learn the hydration system that works for you. 

Make friends with walking.  Even the best ultra-runners utilize the benefits of walking in training and on race day.

Race like the tortoise, not the hare and be kind to yourself. The secret to successful and joyful ultra-marathon races is in your pacing strategy.  Because any given km could be flat, rolling, muddy, technical, it is impossible to race by your watch at a specific pace.

Pete Kostelnick: Ke2Key - Unlocking My Wildest Dream

Pete Kostelnick: Ke2Key - Unlocking My Wildest Dream

I first heard the name Pete Kostelnick in 2016, in regards to his “run” across “America” - I put this in quotations because that’s how it sounded to me at the time - simply a sentence that I couldn’t truly grasp the meaning of or legitimately imagine in any way. Well, surely he didn’t run ALL the way across America, and surely he didn’t actually RUN the whole thing. Like, maybe somebody picked him up and drove him around to run across different parts of the country, and, eventually, they got from coast to coast. Right? 

Wrong. This project went down exactly how it sounds. Pete Kostelnick broke the record for the fastest run across the United States: 3,067 miles, 42 hours, 6 days, and 30 minutes. I was racing on the track in college at the time, so I was just like, oh, that’s cool but insane and sounds unnecessary. 

Now that I have myself caught a bit of the ultra bug, I can understand why somebody might be possessed to do these kinds of things. Which is why, when I recently heard that some man was running from Alaska to Florida with nobody and nothing but a stroller, I was more intrigued. 

@petekostelnick: When I start running from Kenai, Alaska to Key West, Florida on 8.1.18, I'll be about 100 miles closer to Beijing, China than Key West as the crow flies...

Pete started running for the same reason that many others take up the sport. He says he got into marathons towards the end of college, “mostly to lose weight, be fit, and enjoy the feeling of ‘putting in some miles’.” Then, still in line with the logic of many other runners, it progressed into a desire to outdo himself. Pete’s idea of outdoing himself, however, is where he differs from most other runners. 

“Every year from 2008 to 2016 I had this weird obsession with beating myself from the previous year - in total miles run each week and in personal best times,” he explains. “I think when I realized I couldn’t train further in 2015-2016 with a full-time job, I began thinking about runs like San Francisco to New York and Kenai to Key West…” 

For his most recent endeavor, "Ke2Key," he chose the start and endpoints in order to run continually on US highways, from the westernmost point to the southernmost point. This run gives Pete the most pride in his running career to date - from how he came up with the idea, to how he planned it all himself and executed it completely self-supported. It was especially satisfying as a “mini comeback” after having struggled with running in 2017.

After crushing the previous record for the fastest run across America, Pete knew he needed a new challenge. “I would see others doing runs across America and thought about how I missed out on so much by doing nothing but running, eating, and sleeping all day with a full support crew… I knew I needed to make it a new challenge… the answer was to make it longer and do it self supported! That’s where I thought about the road trip I took to Alaska in 1999 with my family, and became in love with the idea of running through some of the most remote and beautiful parts of North America.” Pete did the entire run without receiving any help, and he went about 30 days on the Alaska Highway with not a soul to run alongside.  Luckily he did meet many people along the way and had some company from friends, new and old. 


Photos from Day 49

Pete finished his run 13 days ahead of schedule. Running an average of 55 miles per day, he covered 5,384 miles in 97 days. Albeit a solo endeavor, the emotional support that kept Pete going was and continues to be incredibly strong. The isolation and intensity of these projects shows Pete, and hopefully many others, that anything is possible.

Pete says, all things considered, he feels great (he wore SNB the entire way, which is probably why). Next up, he'll join a handful of other Squirrels at the Desert Solstice 24-hour race in Phoenix!