Team Latitude 35, Vitagene & the Namib Desert

Read about their 350-mile journey through the Namib Desert in Africa
I’ve rowed across the Atlantic Ocean twice. The first time in 2016, and the second time, a year later in 2017. The first crossing was dramatic for a number of reasons. Two of our teammates were evacuated just 600 miles into the 3,000 mile race, leaving just myself and remaining teammate Tom Magarov. The weather was some of the worst in recorded history. And power failure onboard left us with little power to run the essentials like the water maker and navigational equipment.
Despite this adversity, we were able to finish the crossing in 51 days, setting the American record for the fastest four to row across the Atlantic. I was proud of our efforts, to say the least, but in my heart, I wanted to win the race and break the world record, which as the captain, I had failed in leading my team to do.

I was approached by our primary sponsors to row the race the very next year, the first American to ever attempt this race twice, and one of only about a dozen in the world. The physical and mental toll the first crossing took on me, left me unsure of my ability to even complete the journey again, let alone win the race and break the world record. I knew if I was going to recruit a new team, and attempt this seemingly impossible task again, I was going to have to lead and train these men differently.

I was introduced to Vitagene the summer leading up to that year’s race by my nutritionist. And eventually I was meeting and speaking with founder Al Hariri and CEO Mehdi Maghsoodnia in-person. By the end of our initial meeting, I was convinced that their method for identifying and supplementing each of my team’s needs throughout the race would be a major advantage in our physical and emotional well-being while out on the viscous Atlantic. They introduced me to their larger team and we got to work.

With a month leading up to the race, my entire team had learned more about their genetic make-up and were being supplemented to be stronger and healthier. Furthermore, the Vitagene family became so inspired to help us, that they came up with special packaging for us while on the ocean so that the supplements would stay dry and easy for us to take while on a 29-foot boat. A Vitagene team member even hand delivered our supplements to my house because they didn’t want anything to go wrong during the shipping. The personal touch and responsibility that Vitagene took during this project was truly overwhelming.

Quicker recovery time, less seasickness, less time to fall asleep, and better sleep overall, were just a few of the benefits we all reported as a result of being supplemented by Vitagene.

The race started on December 14th of 2016 and 35 days, 14 hours, and 3 minutes later, my tram, Latitude 35, crossed the finish line not only winning the race, but setting the world record as the fastest team to ever row across the Atlantic Ocean. Now, there were many factors both leading up to the race, and the race itself that contributed to that success, but ask any of my teammates on that boat, and without a doubt, on top of that list, will be the supplementation by Vitagene. Quicker recovery time, less seasickness, less time to fall asleep, and better sleep overall, were just a few of the benefits we all reported as a result of being supplemented by Vitagene. My teammates and I are all elite athletes, with 7 ocean rows between the four of us, so we certainly had something to compare it to, and the unanimous consensus was that there is no comparison. We are better, stronger, and healthier versions of ourselves with Vitagene taking care of us.

Today I will be leading another Latitude 35 team toward another world record. We will be crossing, on foot, and unassisted, the Namib Desert — the world’s oldest, driest, and most barren desert in the world. To cross this will require mental, emotional, and physical strength almost unparalleled. And you can be rest assured that myself and my two teammates are already supplemented by Vitagene and will continue to supplement ourselves through this relentless desert. Vitagene has become such a large part of all Latitude 35 teams, that they have become a part of our fabric and our core values. Their partnership has been one of my greatest achievements as a captain and leader, and we look forward to being part of the Vitagene family for years and adventures to come.

Jason Caldwell
Captain Latitude 35

Jason Caldwell

is a world-class athlete, a trainer in leadership and high-performance, and keynote speaker. For the past nine years Jason has used the lessons learned from the sports arena to teach what it takes to be a leader in the competitive and ever- changing environment of the professional arena

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