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Zone Living

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Tom Cross
on March 25, 2016


Tom Cross began following The Zone in prep for his first marathon. With 5 weeks to train & averaging 20 miles of running per week, he posted a time of 3:12. See how he did it. 


An endurance athlete who began following the Zone in 1992 preparing for his first marathon, Tom Cross from York, Maine leveraged the Zone to enhance his performance and recovery. This set him on a journey of many endurance events. Tom has successfully completed the Hawaiian Ironman, has won the Sea to Summit Triathlon 3 times, has completed an ultra 31-mile mountain-marathon, a 50-mile mountain-marathon in Colorado, and at the age of 58, will attempt his first 100-mile ultra-trail race in the mountains of Utah and Idaho.


My journey began in 24 years ago

In 1992, I began following Dr. Sears’ Zone diet to assist in preparation for my first marathon. With only 5 weeks to train and averaging only 20 miles of running per week, I was able to post a respectable time of 3:12. I felt great and was able to recover quickly, and most importantly, I gained confidence in my ability as a long distance endurance athlete.


The following year, I completed my first Ironman, and again I felt great throughout the day and had a speedy recovery. My “hobby” as an endurance athlete continued to evolve over the years with a variety of events and distances. I continued to follow the Zone diet which enabled me to perform well in races from 5K road races, trail races, duathlons and iron-distance triathlons.

In 1994, I founded the Sea to Summit Triathlon, a 110-mile race consisting of sea kayaking, bicycling, and running. It started at the Atlantic Ocean and finished at the top of Mt. Washington. I’m proud to have won the event three times.


11,000 feet of climbing and 31 miles

Another turning point for me was in 2014, at age 56, when I decided to do my first mountain ultra-marathon. It was held in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and featured almost 11,000 feet of climbing over 31-miles. The grueling course took almost 13 hours to complete which was good enough for a top ten finish. It was an amazing experience and reinforced my belief that with proper nutrition and training, that any distance or difficult course could be conquered.


I wanted to do more

In 2015, I wanted to ‘up the ante’ and consulted with Dave Schreck, a staff member at Zone Labs. He recommended that I begin supplementing my diet with high dosages of fish oil. Dr. Sears’ OmegaRx Fish Oil is amazing and it allowed me to safely ramp up my miles and recover even faster from hard workouts. In September, I was able to successfully complete my first 50-mile mountain ultra-marathon in Colorado – at an average elevation of almost 10,000 feet.


I turn 58 this year, and I’m very grateful for my health and ability to do things physically that previously didn’t appear possible. I owe much of my successes over the years to Dr. Sears and the Zone diet.  In September, I will attempt my first 100-mile trail ultra in the mountains of Utah and Idaho.  While it will be the most difficult athletic endeavor of my life, I will toe the start line confident and ready for the challenge!

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