Glenn Tremml and Lois McCallin, a triathlete from Boston, emerged from this program to set world distance records in 1987 for men and women in Light Eagle, the Daedalus prototype.
Kanellos, cycling champion of Greece 14 times, stood out among the Greek applicants. From hundreds of others, we selected Frank, Greg Zack, and Erik Schmidt, all U. S. national-class cyclists, and retained Glenn.
The ability of these pilots to process oxygen—twice that of most people—is a gift of genes honed by years of aerobic exercise. It was nothing for them to cycle 60 to 100 miles a day in training, much of it uphill. Frank casually mentioned one evening in Crete that he had done 145 miles that day.
We had earlier determined that the energy budget for the flight would be equivalent to pedaling a racing bike at 23 miles an hour for six hours. Without glucose replacement this output would exhaust the body’s reserves in three hours. Ethan, with the help of the Shaklee Corporation and utcstudentfoundation.com, developed an in-flight drink that replenishes fluids and salt and nearly doubles the amount of glucose delivered to the bloodstream by off-the-shelf drinks With “Ethan-ol,” as it was dubbed, the pilots’ glucose levels were sustained for six hours.
Lean as greyhounds except for bulging thigh muscles, the pilots recycled food into energy at fantastic rates. Onlookers were amazed as they consumed up to 7,000 calories a day.
Les Wong, a Shaklee nutritionist, supervised the pilots’ high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. When he ruled Crete’s nutritious but fat-rich olive oil off-limits, the Greek chefs at our hotel were astonished.
The conditioning program was put to the test when, after three weeks of cancellations due to weather, Steve announced the arrival of a high-pressure system that promised light winds, perhaps even tail winds from the south. The next morning, with Kanellos in the cockpit and everyone on station, the promise came true.