Featured Web Site: Badwater UltraMarathon

Posted by Filed Under: Ultra Running, Web Sites

featured websiteI recently attended a running club meeting where the guest speaker talked about his experiences during the Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon. This is a 135 mile race that starts at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280’ (85m) below sea level. Following 135 miles of paved roads, the race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8360′ (2533m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. The Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Keeler and Lone Pine.

The speaker, Neil Runions, was one of three Canadians chosen to compete in the event. Runners must apply to this event and are chosen based on minumum qualifications—officially finishing a 100-miler, running history, training, health and several other factors.

The race has a cut-off time of 60 hours. Finish in 60 hours or less and you get a medal. If you finish in under 48 hours, you get the medal and a cool belt buckle. Neil finished in just under 43 hours. He went through 4 pairs of runners and survived with only a couple of blisters. He had a 2-vehicle, 4-person support team. No aid stations are provided during the race, rather, each entrant must provide their own support team which must consist of a minimum of two people.

The article, “Veterans Triumph at the 135-Mile Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon,” by Chris Kostman, offers some interesting details and facts about the race.

Of course don’t forget to check out the news section or the great photos and more in the downloads section. Checking out this site might just give you a new goal to train for … or not.

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About Dawn - Pink Chick

For several years the only running I did was to run the annual 10k race in the spring. I got my best time when I ran hungover on only a few hours sleep. Finally one year I decided maybe I should really pick up running again on a regular basis and attended a running clinic. After finishing the 10k that year I continued to train and ran my first half marathon. That was in 2002. Later in 2002 I moved to Calgary where my running friends nick-named me Pink Lady, Pinko, Pinky and finally Pink Chick simply because I almost always wore pink when I ran. Truth be known I wear it almost all the time. I ran, well mostly walked, my first marathon in 2003. Since then I've run a ton of shorter 5/10k races, 9 half marathons and I added a second marathon in 2007 when I ran the San Diego RnR Marathon. Today I still run. I'm slow but I'm still out there and lovin' it. Someday I hope to join the Triathlon world.

  1. Joe Ely on November 10th at 6:58 am

    My work colleague, Jay Hodde, finished Badwater last summer. We followed his progress via the website and it was very good.

    The race is incredible, almost indescribable. Any of us that have done a (mere) marathon stand in particular awe of doing five of them back to back in summer heat and brutal moutain climbs.

    A very, very special race, indeed.

  2. Blaine Moore (Run to Win) on November 10th at 8:07 am

    If you are interested in Badwater, then you should really watch a documentary about the race called Running on the Sun.

  3. 21stCenturyMom on November 10th at 3:12 pm

    I’d like to second watching ‘Running on the Sun’ Unbelieveable. Really. What these people go through – sometimes year after year. Just amazing. Also, Dean Karnazes writes his account of Badwater in ‘UltraMarathon Man’. It’s very engaging.

  4. Dawn - Pink Chick on November 11th at 9:40 am

    I will definitely look for the movie. While someday I may consider running an ultra, I will stick to watching this one.