This week while you've been complaining about walking, or sitting, in temperatures in the 90s, eighty-one ultra marathoners ran 135 miles in Badwater, the nonstop race across the hottest place on earth, from Death Valley to Mount Whitney. Photos invariably show participants slogging through vast open spaces in heat ranging to 130 degrees and above near Stovepipe Wells but they fail to capture the grueling elevation climb of more than 8,600 feet. This year's winner, Carlos Alberto Gomes De Sá, 39, of Portugal [above], ran the 135-mile course in 24 hours 38 minutes. The oldest finisher was 66. (A 76 year-old was among the fifteen who did not finish.) Keith Straw, 58, known for running in his signature pink tutu, completed the race in 42 hours 44 minutes. It was his third Badwater. In April he won the Virginia 24-hour Run for Cancer, clocking 120 miles, and ran Boston.
Of this year's nineteen women who finished the race, the fastest were Catherine Todd, 34, in 29 hours 55 minutes, and Pamela Reed, 52, of Jackson, Wyoming, in 30 hours 39 minutes. They placed 11th and 13th overall. Full results here.
I learned about Badwater ten years ago from my pard's good friend Chris Bergland, the openly gay world record-holder, Kiehls model, and author of The Athlete's Way: Training Your Mind and Body to Experience the Joy of Exercise [Kindle], who finished 4th in 2003. Read his book.photo via