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Badwater – What It’s Like to Run 135 Miles Across The Desert

By October 26, 2014January 18th, 2024No Comments

This show is about chasing dreams. Making stuff happen. Helping others. And sharing the journey.

We can all use a little education. Some solid information. And a dose of experience-based inspiration to guide our own path towards self-betterment. My goal is to help you see and understand that we are generally our own self-limiter. That we are all capable of being better and doing more, irrespective of circumstances. That we all have a more authentic self lying dormant within yearning to be more self-expressed.

We owe it to ourselves to fertilize that seed. Why?

Because life is short.

Trite? yes. Cheesy? definitely. But nonetheless oh so true. Right now I’m up in Palo Alto at Stanford University for my 25th Reunion. 25 years since I graduated from college. How is that possible? Translation: I am old.

Old is a mindset. Another lame idiom I choose to believe. Honestly, I feel like I am about 28. But this weekend made me acutely aware of the fleeting and transitory nature of our lives.

It seems like yesterday I was in school with all these amazing people with whom I spent the last few days reconnecting and reminiscing. People that have ventured forth to do extraordinary things like found billion dollar startups; create non-profits that have helped millions; and launch movements that have forever altered how we think and live.

This not hyperbole. This is Stanford — a place; an institution; and a mindset that fosters the ethos that truly anything is possible. That you should challenge authority. That you must question the status quo. It’s a culture that empowers the philosophy that not only can you change the world, but that it’s in fact your responsibility.

This weekend I was surrounded by people who have done and are doing just that. I am tremendously grateful for the experience. And it left me inspired to do and be better.

25 years, man. Life is short. There is no time for idleness. There is no time to equivocate.

Speaking of eradicating limitations, today marks the return of my ultrarunning buddy Josh Spector – if you are a long-time listener you will recall our conversation from last year, recounting our respective experiences crewing for Dean Karnazes and Ray Sanchez at the Badwater 135 ( RRP 40 ).

Widely accepted as the “World’s Toughest Foot Race”,  Badwater  is a 135 mile running race across Death Valley — the hottest place on Earth — where temperatures average 120+ in July and can reach as high as 130 with pavements temps typically in the 170-180 degree range. Starting at Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, approximately 100 invitation-only runners from across the globe begin a jaunt that takes them across bleak and scorching desert terrain as well as three formidable mountain passes, including the culminating 13-mile ascent up the portals of Mt. Whitney — the highest peak in the lower 48 — to finish at 8,300 feet.

This past summer, and for the first time, Josh stepped up his game and ran the legendary — but recently revised — race himself.

This week’s show is a rare peek behind the curtain at exactly what it takes to prepare for, endure and complete one of the most difficult running challenges on the planet – a race that requires and demonstrates a most incredible display of the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

Josh is a great guy. A humble guy. Sharing his experience is powerful because he isn’t Dean Karnazes. He isn’t a professional athlete. Josh is just a normal dude who had a dream. A regular guy who fell in love with running. Put the work in brick by brick and day by day. Bided his time. Toiled patiently and relentlessly in obscurity. Invested in the journey. And experienced what it’s like when all the hard work pays off, culminating in an extraordinary accomplishment. An accomplishment I’m sure just a few years ago he would have imagined was not just beyond his reach, but impossible.

When this interview concludes, I promise you be inspired to raise the ceiling on your own personal capabilities.

I hope you enjoy the conversation. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Peace + Plants,


P.S. These videos by ultrarunner & filmmaker Billy Yang  do a far better job of capturing the essence of Josh and his approach to Badwater than any words I could pen.

And here is the  video on Josh’s Brazil 135 run that has now clocked over 3 MILLION VIEWS! ( full article here, with classic Buzzfeed .gifs and all ).


Connect with Josh: Website | Twitter


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