Badwater: Running 135 Miles Across Death Valley

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Today on the show I sit down with my ultra running friend Josh Spector to talk all things Badwater.  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 F with pavements temps typically in the 170-180 degree F range.

Starting at Badwater Basin — the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, approxmately 100 invitation-only runners from across the globe begin a jaunt that will take 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.

Yeah – it’s that insane.

I had the honor & privilege of being a member of Dean Karnazes’ crew this year, along with Jason Koop, Brandon Friese and Nathan Peerbolt.  Together we paced, fed, hydrated and generally did all we could to help Dean complete this unbelievable race for the 10th time.  It was an extraordinary experience — one I won’t soon forget.

Simultaneously, Josh — himself an accomplished ultra runner with three 100-milers under his belt — returned to Badwater for his third crewing experience, this time for runner Ray Sanchez.

In this episode we swap stories about the experience, giving the listener a rare peek at exactly what it’s like to have a front row seat at what I have to say is one of the most incredible displays of the indomitable nature of the human spirit I have ever seen — and will likely ever see.

Enjoy the show.

To view a Flikr photo gallery of the journey click HERE– most images by Nathan Peerbolt with a few by Brandon Friese.  I took the GoPro pics.

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