This is the most brutal ultra marathon of the year – who in their right minds would willingly sign themselves up for a “135 mile stretch of highway, a hellish environment of up to 130 degrees, and a forty-eight hour time limit from the start line in the bowels of Death Valley to the finish line high on Mt. Whitney”?
Well… at least 95 endurance athletes, runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers, from around the world will sign up for this race. And some will be doing it for a second time, and some for more than that and one extraordinary man, Marshall Ulrich, will be going for his 19th Badwater finish!
The Badwater Ultra Marathon is a one-of-a-kind foot race that offers the promise of a supremely personal achievement along with international accolades for those who rise to the occasion. It is and always has been an invitational race, but you can fill in an application form if you fulfill the criteria, and to see whether you would be acceptable I suggest you follow this link: Badwater Ultramarathon – will you get in? No applicant is guaranteed entry, including race veterans. Minimum qualifying standards, as outlined on the race website, must be met by all applicants.
WARNING: You only have until 15th February to apply… and the 36th anniversary edition will be held July 15-17, 2013.
“Badwater taught me that it is not really about the race, but a journey that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” says Lisa Smith-Batch, a now retired ultramarathon runner and friend of Marshall Ulrich. She has taken part in 11 Badwaters and only not finished once. “I have learned that a “DNF” does not mean you did not finish, it means ‘MTRC’ – Made the Right Choice and learn to race another day.” In 2006 she ran a Badwater Double.
John Radich has completed 10 Badwaters… there are some truly amazing endurance athletes out there!
This is an old trailer for Badwater, but it’s very good. “A searing portrait of endurance against all odds” says Variety … and it is all of that, and more.
The reference to toenails being removed? That’s Marshall Ulrich! He has run more than 90,000 miles in his career and doesn’t look at retiring any time soon. Plus he’s climbed the Seven Summits. There’s a wonderful video about him but I cannot get the link or code to work. I don’t know if it’s worth trying to follow this one: Marshall Ulrich
Alternatively, you can watch this video of his run across America.
Feature photo courtesy of Aoife Odonnel
For those looking to steer away from typical running injuries, check out this guide to The Runner’s Guide to Achilles Tendinitis