Recognized globally as "the world's toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world's toughest athletes, runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Covering 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F, it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.
The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280' below sea level. The race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8360'. The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000' of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700' of cumulative descent. Whitney Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Competitors travel through places and landmarks including Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil's Cornfield, Devil's Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Keeler and Lone Pine.
This year's Badwater event was won by Mexican national Jorge Pacheco, a 40 year old machine operator living in Los Angeles, California. First female was Jamie Donaldson, a 33 year old middle school teacher from Littleton, Colorado. Jamie also finished 3rd overall.
It is interesting to me that women took 5 of the top 10 places and 8 of the top 15. Equally noteworthy is the fact that 11 of the top 15 place finishers are 40+ years old and 5 of the top 15 are 50+ years of age. Old guys (and gals) rule!!
Well, I think it's time for me to buy a rubber suit and hit the sauna in preparation for the 2009 Badwater race. Oh, Hell no!!
Complete race results HERE