Dean Karnazes in Runner's World a number of years back. They had a big spread to go with the excessively long story about him. He was on the cover of course. I remember the article covering a race he was planning to run in the hottest place in the United States. Death Valley+July+135 miles = me thinking to myself "you f*&$ing idiot, who would do that."
Obviously, I've been drinking the Kool-Aid.
We be goin' to Badwater!!!! Fellow CHUG Adrian Belitu is running his second Badwater 135 in July and he asked Geof and I join him as crew and pacers. Jimmy O is of course joining him for the second time so we will be in great company. I thought Geof was pulling my leg when he broke the good news to me.
"Homey say what?!"
Naturally, we barely even paused to think about it; of course we want to go! This of course meant rearranging a few things this summer as it's going to eat up 5 days o' precious vacation time. Totally worth it.
How hot is hot, you ask? I think the average temperature in Death Valley in July is around 110-120 degrees. But, there's no humidity :)
Basically, the race starts at the lowest point in North America, around 250+ feet below sea level and finishes at close to the highest point in North America. The race originally went all the way to the summit of the highest point, Mt. Whitney, at 14,505 feet, but park permit/regulation/red tape have cut the race short and is now known as the Badwater 135, rather than the original Badwater 146 (right?). However, you can try to get your own permits and then continue on to do the original course the rest of the way up. Adrian is planning on doing this :) Bam!! What up Badwater 146!
I plan on testing out my Atayne shirts in the hottest place on our fair land. The ultimate test of heat. Geof and I will need to do some sauna training in order to get prepared for the heat. I'll need to practice not staring or dropping my jaw at the sight of some of the most badass ultrarunners around. This could be a tough one to achieve...the field is pretty stacked this year.
Most of all, I'm really excited to be a part of such an incredible event, and such a huge milestone for Adrian. Yea, he's run it before, he's got his belt buckle, but that doesn't diminish the second go-round in any way. It's going to be the experience of a lifetime and I'm so freakin' honored to have been asked to share in it.
Drinking the Kool-Aid indeed. Can I get a refill?