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?
It should be fun. The race is nearby to us. If I have the time in July I was planning on cheering folks on at the start. Good luck to your friend. Stop by Jamie Donaldson's blog - Run Like A Girl. She has won the womens division two years in a row and has the course record. It seems a good crew is everything to her in doing this event. You should feel honored your friend wants the two of ya doing this with him. Have a great time!!
Bam! Adrian will be in great hands.
Can't wait Paige! We are going to have a blast!
Sounds like a good time. Don't forget your sunblock. Does it come in something higher than #50? ;-)
Woo hoo! You guys will be awesome crew! Have a great time out there.
Wow, you guys are hardcore! I wouldn't ever want to run Badwater myself, but I could totally see crewing it. I know that's a ton of work and crewing plays a super important role in the success of the runner at that race. I bet being on the crew would be, in many ways, as exciting as racing. You are SO a part of the race! Can't wait to hear all about the lead-up, and of course the actual race. Good luck with all the prep!
I'm jealous -- that's a race I'd love to pace at. Run, no.
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you--good thing you're on the Kool-aid, you'll need something to cool you down!
It was 130 around Stovepipe Wells according to several rental cars' thermometers in 2006... If you're lucky it won't top 120 while you are there!
Yes, I thought the same thing after hearing the story on NPR about the 2002 race: "Are you people nuckin' futs?" but found myself in DV just months after watching 'Running on the Sun'
Also remember that the crew takes care of the crew first, THEN the runner. A fallen crew member can definitely take their runner out of the race...take care of each other out there!
Most of all, Have FUN ;^)
Mongo 2004, 2005 crew/pacer, 2006 - 43:21:15 (most expensive belt buckle I will ever own)
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