Blisters at 35 miles, Vomit, Open-toed shoes, Wind, Rain, IV’s, Sleep deprivation, Desert, Mountains, 100+ degree temperatures, 135 miles, Perseverance, and WOW! My wife would add insane to the list!
So what is the Badwater ultramarathon? The Badwater website sums it up nicely.
Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater Ultramarathon 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 the Western Hemisphere at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8,300’ (2530m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent.
The completion time limit is 60 hours with an average finish of around 48 hours!
This film followed a handful of athletes from beginning to end and really provided some great insight into this unique and very demanding race. This is not a weekend warrior type of event. I thought the filming was excellent!
We also were provided a glimpse into some of the individuals unique training techniques as they prepared for the race. This is not your typical marathon training program folks. It included running with a car tire tied to a rope connected to your waist. Now that is a bit of resistance training! Also toss in a little running in the sauna for heat training and you get a glimpse of the dedication and preparation required for such an event.
You may think that the athletes that participate in this event are some mutant physical specimens that live in the gym. Actually they appeared were very much like you and I physically. Obviously they all got themselves into good shape but there were not the X-Men either. They seemed to be simply some people with a goal and willing to do the work and try their best to get it. Some succeed, some fail, but the true growth experience is in the journey, not the final result.
This is a high quality ultrarunning documentary that was a real treat to watch, just don’t do it while eating dinner.