Five Texas athletes represented our TALON tribe at the 36th running of the Badwater 135 ultramarathon which starts in Death Valley with the finish line tape 135 miles down the road at Mt. Whitney, California.
Sultry temps above 100F with no place to hide.
Three mountain ranges.
A journey that requires your own mobile support crew/team to follow and assist.
One runner. Team effort.
This year’s race began on Monday July 15 and shut down on Wednesday July 17.
Carlos Alberto of Portugal was first to reach Mt. Whitney in 24:38:16!
Catherine Todd of United Arab Emirates was first female across the tape in 29:55:29! Catherine was also 11th overall.
We had four athletes taking on the Badwater experience for the first time and one returning for her third start…and finish.
Texas Tread Results
Douglas Long was the first Texas runner to cross the finish with a 10th place overall finish in 29:34:44! This looks like Doug’s first go at the Badwater adventure but he has taken on a few of the beasts of ultrarunning with finishes at both HURT and Hardrock.
Parvaneh Moayedi finished her first Badwater in 46:33:00!
Next, Kim Budzik was back for her third finish in 46:47:38!
Alfonso Chan and Matthew Doellman both made it to mile 41 before having to end their journey.
This was the toughest of the three Badwaters, but I finished and earned the belt buckle that I am wearing today! In the end as I’m crossing the finish line, the pain is but a distant memory!
The longer I’m in the sport of ultrarunning I can truly appreciate the gifts of what being a long distance runner has brought me. In addition to the camaraderie and support of family, friends and people I have yet to meet, there is a lot of introspection that goes on during and especially after a race.
We all love the training runs and races where everything comes together perfectly; we’re at peace with ourselves and the world. It’s as though we can run forever!
Then there are the runs that are difficult and challenging, and you have to convince yourself that you’ll feel so much better once you start running. Or just maybe you have to dig a little deeper and realize that it’s when you’re finished that you’ll feel great! Often, those are the most gratifying days and runs in the fact that you went past your comfort zone and touched the edge of what seemingly appeared difficult or impossible.
Running Badwater has been a great honor and privilege for me, and I am deeply humbled by how this race has touched my life and those of many others around me. It has been a valuable time of reflection for me to appreciate that no matter how much I trained and planned for situations, there will be circumstances and events that I hadn’t anticipated. And therein are the lessons that I like to leave with my children and the people whose lives I touch – to be grateful and thankful for what comes your way as that is when you will learn and grow.
When I returned to Houston and picked up my 8-year old son, Chayton, the first thing he said was how excited he was that he could go to Badwater next year! So, even though it was a challenge indeed and there were numerous issues to overcome, I will submit my application again for Badwater 2014. My older children, Kassie (22) and Shobai (18), have both had the opportunity to help me at Badwater. They have seen me at my highest and my lowest, but I persevered and pushed onward. That is what I want my children to see and learn that no matter how tough it may be, if you dream big enough, you will conquer the demons and overcome. It may not happen the way you’d like or planned, but you just have to figure out another way to reach your goal.
I am incredicbly thankful and deeply appreciative to my crew – my husband, Tim Budzik; Jennifer Evans, Bruce Evans, Robert Kania and Steve Maliszewski. They were incredible out there and kept me going for hours upon end! They never ceased believing in me (to my face!) and found whatever means necessary to help me. I am especially thankful to Tony Portera, another Badwater runner, for being so vital in helping me finish.
It truly is a team experience, and I wear the buckle for all who helped me achieve it and for those who dream of running Badwater!
I accomplished my long term goal of running the Badwater Ultramarathon. I trained for this race for over two years by running many other ultras including 100 milers and 48 hour runs in extreme heat and sometimes with a broken arm or foot.
After arriving in Death Valley in the days before the race it was very clear that all my uncomfortable runs and pushing of the limits would pay off. Every ultra that I ran with an injury convinced me, it can’t get worse, what doesn’t kill me just makes me stronger. I have always believed that anyone can accomplish anything they want if they set their mind to it. We could train our body to push to any extreme given training time. Life is a challenge and moving fast, if we don’t set goals and strive to achieve them then we are standing still while life passes by.
Badwater wasn’t as hard of a race as it is described to be. Most of the challenge was in my mind dealing with ups and downs during the event. My powerful crew made all the difference to get me to finish line. I had the strongest and most attentive crew of all. They are all leaders and experts in what they do, and yet worked together with so much tolerance and forgiving attitude by always putting me first.
As expected a lot of things didn’t go the way we perfectly planned before and during the race. Many thanks from the bottom of my heart to my friends and crew members Gerald Godoy, Frank Sizemore, Steve Holehan, John Pontikas, Katrina Mukherjee and Marilyn Sizemore. You guys got along so well and supported me all the way by unconditionally putting my interest first. You all endured long sleepless hours, heat and junk food while driving back and forth across the desert to bring me French fries, frappes and mashed potatoes! The crew tolerated each other’s and my stink and never complained. Each one of you played a big role in the success of this race.
This race is not about one person training and running 135 miles in heat. It is about a team of friends making sacrifices for each other for the love of running and the sport. I learned and experienced a life time in just few days. I also want to thank all of you my friends that didn’t get a chance to be directly involved but were supporting me by kind and encouraging words. You made a difference and I appreciate you all.
I am happy to be first Iranian woman to attempt and finish this race.
Congratulations to all our Texas Badwater athletes for showing up to play!
Special thanks to Kim and Parvaneh for sharing with us.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 06 Aug 2013