I mentioned a few days back that the Badwater Ultramarathon was underway, and by now most of the competitors have jogged, walked, limped, or crawled their way across the finish line. This year’s race was won by Valmir Nunes a 43 year old runner from Brazil who was competing in his first Badwater.
Nunes left a lasting impression on the other racers though, as he shattered the two year old Badwater record of 24 hours, 36 minutes, and 8 seconds set by Scott Jurek in 2005. The new record stands at 22 hours, 51 minutes, and 29 seconds. That’s averaging nearly six miles per hour for almost 23 hours straight. Very impressive.
The women’s field was full of tough runners as well, and this year’s winner had to dig deep to claim her first Batwater championship. Lisa Bliss, 39, of Spokane, Washington, ran the course in a time of 34 hours, 33 minutes, and 40 seconds.
Halfway through the race however, Lisa was unsure if she would even be able to finish, let alone win. She developed some bad blisters, but was able to continue running, and eventually passed her rivals on the way up Mt. Whitney.
This was the 30th running of the Badwater Ultra, and the 20th as an organized sporting event. The annual race begins in Badwater, Death Valley and ends 135 miles later on Mt. Whitney. Along the way, the runners must suffer through incredibly hot temperatures, and endure more than 13,000 feet of elevation gain. It is considered to be one of the toughest ultra’s on the Planet.
You can read race reports here.
As for Lisa Smith-Batchen that crazy woman going for the “Badwater Double”. The latest post on her blog says she has started the ascent on Mt. Whitney, so she should being to approach the finish line soon. Well, it would be the finish line for any other mere mortal. For Lisa it’s the “Half-way Line” as she’ll turn around and run back to Badwater. Yep. 135 miles back. Told you she was crazy! 😉
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