Badwater Ultra is Underway (Updated!)

Yesterday the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon got underway with 80 competitors from nine countries taking off from Death Valley with the eventual goal of reaching Mt. Whitney in California. The racers will be dealing with heat in the 125 degree F range and will begin at 280 feet below sea level, and ending at an altitude of 8360 feet at the Whitney Portals.

The site doesn’t offer much in the way of updates and there is no word on whether or not anyone has crossed the finish line just yet. But you will find a list of competitors, along with a variety of other demographic information, along with more information on the route, and past results as well.

This year marks the 31st running of the Badwater which features some of the best ultra-runners in the world. Amongst this year’s field is Dean Karnazes, who continues to plug away at his Desert Grandslam. If he completes the Badwater, and he has done so in the past, even winning it back in 2004, he’ll have just the Sahara Race and the Last Desert left on his list.

With two time defending champ Scott Jurek not in the field this year, the race is pretty much up for grabs.

Update: I stand corrected! As reader Hart points out, the Badwater actually does have good updates, which I simply failed to see. Click here to see the results, which are pretty damn impressive. Coming in first was Jorge Pacheco of Los Angeles California with a time of 23 hours, 20 minutes, 16 seconds. Jamie Donaldson was the first woman to cross the line with a time of 26 hours, 51 minutes, 33 seconds, which put her in third place overall. Simply amazing times. Dean Karnazes hasn’t finished just yet, although he’s currently in fourth and should be done soon. Rival Pam Reed is in fifth place, not far behind. Akos Konya is the only other person to have finished thus far with a time of 23 hours, 49 minutes, and 44 seconds, which netted him 2nd place.

Kraig Becker

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