Last week I mentioned that the Furnace Creek 508 was being run over the weekend. The 508 mile long endurance cycling race pushes competitors to the limit with more than 35,000 feet of vertical gain, crossing through ten mountain passes before dropping into the desolation that is Death Valley and adding a little heat to the equation. This year’s event was the 26th running of the race, and from the sounds of things, it was one of the best ever.
The winner of the race was was Chris Ragsdale, a five year veteran of the Furnace Creek 508. After finishing second last year, he came home in front of defending champ Michael Emde, who claimed second place. Ragsdale managed to drop his rival, who holds three 508 titles, on the final climb of the day, finishing 15 minutes out in front.
Also of note was the fact that Charlie Engle came in fourth place, and in the process, managed to break a ten year old record for the “Death Valley Cup” by an hour and 20 minutes. The Death Valley Cup consists of running the Badwater Ultramarathon, which is organized by the same team as the 508, and then riding in the cycling event as well. Charlie completed the Badwater, which is 135 miles in length, in 25 hours, 45 minutes, and 11 seconds and the Furance Creek in 33 hours, 19 minutes, and 25 seconds, to set the new record for a combined time between the two events.
Anyone else exhausted just thinking about it? Thanks to Lisa for giving me the heads up on Charlie’s accomplishment.
For a better idea of what the race is all about, check out the video below!
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