Next Monday marks the start of the 2010 Badwater Ultramarathon, and iconic race amongst the endurance crowd. The 135 mile route runs from the heart of Death Valley, one of the hottest places on the planet, up to the Portals on Mt. Whitney, gaining 8580 feet in the process.
This is one of the toughest footraces on the planet, and the athletes will run for hours on end to cover the distances. It is a grueling test of endurance to be sure, and even the best ultra runners, at the top of their game, struggle through the event. But a 75-year old British man will attempt to make the run, while raising funds for Cerebral Palsy Care
in his home town of Kent.
Jack Denness, lovingly nicknamed Death Valley Jack, is no stranger to the Badwater. He has run the race on 11 other occasions, but at 75 he would become the oldest athlete to ever compete in the event. He is expecting to take roughly 50 hours to finish the course, while dealing with temperatures that could hit as high as 130ºF (54ºC) along the way.
As I mentioned, Jack is raising money for the CPC in Kent, and his sponsor, Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil
, has committed itself to donating money to that cause based on the number of fans that Jack gets on his Facebook page
. If we can get Jack to 5000 fans, the company will donate £3000 to the cause. As of this writing, he is sitting at 1859 people, so we’ve still got some work to do. You can also donate directly to the cause on his Just Giving
page, found here
The Badwater won’t be Jack’s only endurance event of the year. He’s also committed to running in Racing The Planet’s Sahara Race, taking place in October as well. That’s a week long, six stage event that is quite the challenge in it’s own right.
I hope when I’m 75 I can still walk to the mailbox and back without getting out of breath. Good luck to Jack at the Badwater next week!
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