Badwater Ultramarathon Underway, Winner Already Crowned

This is one that doesn’t usually sneak under my radar but I missed the start of the 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon and have spent part of the day catching up on the news. For those unfamiliar with the event it is an annual sufferfest during which some of the top ultra-runners in the world run 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in California. Along the way they rack up an incredible 13,000 feet (3962 meters) of vertical gain and battle the legendary heat that earned Death Valley its name.

The race got underway yesterday and the top finishers are already completing the course. The 2012 winner is Mike Morton who managed to complete the entire 135 miles in just 22 hours, 52 minutes, and 55 seconds. Defending champ Oswaldo Lopez claimed second place at 23:32:28″ and Zach Gingerich is home in third at 25:49:40″. Other ultra-running legends like Dean Karnazes and Pam Reed are still out on the course at this time.

Why on Earth would anyone enter a race like this one? If you have to ask, you’ll probably never understand. But the pre-race video below gives a bit of an introduction to some of the runners, who share their inspirations for entering the Badwater.

Kraig Becker

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