The Badwater 135 is billed as the “world’s toughest foot race” and it certainly is a tough one! Take running in Death Valley in July and combine it with running to the portals of the highest mountain in the continental US and that is a challenge. But when you put the distance of the race at 135 miles, that is beyond a challenge!
Badwater is Back!
I had the pleasure of crewing/pacing for a friend a few years ago. The race is amazing and Death Valley is incredible. It is one thing to drive through Death Valley, but to get to spend 26 hours in the desert on foot gives a really fantastic experience.
Unfortunately, last year the Park Service ruled that races could no longer take place within the park limits because of safety concerns. This led the Badwater race committee to plan an alternate route that avoided Death Valley. To be honest, that was a real crush to me and I am sure to others. People train for Badwater for a long time and to not be able to run the real route had to be a disappointment. Well, Badwater is back!
They will be changing the time of the start to ensure that the race takes place not during the hottest part of the day while it is in Death Valley. It will continue being in three waves but will be after sunset. This way, runners can run Death Valley yet again while still fitting in the Park Service rules. One thing – I cannot imagine the new records that will be set with these new times. Taking away the hottest part of the day in Death Valley will certainly help the runners hit some better times. Should be interesting!