Name: Bob Sitler
City: Lynchburg
State: VA
Country: USA
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Nationality: USA
Occupation: Clinical Psychologist
Birthday: 11-18-58
Age: 43
T-Shirt: XL
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Number of Years Running: 30
Number of Marathons: 8

Distances:

50k-1998 Dances with Dirt, 5:57, 25th
1998 Napa Valley, 7:52
1999 Capon Valley, 6:20
2000 Holiday Lake, 7:17
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50mi-1997 Mountain Masochist Trail Run, 11:25
1998 MMTR, 11:48
1999 Bethal Hill Moonlight Boogie, 9:39, 9th
2001 JFK, 10:53
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100km-2001 Run Around the Lake 24 Hour, 83.1 miles
2001 Laural Highlands 70 mile trail, 21:49
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100mi-1998 Arkansas Traveler, 28:33, 52nd
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100mi+-2000 Marathon des Sable, placed ahead of middle
2000 Augrabies Extreme Marathon, 42:00, 6th
2001 Augrabies Extreme Marathon, 39.05, 4th
2001 Olander 24 Hour, 103.4 miles, 30th

Previous Badwater Racing: N/A
Previous Badwater Crewing: 2000 Badwater, crew and pacer for Lisa Smith and Jay Batchen. I ran approximately half the course. I learned many things; some of the standouts were that the steady heat of Death Valley is more sapping than the more intense, but brief heat of the Sahara. It's like sticking your face in front of an open oven. I observed incredible courage from Lisa, and calm strength from Jay. I observed an incredible easy-going, steady, even good-humored spirit from a runner, I think his name was Paul Silver. I hope to emulate that. I observed a bonding between most of the racers, and I was deeply envious and determined to someday add to it. I learned that ice is your buddy and lifesaver. I learned how to treat and organize a crew, and that an organized crew with outlined responsibilities, with shifts, is a race-saver. I learned that hiking poles aren't just for sissies. And I learned the things that look like sidewinders on the road at night are probably tar patches, but don't bet your life on it.
Previous Badwater Clinic N/A

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Badwater Prediction:

I anticipate that my finishing time will be between 40 and 50 hours. My rationale is based upon my experiences the past two years with multiday racing. This is my favorite and best form of ultraracing; I keep an even pace, take care of problems quickly and efficiently, eat well, and don't worry about others in front of me. Subsequently, I stay in good spirits, cheer for other racers, and get stronger each day. Observing an improvement curve, beginning with the four day Malama Invitational, to the MdS, through two seven-day Augrabies Extreme Marathons, I have gotten faster and stronger with each race. For Badwater, I'll be aiming to break 48 hours, and my coach Lisa Smith-Batchen will train me accordingly. If accepted to the race, my crew chief and I will attend the Memorial Day Course Clinic, and I'll be coming out early to acclimate to the heat.

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Weird Experience:

My most outstanding hallucination, illusion actually, occured while hiking up the Portals during the second night of the 2000 Badwater. I got spooked at the sight of Don King's head lying by the side of the road. My heart raced and I stiffled a gasp of terror. It turned out to be a sage brush.

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Challenge:

My most challenging ultrarunning experience occured during this past year's Laural Highlands 70 mile trail run. Early in the run, I took a splendid tumble, ripping a triceps extender. After coming to my senses (sort of), I made it to an aidstation, patched up, and finished the race without the use of my left arm. Consequently, I had to run into the night. So I duct-taped my flashlight to my useless left hand, held my water bottle in my right, and made it through all the cutoffs to the finish. I leaned upon my memory of Lisa completing the 2000 Badwater for courage.

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Why:

I blame David Horton and the volunteers at the 1997 MMTR-50 for an enjoyable first experience. But initially, I enjoyed the shock of my collegues. That only lasted until the first really tough run! Who cares what they think? This hurts! Currently, there are motivations based on the challenges, the exercise of courage, and the ability to improve. Ultras also provide a venue for my competitive instincts, which I can't discharge at work as a psychologist. I love the comraderie of ultras, being with great friends and like-minded people. Sometimes, I think about "meaning-of-life" stuff while running, but usually I run to get out of my head. It's for the joy of movement and motion. I'll think, "Hey, that's an awfully big branch on that tree!" Good stuff.

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Why badwater:

There are a number of reasons. I was totally dumb-founded the first time I heard of Badwater and logged onto the website. I couldn't imagine it; I was subsequently drawn to the ongoing race reports that and the following year. Secondly, I want to join and add to the history and bond of Badwater runners. Thirdly, I like epic runs. In my opinion, Badwater is one of three epic American runs; to go along with the TransAm and the Appalachian Trail. Fourth is kind of quirky and very personal; last year, a South African adventure racing magazine described me as a Badwater finisher. This made me really mad, I'd been perfectly clear that I'd crewed, not raced it; and while I cannot do anything to make them retract that, there's a fraudulent residual stench in my nose. If accepted to compete, I'll be using that as motivation to continue moving forward during the terrible parts of the race.

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Other Exp.:

N/A

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Media:

No

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More Media:

No

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Charity:

Yes, I'll be raising money for the Child Abuse Prevention Center. This is a terrific organization that performs an invaluable service to the community. There's a similarity between the courage needed to endure an ultra and the courage exhibited by neglected and abused children and adolescents. These kids endure tremendous hardships, and yet often chose to draw upon their courage and look to the future, determined to stay the course and improve their lives. As I seek pledges, I will present that the exercise of courage during ultras may help one to understand this perseverance and courage somewhat.

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English:
Crew English:
Hike:
Permit:

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