Crazy Love: A Visit With Scott Weber

By Greg Minter, July 22, 2003 2:30 PM

I remember reading about Scott Weber's triple crossing of the Badwater course several years ago, shaking my head in a combination of disbelief and astonishment. For those who may not know, Scott did a triple crossing of the Badwater course in 1996 (and lived to tell the tale). While a single crossing requires enduring the punishment of the most brutal conditions for one to two days, a double crossing is a rare feat. Only Marshall Ulrich has gone further, completing a quadruple crossing in 2001.

I drove up behind Scott's crew vehicles at about mile 25, and was greeted warmly by John Schaphorst, a tall, lanky guy with dark hair, sitting in his vehicle, trying to stay cool. "I started running in some of Scott's races, and he asked me to crew," said John, "and I was pretty excited about it. To me, Badwater is the Everest of running."

Scott's wife Laura was making her fourth annual appearance, and was manning a second station. She filled me in a little more on Scott's accomplishments: 9 official starts with 8 finishes, a triple crossing, a double crossing, and a number of other "unofficial" crossings. "He's doing OK today," she said. "He's hot, but he's doing good. Our car thermometer says 134f, but he's managing to stay cool."

What does Laura think of Scott's fascination? "He loves it. He get stronger as the course goes on. He gets really strong going up the Z's on the Whitney Portal road." That's true. I followed Chris up the switchbacks near the top of the road, but lost him somewhere near the top.

Scott appeared over a little crest as we were talking, and confirmed everything that Laura had said. "I love it. It's odd, but I really love coming out here. But I have to get going, or I'm not going to be able to catch Pam Reed." You gotta love a guy with a sense of humor. The crew dowsed him with cool water, replaced his bottles, and off he went.