For Immediate Release

San Francisco Adventure Runner Dean Karnazes Wins by a Mere Seven Minutes after 135 Miles


Death Valley, CA – Seventy-two runners from eleven countries and seventeen American states ran 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney on July 12-14, 2004 in the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, the most demanding, extreme, and prestigious ultramarathon running race in the world. The victory was decided during the final push up Mt. Whitney, with Dean Karnazes, 41, of San Francisco, CA besting his nearest rival by just seven minutes, thirty-two seconds with a time of 27 hours, 22 minutes, 48 seconds, the closest finish in the twenty-seven year history of the race.

Ferg Hawke, 46, a rookie entrant from White Rock, BC, Canada, placed 2nd with a time of 27:30:20. Fellow Canadian Monica Scholz of Jerseyville, Ontario, placed third for the second year in a row with a time of 29:22:29. Scholz bested her 2003 time by four hours and was the first woman to cross the finish line. Pam Reed, 43, of Tucson, AZ, the defending overall champion from 2002 and 2003, placed 4th this year with a time of 31:17:55.

This was Karnazes' fifth appearance in the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon. Previous efforts included a DNF in 1995, 10th place in 1996, sixth place in 2000, and 2nd in 2003, when Karnazes finished 25 minutes behind Pam Reed. Married with two kids, he is the owner of EnergyWell Natural Foods, makers of low-carb, healthy snack foods.

The international field of athletes, seven women and 65 men ranging from 32 to 70 in age, represented Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, the UK, and USA.

A total of 57 of the 72 runners completed the distance within the 60 hour overall cutoff, a 79% finishing rate. The conditions in the 2004 race were particularly challenging, even for this event and its hostile Death Valley venue. Death Valley registered its hottest day so far this year, with an official max temperature of 120, plus a strong wind in the afternoon. Despite that, the race enjoyed one of its highest finishing rates in the event's history, a testimony to the caliber of athletes in the race. Of the 57 official finishers, forty-two received the coveted belt buckle for completing the course in under 48 hours.

Badwater, Death Valley marks the lowest elevation in the United States at 282' below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8,300'. The Portals are the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil's Cornfield, Devil's Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Springs, Keeler and Lone Pine. The race course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000' of vertical ascent and 4,700' of descent.

The title sponsor of the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon is Kiehl's Since 1851. "We are most honored to support the heroic men and women who have committed themselves to participating in this year's event. It is our hope that the Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection line of sunscreens will serve these athletes well as they tackle the world's toughest foot race," commented Abbie Schiller, the Kiehl's Vice President of Public Relations.

Kiehl's was founded as an old-world apothecary at the corner of Thirteenth Street and Third Avenue in New York City. Its unique and extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and passed on through generations. For more than 150 years, Kiehl's has served its customers skin and hair care products formulated with the finest ingredients. The company is characterized by a strident commitment to service standards of the highest quality.

The Official Charity of the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon is the Challenged Athletes Foundation. As one of the very few charities that provides grants directly to athletes with a physical disability, the Challenged Athletes Foundation has raised over four million dollars and directly assisted over 1000 challenged athletes world wide. One of the goals of the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon is to raise funds for, and awareness of, this organization. For more information, click here.

Additional race sponsors include E-Caps Endurance Supplements, Hammer Nutrition, Injinji Anatomical Interface Systems, Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort, Dow Villa of Lone Pine, the community of Lone Pine, CA, and many other generous companies and individuals.

A live webcast of the race, including dozens of stories, video clips, over 1,000 images, video clips, complete race results and more, was featured throughout July 12-14, and remains archived here.

For complete official results of the 2004 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, click here.

For further information, images, or to contact the race winners, please contact the race director, Chris Kostman at AdventureCORPS.