AdventureCORPS Presents the
2004 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon

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Afternoon in Death Valley

By Steve Matsuda

Oh yes, this is what we came for. A little heat, sorry, make that a lot of heat. And wind. And that long and winding road to Stovepipe Wells. How do these runners survive?

Having the Ice Man around certainly helps. New this year, race officials set-up a tab at Furnace Creek and provided a one-man traveling oasis along the course dispensing perhaps the most precious commodity in Death Valley, bags of ice for any runners and crew who needed it. Mike Angelos played the role of the Ice Man, or perhaps Santa without the red suit. Said Mike, “I coulda made a mint. I’m just giving it away. I coulda been rich.”

The race also provided a Medical team led by Dr Kent Wang and Liza Carlson, RN. The Medical HQ was located in Stovepipe Wells in the auditorium. Medical staff were also assigned to each start wave and to drive the course looking for runners or crew in need of immediate emergency medical attention. The Medical team included Steve Teal, Dr. Joseph Zimmerman, Jeff Key and Nancy Shura, RN.

Of course the most important reason why runners survive their trek through Death Valley is their crew. Though it has been done without the aid of a crew, having friends and family along to supply sustenance for the body and soul is an integral part of the Badwater experience and often critical in making it through Death Valley.

Some random notes from Monday afternoon…..

Eberhard Frixe and Uli Weber were getting some type of wheat soup because their crew said “the horses were running just fine”.

Eric Pence of Leadville, Colorado set up a treadmill with a space heater put a shower curtain around it to trap the heat. His crew said it snowed last month in Leadville.

Mike Brooks’ crew plays Cowboy music to get him going.

Dr Lisa Stranc Bliss helped with her own foot care and was very happy with her Injinji socks.

Wayne Simpson and Rudy Afanador were having stomach problems.

Jody-Lynn Reicher’s crew seemed to have the best situation of all. They had no good stories of performing “crew magic” and said she was happy and having a good race.