AdventureCORPS Presents the
2004 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon

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Maj. William C. Maples is congratulated by his fellow Marines after running 135 miles
in 37 hours, 59 minutes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004
Photos by Lance Cpl. Samuel Bard Valliere and Sgt. Matt Epright

MaplesCongrats040714 MaplesFlagHigh040714 MaplesFlagSmile040714 SoakingFeet040714 TakingOffShoes040714

Curt's email report, post-race, July 16, 2004

Greetings Chris!

Congratulations on running another superb event - sounds like an exciting race right up to the end this year. Please pass my congratulations on to Dean Kanarzes on a job well done, as well as all the other runners and crews who had the sand to step up to that starting line. I actually checked the site a couple of times during my run here at the end of some of my laps.

I had an interesting run on this end. I ran well for the first 4 laps (11.5 miles per lap) then suffered from a brief bout of Mapleitis, losing about a half a gallon of fluid in the process. I felt better, but losing that much liquid at a time is sort of a shock to the system, so I took a 40 minute break and ate a Popsicle. I then started off again, walking a couple of miles, then picking it back up to a slow run. I continued running without incident until we got hit with a rocket attack. As usual, the bad guys did not actually hit anything or hurt anyone, but we had to shut things down until the 'all clear' was sounded. As this was not a voluntary stop, we were not penalized for the time, 2 hours and 40 minutes, and adjusted the clock accordingly. The bad thing was that this was in the morning when it was still relatively cool, and I would have gotten in another lap at a run, but by the time I had finished that one, it was getting hot and I had gone over 70 miles, so I shifted to a power walk.

I hit the 100 mile point in 25 hours and 20 minutes, and my General came out to talk to me at the 103 mile point, as they were concerned that I might die on them. I told him I was fine and that he ought to allow me to finish, so he did. I power walked up to the last mile or so, then took the Texas flag and started running. I managed to cross the finish line in 37:59 at a dead sprint. I did not get a single blister, but my feet are a little sore from the pounding.

Badwater is a tougher course than what I ran here: It has Townes Pass, Father Crowley's grade, and the road up to Whitney Portal, whereas my course was pretty flat. Also, I'll bet it was hotter there. We did figure out two notables for the books: We think this was the first ultra marathon ever run in Iraq and, it is the only ultra ever conducted under fire. All the same, I wish I had been there to run with my friend and family in Death Valley, and will be there with everyone next year. I appreciate all of the outstanding support and encouragement, as well as the donations for the Iraqi children. Thanks again! - Curt Maples

For more about Curt and all of his correspondence, click here.

CAPTIONS:

MaplesCongrats040714.jpg
Maj. William C. Maples is congratulated by his fellow Marines after running 135 miles in  37 hours, 59 minutes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004. Maples ran the race, mostly nonstop, timed to coincide with the Badwater ultramarathon spanning from Death Valley to Mount Whitney in California. During his journey, he ran and speed-walked, enduring extreme heat, fatigue and even a rocket attack on the camp, yet sprinted to the finish. Since the 40-year-old Dallas native is currently deployed to Iraq as the 1st Force Service Support Group's force protection officer, the six-time Badwater veteran couldn't actually participate in this year's race. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Bard Valliere)

MaplesFlagSmile040714.jpg
Still clutching the Texas state flag he crossed the finish line with minutes before, Dallas-native Maj. William C. Maples is congratulated by his fellow Marines after running 135 miles in 37 hours, 59 minutes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004. Maples ran the race, mostly nonstop, timed to coincide with the Badwater ultramarathon spanning from Death Valley to Mount Whitney in California. During his journey, he ran and speed-walked, enduring extreme heat, fatigue and even a rocket attack on the camp, yet sprinted to the finish. Since the 40-year-old is currently deployed to Iraq as the 1st Force Service Support Group's force protection officer, the six-time Badwater veteran couldn't actually participate in this year's race. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Bard Valliere)

MaplesFlagHigh040714.jpg
Holding the Texas state flag high, Dallas-native Maj. William C. Maples nears the finish line after running 135 miles in 37 hours, 59 minutes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004. Maples went the distance, mostly nonstop, timed to coincide with the Badwater ultramarathon spanning from Death Valley to Mount Whitney in California. Since the 40-year-old is currently deployed to Iraq as the 1st Force Service Support Group's force protection officer, the six-time Badwater veteran couldn't actually participate in this year's race. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Bard Valliere)

SoakingFeet040714.jpg
After running 135 miles in 37 hours, 59 minutes, Maj. William C. Maples soaks his feet in cold water at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004. Maples ran the race, mostly nonstop, timed to coincide with the Badwater ultramarathon spanning from Death Valley to Mount Whitney in California. During his journey, he ran and speed-walked, enduring extreme heat, fatigue and even a rocket attack on the camp, yet sprinted to the finish. Since the 40-year-old Dallas-native is currently deployed to Iraq as the 1st Force Service Support Group's force protection officer, the six-time Badwater veteran couldn't actually participate in this year's race. (Photo by Sgt. Matt Epright)

TakingOffShoes040714.jpg
After running 135 miles in 37 hours, 59 minutes, Maj. William C. Maples peels off his shoes at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, on July 14, 2004. Maples switched back and forth between two pairs of running shoes and sweated through numerous pair of socks. Maples ran the race, mostly nonstop, timed to coincide with the Badwater ultramarathon spanning from Death Valley to Mount Whitney in California. During his journey, he ran and speed-walked, enduring extreme heat, fatigue and even a rocket attack on the camp, yet sprinted to the finish. Since the 40-year-old Dallas-native is currently deployed to Iraq as the 1st Force Service Support Group's force protection officer, the six-time Badwater veteran couldn't actually participate in this year's race. (Photo by Sgt. Matt Epright)