AdventureCORPS Presents
The 2005 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon Webcast

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Climbing and Descending

Tracy Fawns

Imagine running in 119-degree weather for 42 miles nonstop. Then, imagine running up a hill from sea level elevation to the summit of Townes Pass at 4965 feet of elevation. Then, run back down it to the next time station at Panamint Springs. While most people, including me, would think that it would be the final straw that broke the camel's back, it was surprising to find out that a good majority of the racers were preferring the climb instead of the long flat sun-beaten course leading up to it. On the climb to Townes Pass, which most of the racers were approaching in the late afternoon and early evening, there is a reprieve from the sun. At the summit, temperatures cooled to about 95 degrees and the racers had their crews throwing little celebration parties for them.

Charlie Engle, 43, is one such racer. Charlie is a producer for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and is hoping to make a documentary about his race this year. A website that has a link to Charlie's video bio is at Talking to his crew, Bob and Dean, they are a bit worried that he is pushing too hard, too soon. However, he is running strong and doing wonderfully; he is not having many problems. Right before the ascent to the summit of Townes Pass, Charlie stopped and had a massage by a crewmember. When I last saw Charlie, he was celebrating at the summit and looking great!