Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Andy Elder, 34, from London, England, is in his rookie year at Badwater. Running along with a water bottle in each hand, he is looking a bit tired and angry at the sun. However, he is progressing great and he has his crew handy at all times. Andy completed the Yukon Artic Ultra 100 in February of 2004 and this was, as he puts it, the most challenging ultra race he has ever completed. He was pounded with a mixture of extreme cold and the mental effects of severe physiological strain and loneliness. He had minimal back-up support, which provided an additional challenge. Andy is aiming to be the first British runner to complete both the hottest and the coldest ultra marathons in the world (Badwater and Yukon Artic Ultra 100). He has already raised $50,000 for charity and has another $30,000 in sight if he completes Badwater this year. I caught up to Andy at around 1:41 this afternoon en route to Time Station #4 at Darwin, where the temperature was a much cooler 104-degrees compared to yesterday. His crew told me that he had a bit of a tough time with the climb up to Townes Pass last night, but he has renewed spirits and strength now and is progressing nicely.