For Immediate Release
Runners to Challenge 135 Miles from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
KIEHL'S BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON
AdventureCORPS, an event production firm specializing in ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, will host the 29th Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon on July 24-26, 2006. A true "challenge of the champions," this legendary foot race pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes – runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers – against one another and the elements. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55 centigrade), it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.
The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at 8360' ’ (2533m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. 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, Keeler and Lone Pine.
The 2006 race roster includes Badwater veterans and rookies, die hard “ultra-runners” of every speed and ability, and athletes who have the necessary running credentials, but are primarily known for their exploits as adventure racers, mountaineers, triathletes, or in other extreme pursuits. It is an amazingly diverse group, the biggest ever assembled to compete in the race.
The men's course record is held by Scott Jurek of Seattle, WA with a time of 24:36:08 set in 2005, while the women's course record of 27:56:47 was set in 2002 by Tuscon, AZ resident Pam Reed, who also won that race, and the 2003 race, overall. It is expected that the winner of the 2006 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon will finish in 24 to 30 hours. The average finishing time is approximately 48 hours, while the overall time limit is 60 hours. For those who finish in less than forty-eight hours, their reward is the coveted Badwater belt buckle. There is no prize money.
The 2006 race will be the most competitive in history. Some of the top contenders include course record holder and 2005 champion Scott Jurek, 32, of Seattle, WA; Dean Karnazes, 43, of San Francisco, CA, the 2003 runner-up and 2004 champion; Ferg Hawke, 48, of Surrey, BC, Canada, the 2nd place finisher in 2004 and 2005; Dusan Mravlje, 53, of Trzici, Slovenia, the 2nd place finisher in 2000; Charlie Engle, 43, of Hermosa Beach, CA, the 3rd place finisher in 2005; and Marshall Ulrich, 55, of Idaho Springs, CO, the thirteen-finisher and four-time champion. Some of the top female contenders include Pam Reed, 45, of Tucson, AZ, the overall champion in 2002 and 2003 and women’s champion in 2005; Monica Scholz, 39, of Jerseyville, Ontario, Canada, the 2004 women’s champion and three-time 3rd place overall finisher; and Lisa Smith-Batchen, 45, of Victor, ID, a six-time finisher and three-time women’s champion.
Now in its seventh year producing this race, AdventureCORPS is pleased to welcome the return of our title sponsor, Kiehl’s Since 1851. 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. For more information, click here.
Additional race sponsors include The North Face, E-CAPS, Hammer Nutrition, Injinji Anatomical Interface Systems, ZombieRunner.com, Seasons Restaurant of Lone Pine, Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort, Dow Villa of Lone Pine, the community of Lone Pine, CA, and many other generous companies and individuals.
The Official Charity of the 2006 Kiehl's 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 six million dollars and directly assisted over 1400 challenged athletes world wide. One of the goals of the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon is to raise funds for, and awareness of, this organization.
Athletes, crew, fans, and friends of the race are encouraged to support this fine organization. Additionally, all entrants in the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon (as well as all other AdventureCORPS events) may become fund-raisers on behalf of CAF and thus dedicate their athletic efforts towards this wonderful cause. Fund-raising is made simple with a fully automated and personalized website where friends, family, and co-workers may log on and donate in a secure and simple manner. For more info, click here
For the duration of the race, fans can follow the race through a "live" webcast produced by AdventureCORPS and hosted at www.badwater.com/2006web/.
Immediately following the race, a Video News Release of the event will be available for News Purposes Only via Associated Press Television. Professional quality images of the race – as featured in the race webcast – will also be available. Contact the race office for further information.