For Immediate Release
Runners to Challenge 135 Miles from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
KIEHL'S BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON
AdventureCORPS, Inc., an event production firm specializing in ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, will host the 30th Anniversary Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon on July 23-25, 2007. 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 (55c), 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 North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal 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. Whitney Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Competitors travel through places and landmarks including Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Keeler and Lone Pine.
The 2007 race roster include 43 Badwater veterans and 41 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. They represent fifteen countries - Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Jordan, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA - and twenty-two America states. There are sixteen women and sixty-eight men. The youngest runner is 24 while the oldest is 70, with an average age of 47.
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 Tucson, AZ resident Pam Reed, who also won that race, and the 2003 race, overall. It is expected that the winner of the 2007 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon will finish in 24 to 28 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 2007 race field is particularly competitive. Three former champions are competing: Dean Karnazes 44, of San Francisco, CA (2004), Marshall Ulrich, 56, of Idaho Springs, CO (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996), and David Jones, 55, of Eagleville, TN (1997). Other veteran contenders include Akos Konya, 32, of Oceanside, CA (Hungary citizenship), the 2006 runner-up, Charlie Engle, 44, of Greensboro, NC (3rd place finisher in 2005 and 2006), David Goggins, 32, of Chula Vista, CA (5th place finisher in 2006), and Albert Vallee, 48, of France (4th place in 2005). More than one rookie entrant will attempt to make their competitive mark this year, including Jorge Pacheco, 39, of Los Angeles, CA (Mexico citizenship), a superstar of the 50-mile and 100-mile ultrarunning scene who hopes to step up to the 135-mile Badwater distance this year; he did his homework by serving on Badwater support crews the past three years. Also noteworthy are two Brazilian runners who placed 1st and 5th in the recent Brooks Brazil 135, a founding member of the Badwater World Cup. They are, respectively, Valmir Nunes, 43, and Manoel Medes, 47. More info on the Badwater World Cup.
The women's field of sixteen is also deep with talent, including two former champions, Anne Langstaff, 46, of Alpine, CA, the 2001 champion, and seven-time finisher Lisa Smith-Batchen, 46, of Jackson, WY, the 1995, 1997, and 1998 champion. Other veteran contenders include Noora Alidina, 50, of Palm Harbor, FL (Jordan citizenship), who was 3rd in 2006 and Lisa Bliss, 39, of Spokane, WA, who was 3rd in 2004. Potential threats for the leadership of the women's race include Dagmar Grossheim, 45, of Germany, Tracy Thomas, 45, of Champaign, IL, and Jamie Donaldson, 32, of Littleton, CO. As with the men's race, though, every year is a new year at the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon, with "previously unknown" athletes surprising the contenders with top performances. New stars will shine as the race unfolds in July.
Now in its eighth year producing this race, AdventureCORPS is pleased to welcome the return of our title sponsor, Kiehl’s Since 1851®, for the fifth year in a row. 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. More info here.
AdventureCORPS is also pleased to welcome The Coleman Company® as a new sponsor of the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon. Coleman, "The Greatest Name in Camping Gear," produces the Official Race Cooler of the Badwater Ultramarathon and will supply Ultimate® Xtreme® Coolers to all race entrants and staff this July. More info here.
We also welcome the continuing support of race sponsors Hammer Nutrition, Injinji Performance Socks, ZombieRunner.com, Seasons Restaurant of Lone Pine, Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort, Panamint Springs Resort, Dow Villa of Lone Pine, the community of Lone Pine, CA, and many other generous companies and individuals. More info here.
The Official Charity of the 2007 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 ten million dollars and directly assisted over 2100 challenged athletes world wide. One of the goals of the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon is to raise funds for, and awareness of, this organization. More info here. This year, 63 of the race entrants are competing on behalf of a charity of their choice. Some of those include Challenged Athletes Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Reserve Aid, Team St. Luke's, UNICEF, One Campaign, World Havest Mission, Caring House Project Foundation, Valley of the Moon Children's Home, and many other worthy causes. The race roster includes links to the various charities.
This year’s race celebrates the 30th anniversary of ultrarunning pioneer and human potential guru Al Arnold's original trek from Badwater to Mt. Whitney in 1977. More about Al. Arnold competed in a solo effort: just Arnold and his support crew against the elements and the clock. The official head-to-head race began ten years after Arnold's pioneer trek, in 1987. More about the original race.
For the duration of the race, fans can follow the race through a “live” webcast produced by AdventureCORPS and hosted here at www.badwater.com/2007web/.
Professional quality images of the race as featured in the race webcast will be available. Contact the race office for further information. Press must apply for credentials in advance of the race - by emailing the race office - then check-in with the Media Liaison on Sunday, July 22.