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For Immediate Release
Runners to Challenge 135 Miles from
Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
ADVENTURECORPS PRESENTS THE BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON
AdventureCORPS, Inc., an event production firm specializing in ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, will host the 32nd Anniversary Badwater Ultramarathon on July 13-15, 2009. Recognized globally as "the world's toughest foot race," this legendary event 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.
A true "challenge of the champions," the 2009 AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon features 50 Badwater veterans and 38 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 seventeen countries—Australia (1), Austria (2), Brazil (6), Canada (3), Denmark (1), El Salvador (1), France (7), Germany (2), India (1), Italy (1), Mexico (2), New Zealand (1), Romania (1), Spain (2), Switzerland (1), UK (5), and US (50)—and eighteen America states. There are 17 women and 71 men. The youngest runner is 19 (Nickademus Hollon of San Diego, CA) while the oldest is 67 (Arthur Webb, a ten-time finisher and the-time Badwater belt buckle recipient), with an average age of 46. More details.
The men's course record is held by Valmir Nunez of Brazil with a time of 22:51:29 set in 2007, while the women's course record of 26:51:33 was set in 2008 by Jamie Donaldson of Littleton, CO. It is expected that the winner of the 2009 Badwater Ultramarathon will finish in 22 to 26 hours. The average finishing time is approximately 44-48 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 2009 race field is particularly competitive. Veteran contenders include 2008 men’s champion Jorge Pacheco, 41, of Los Angeles, CA (Mexico citizenship) and Charlie Engle, 46, of Greensboro, NC (3rd place finisher in 2005 and 2006). Three former champions are also competing: Dean Karnazes 46, of Ross, CA (2004), Marshall Ulrich, 58, of Idaho Springs, CO (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996), and David Jones, 56, of Eagleville, TN (1997). Of special note, Marcos Farinazzo, 40, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will also compete. Farinazzo is the 2008 men’s champion, and course record holder, of the Brazil 135, a sister event held earlier this year.
The women's field, one of the largest in the history of the race, is also deep with talent, most notably 2008 women’s champion Jamie Donaldson, 34, of Littleton, CO and Pam Reed, 48, of Tucson, AZ, the 2002 and 2003 overall champion who also won the women’s field in 2005, along with Monica Scholz, 42, of Jerseyville, Ontario, Canada, a six-time finisher who led the women’s field in 2004 and 2006. Of note, eight of the top 14 finishers in 2008 were women, all finishing in less than 36 hours.
Every year is a new year at the 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 tenth year producing this race, AdventureCORPS is pleased to welcome the support of race sponsors Moeben Sleeves, ZombieRunner.com, and Hammer Nutrition, as well as RedOxx Quality Luggage, Joshua Tree Products, Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort, Panamint Springs Resort, Seasons Restaurant of Lone Pine, Pizza Factory of Lone Pine, 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 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 nineteen million dollars and directly assisted thousands of challenged athletes world wide. One of the goals of the Badwater Ultramarathon is to raise funds for, and awareness of, this organization. More info here.
This year, 62 of the race entrants are competing on behalf of a charity of their choice. Some of those include Caring House Project Foundation, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Death Valley Natural History Association, Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Terry Fox Foundation, UNICEF, World Harvest Mission, Valley of the Moon Children's Home, and others.
This year’s race celebrates the 32nd 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 http://www.badwater.com/2009web/. A steady stream of updates will also be posted through Twitter at http://twitter.com/adventurecorps
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 downloading the press kit—then check-in on Sunday, July 12 at the Pre-Race Meeting.
All potential media/professional organizations intending to shoot video in any format for any purpose or market must apply for permission to shoot the event and enter into a non-exclusive fiilming agreement, as well as apply for, and receive, filming permits from multiple government agencies.
The AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon is held under permits from Death Valley National Park, California Department of Transportation, Inyo National Forest, and Inyo County.
2009 Webcast (Searchable Database) | Results & Time Splits | Race Roster | Post-Race Report
Race Magazine (PDF) | 2009 News Archive | YouTube Channel