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Insights and Anecdotes from Al Arnold

Memories from the man who went first, proving it possible (that’s Al at Badwater Basin in the photo above, when he attended the race in 2002):

In early 1961 I was invited to a gathering of scuba divers in Oakland. The guest speaker was Jacques Cousteau. At the end of his speech, he mingled with the club members in their bright dive club jackets. I wasn’t a member and so didn’t have the jacket. When they introduced me to Mr. Cousteau, he asked if I was a diver. A member said, “no, Jacques, he’s a jogger.” He flapped his arms and pointed at the sky and said “astronaut,” then he pointed at the floor with swimming motions and said “aquanaut.” Then he raised my arm overhead and said “Al, the joggernaut!” and everyone cheered. That’s the inception of the word “joggernaut,” which is how I was introduced to the Badwater 135 runners when I came to spectate the race in 2002.

Back in 1977 when I ran from Badwater to Mt. Whitney, there were humourous moments and there were serious moments:

I was running along my myself by Artist’s Canyon and this limousine came driving along. It pulled over and all these gorgeous women from Belgium got out. They wanted to know what I was doing, and then posed for pictures with me. I spent some time with them, but not enough, ha ha! The temperature was, of course, very hot. As a result, there was a mirage across the road and after they pulled away and headed down the road, it looked like the limo just ascended into the sky.

Later I made it to Panamint Springs and the Department of Transportation was stopping traffic from traveling up Hwy 190. There was demolition going on and there would be an eight-hour delay on the Father Crowley climb. Not wanting to wait eight hours, I grabbed two gallons of water and headed north, then west into the Panamint Valley desert. Eventually I ascended a rocky canyon all the way up to Father Crowley checkpoint, with the Cal Trans crews honking their horns so I would know which way to climb.

When I got back to the road, my only remaining crew member was Eric. I essentially was abandoned by the rest of my crew. (Earlier they had gone into Artist’s Canyon and I didn’t see them again until Stovepipe Wells. Fortunately Cal Trans came along and gave me water.)

Simply put, without the crew, there can be no runner, so I’m thankful to Eric for sticking with me for the whole run. Crew members have to train for the heat, be alert, and take this very, very seriously. It could be a matter of life and death.

Two weeks after my 1977 run from Badwater to Mt. Whitney, I was in Hawaii, at the beach. I was hit by by a wave and totally paralyzed. At the hospital I was diagnosed with Brown-Siccard Syndrome. They gave me a walker and said maybe in a year I would be able to walk a few steps. I gave them the walker back and told them to give it somebody who could use it.

Three days short of one year later, I ran around Lake Tahoe, 72 miles. Without a walker.

The body follows the mind, and with hard work and dedication, anything is possible!

*****

NOTE: Al Arnold is the Neil Armstrong and Edmund Hillary of ultramarathons, the first to run between Badwater and Mount Whitney, back in 1977, after two failed attempts in 1974 and 1975. He became the first inductee into the Badwater Hall of Fame in 2002, on the 25th anniversary of his historic run, and remains a staunch friend and fan of the race. He lives in Walnut Creek, CA and is 88 years old. His birthday is February 4, 1928. He can be reached by email at alarnold1977 “at” msn.com and loves hearing from fellow ultrarunners. His essays are archived here on the Badwater.com website.

 

July 2017 issue of BADWATER Magazine

Behold the July 2017 edition of Badwater Magazine. Thanks to the always awesome Kevin Fung for the design and layout! Thanks, too, to eight-time Badwater 135 official finisher Ian Parker for the cover photo! (See more of Ian’s superb nature photography and dramatic Badwater race photography at this link.) Thanks, Bob Corman of the Silver State 508 Hall of Fame for the precision printing!

All racers and support crews should study the magazine carefully. Each runner and staff member will receive a hard copy during Racer Check-In on July 9 in Stovepipe Wells.

Download the magazine (it’s 68 pages and 10MB) at this link.

2017 Badwater Cape Fear Webcast

Results | Roster | BADWATER Magazine | Race Website | Twitter @Badwater | Instagram @BadwaterHQ

Official Charity: Bald Head Island Conservancy Please Join and Donate today!

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The fourth annual Badwater Cape Fear 50km / 51mi ultramarathon took place March 18 this year on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. A field of 183 runners from seven countries and twenty-six American states competed, with 76 of 79 runners completing the 50km race and 101 of 104 runners completing the 51-mile race.

With 50km and 51-mile race options, Badwater® Cape Fear features a twelve-mile warm-up on the car-free, one-lane-wide roads of Bald Head Island, followed by either 19 or 39 miles of running on the wild and secluded sandy beach between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. The race is held along the Atlantic Seaboard with spectacular views of the Frying Pan Shoals to the east and wild and undeveloped marshlands to the west. Running this remote coast is a dramatic, invigorating, and inspiring manner in which to experience the Cape Fear region in all its grandeur!

This exquisite natural setting is the perfect antidote to the “real world” and a wonderful counterpart to the desert sands and mountains of Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert featured in the two West Coast BADWATER® races.

Registration is already open for the March 17, 2018 edition, and there is a 200-runner limit which will sell out. Whether you are a grizzled Badwater veteran, or looking to take on your first Badwater race, we hope you will join us!



Special thanks, Volunteers! YOU made it happen!

Pre-Race Support: Scott Kollins, Keith Weitz, Scott McAllister, Bob Becker, Pamela Hogue, Andrea Kooiman, Ashley Lindsey, Bernadette DePerty-DuBois, Natalie Nolasco, Payge McMahon, Ralph Griggers, Dave Krupski, Ethan Olds, Ray Sanchez, Jared Fetterolf, Michele Hallit, Keith Blade, Andrew Glaze, and others

Start Line: Scott Kollins, Keith Weitz, Scott McAllister, Mary Kashurba, and Chris Kostman

Flagpole: Steve Henson

Directions: Steve Henson, Chris Shank, Gerald Godoy, Mona Landy, Julie Lee, and others

Bald Head Island Conservancy (CP1): Emily Ryan, Payge McMahon,  Poul Lindegaard, Natalie Momier, Tammy Calloway, and others

Mid-Beach / Friends of Pleasure Island State Parks: Jeff Winchester, Michelle Beasley, Chris & Kathy Batchelor, Ann Hood, Daniel Kempt, and Bob Maffitt; plus Mary Kashurba, Karen Williams, Sarah Hoss, and Steve Willett (with assistance from Fort Fisher State Recreation Area rangers!)

Fort Fisher: Scott Kollins, Keith Weitz, Eleanor Erickson, Jack Erickson, and Scott McAllister (with assistance from Fort Fisher State Recreation Area rangers!)

Finish Line: Chris Kostman, Mona Landry, Poul Lindegaard, Chris Shank, Michele Hallit, and others

Timing: Brooke Milligan, Amber Walters, Natalie Momier, and Tammy Calloway  of Bald Head Island Conservancy

Photography: Robert Lee of BeamCatchers and Chris Kostman

Public Safety support: Village of Bald Head Island Public Safety and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Rangers

Thank You!

This event is held under permits from the Village of Bald head Island and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, and with the incredible support of Bald Head Island Conservancy and Friends of Pleasure Island State Parks. We thank them, and all our North Carolina friends, for their support!

Runners round Cape Fear itself during the 2017 Badwater Cape Fear, captured on 35mm film by Chris Kostman

LIVE TRACKING FOR MT. GAOLIGONG ULTRA IN TENGCHONG, YUNNAN, CHINA

Oak Park, CA / Tengchong, China – BADWATER®, the world’s toughest brand, is pleased to announce the inaugural Mt. Gaoligong Ultra in Tengchong, Yunnan Province, China on November 18-19, 2016. The Badwater Race Director, Chris Kostman, is serving as the Co-Race Director and is involved with every aspect of the race. The 104-mile (168km) challenge – with a 36-hour time limit and and 29,000 feet (8800m) of elevation gain – is a mountain trail race through history and time. Live tracking of the competitors will be available both here on this page, as well as on the official website for the race at this link: MtGaoligong.com. The full race roster is below, and the field includes seventeen Badwater 135 veterans, many of whom are featured on the official race website at this link. Also below is the course map (which includes a 124km / 77mi “short cut” route with alternate awards and results), elevation profile, and outline of the checkpoints.

For our full race announcement, including a remarkable promotional video, click here.

Roster By Bib #: (scroll down for roster by first name)

Bib Name M/F Nation Age
2 Michel Pierre Poletti Male France 61
3 Mick Thwaites Male Australian 42
5 Nathan Montague Male United Kingdom 36
6 Jiang Tao Male China 39
7 Tu Dan Male China 38
8 Kerri Kanuga Female Grand Cayman Island 46
10 Frederic Asseline Male France 47
11 Andrew Glaze Male U.S.A 38
12 Jared Fetterolf Male U.S.A 28
13 Dai HongFei Male China 39
15 Bogdan Onyschenko Male Ukraine 41
16 David Tan Tian Wee Male Singapore 40
17 Cheryl J. Bihag Female Phillippine 43
18 Yang SuQi Female China 41
19 Lv ZhongLin Male China 42
20 Oksana Riabova Female Ukraine 28
21 Bai YuQiu Female China 45
22 Pu GeWen Male China 42
23 Luo CanHua Male China 24
25 Yuan KaiHong Male China 28
26 Hua ZhaoHong Male China 30
27 Shi HongXia Female China 38
28 Wei Chao Male China 32
29 Xie Peng Male China 32
30 Li Qiang Male China 30
31 Chen Kun Male China 39
32 Wang XiJun Male China 40
33 Jimmy Dean Freeman Male U.S.A 40
35 Sun Jian Male China 32
36 Joshua Holmes Male U.S.A 38
37 Stacey Shand Female Canada 37
39 Su ZhenLei Male China 34
40 Mauro Chasilew Male Brazil 47
41 Ray Sanchez Male U.S.A 49
42 Yu YanMeng Female China 27
43 Hiroyuki Nishimura Male Japan 46
46 Qin JunPing Male China 40
47 Andrea Kooiman Female U.S.A 41
48 Shi Feng Male China 30
49 Wu ZeNan Female China 26
50 Yuan Yuan Female China 35
51 Catra Corbett Female U.S.A 51
52 Gong MingCheng Male China 48
53 Li RenLi Male China 39
55 Luigi Dessy Male U.S.A 38
56 Yang Xiao Bo Male China 16
57 Huang YanBo Male China 38
58 Dion Leonard Male United Kingdom 41
59 Li GuoZhi Male China 64
60 Marcia Zhou Female U.S.A 28
70 Bob Becker Male U.S.A 71
84 Danny Westergaard Male U.S.A 57
87 Dan Lawson Male United Kingdom 43
93 Breeze Sharma Male India 42
99 Greg Pressler Male U.S.A 49

Roster by First Name:

Bib Full name M/F Nation Age
47 Andrea Kooiman Female U.S.A 41
11 Andrew Glaze Male U.S.A 38
21 Bai YuQiu Female China 45
70 Bob Becker Male U.S.A 71
15 Bogdan Onyschenko Male Ukraine 41
93 Breeze Sharma Male India 42
51 Catra Corbett Female U.S.A 51
31 Chen Kun Male China 39
17 Cheryl J. Bihag Female Phillippine 43
13 Dai HongFei Male China 39
87 Dan Lawson Male United Kingdom 43
84 Danny Westergaard Male U.S.A 57
16 David Tan Tian Wee Male Singapore 40
58 Dion Leonard Male United Kingdom 41
10 Frederic Asseline Male France 47
52 Gong MingCheng Male China 48
99 Greg Pressler Male U.S.A 49
43 Hiroyuki Nishimura Male Japan 46
26 Hua ZhaoHong Male China 30
57 Huang YanBo Male China 38
12 Jared Fetterolf Male U.S.A 28
6 Jiang Tao Male China 39
33 Jimmy Dean Freeman Male U.S.A 40
36 Joshua Holmes Male U.S.A 38
8 Kerri Kanuga Female Grand Cayman Island 46
59 Li GuoZhi Male China 64
30 Li Qiang Male China 30
53 Li RenLi Male China 39
55 Luigi Dessy Male U.S.A 38
23 Luo CanHua Male China 24
19 Lv ZhongLin Male China 42
60 Marcia Zhou Female U.S.A 28
40 Mauro Chasilew Male Brazil 47
2 Michel Pierre Poletti Male France 61
3 Mick Thwaites Male Australian 42
5 Nathan Montague Male United Kingdom 36
20 Oksana Riabova Female Ukraine 28
22 Pu GeWen Male China 42
46 Qin JunPing Male China 40
41 Ray Sanchez Male U.S.A 49
48 Shi Feng Male China 30
27 Shi HongXia Female China 38
37 Stacey Shand Female Canada 37
39 Su ZhenLei Male China 34
35 Sun Jian Male China 32
32 Wang XiJun Male China 40
28 Wei Chao Male China 32
49 Wu ZeNan Female China 26
29 Xie Peng Male China 32
18 Yang SuQi Female China 41
56 Yang Xiao Bo Male China 16
42 Yu YanMeng Female China 27
25 Yuan KaiHong Male China 28
50 Yuan Yuan Female China 35
7 涂丹(Tu Dan ) Male China 38

168kmcoursemap 168kmcp 168kmelevation

 

BADWATER announces Mt. Gaoligong Ultra in Tengchong, Yunnan Province, China

Held in “China’s Colorado,” Mt Gaoligong Ultra is a Mountain Trail Race through Time and History

Oak Park, CA / Tengchong, China – BADWATER®, the world’s toughest brand, is pleased to announce the inaugural Mt. Gaoligong Ultra in Tengchong, Yunnan Province, China on November 18-19 of this year. The 104-mile (168km) challenge – with a 36-hour time limit and 29,000 feet (8800m) of elevation gain – is a mountain trail race through history and time.

As befits anything that Badwater is developing and backing, the Mt. Gaoligong Ultra is extremely difficult, with well over 29,000 feet (8800m) of cumulative elevation gain, and a corresponding loss of more than 29,000 feet. It will be held primarily on mountain trails, including single track, double track, jeep roads, and some cobblestone paths. The start line will be at the Yin and Yang Gates in WenZhi-GuangChang Square in Tenchong – allowing the racers to balance their energies as they embark upon this epic challenge – but quickly disappears into the Mt. Gaoligong National Park and mountain range in all its green grandeur covered in trees, bamboo, ferns, and the occasional rice paddy.

Sections of the route traverse the 2400-year-old Southern Silk Road, while the Stillwell Road, a critical supply line built by the Americans during World War II, is also part of the race route. (Americans are particularly appreciated in Tengchong, in part because of the Stillwell Road, and also because the Flying Tigers – American pilots who volunteered to fly for the Chinese during WWII – were based here. (A large sculpture commemorates them outside the Tengchong Airport.) The finish line will be in 600-year-old HeShun Town, the ancient, cobblestone part of Tengchong, providing a historic and exhilarating final few miles for the racers as they complete their historic tour.

The race will be fully supported, with a marked trail, 14 fully stocked aid stations, drop bag service, and more; personal support crews are neither necessary nor encouraged due to the remoteness of the route. Though the main event will be the full 104-mile route, a 77-mile (124km) “short cut” route will be offered mid-race for those not on schedule to finish the entire route within the 36-hour time limit.

Registration for the event is already open, and many well-known Badwater race veterans have already registered. These include Americans Bob Becker, Catra Corbett, Jimmy Dean Freeman, Jared Fetterolf, Joshua Holmes, Andrea Kooiman, Greg Pressler, Ray Sanchez, and Danny Westergaard, plus Luigi Dessy of Puerto Rico, Mick Thwaites of Australia, Dan Lawson of the United Kingdom, Mauro Chasilew of Brazil, Stacey Shand of Canada, Breze Sharma of India, and Hiroyuki Nishimura of Japan.

This new race is not a Badwater® race, per se, but it is a “Badwater Presents” event which Chris Kostman, the Badwater Race Director, is helping to develop and for which he serves as co-race director. Kostman’s Chinese partners, XingZhi Yunnan Co. Ltd, are absolute professionals and extremely enthusiastic to host a world-class event this November, and annually thereafter.  Kostman’s Chinese co-race director, Lin Ma, is rock solid and Kostman’s nickname for him is “Mr. Cool.” Even though his English is minimal and Kostman’s Chinese is even more non-existent, they both speak the same language when it comes to developing and hosting incredible, life-changing sporting events. Another of the principals from XingZhi, Margaret King, recently attended the STYR Labs Badwater 135, which Kostman directs. She and her colleagues work for  XingZhi, a China-wide event production company helmed by Xiangdong (Ben) Qu, with over a decade of experience hosting scores of multi-day endurance events with up to 2000 entrants. All their events emphasize the crossroads between sport, culture, and tourism.

Hired as a consultant because of this 32 years of developing world-class – and world-famous – ultra events, Kostman spent eight days in Tengchong in June consulting on every aspect of the race, from routing to start line and finish line, trail marking, aid stations, medical support, communications, marketing, and more. Said Kostman, “I literally spent a full week teaching ‘the Badwater Way’ of creating, hosting, directing, managing, and marketing events. Fourteen to eighteen people shadowed my every move and took about a hundred pages of notes! On top of that, I was absolutely blown away by the entire route, the historic setting, and even more so by my Chinese partners!” Since June, Kostman and his Chinese colleagues have been having regular WeChat video conferences to work together to develop the race. In November, Kostman will be spend a full month in China to help host and direct the race. Further collaborations there and elsewhere in China are already in development.

For 2016 Mt. Gaoligong Ultra race results and live GPS tracking, click here.

Co-Race Directos Chris Kostman and Lin Ma exchange gifts during the Contract Signing Ceremony at Tengchong City Hall on June 13, 2016.

Co-Race Directors Chris Kostman and Lin Ma exchange gifts during the Contract Signing Ceremony at Tengchong City Hall on June 13, 2016.

Kostman is a lifelong historian who speaks several languages, has traveled extensively in over 50 countries, and worked for ten years as an archaeologist in the Middle East and South Asia. As such, the historic setting and deep multi-cultural opportunities of this event intrigue and inspire him on many levels: “I couldn’t be more thrilled about the race, the route, the history, and my partnership with the team at XingZhi. Bringing together my love of history and culture, with ultra sporting events, is a dream come true for me. But beyond that, I truly believe this race will be quickly recognized as one of the world’s top ‘Must Do’ ultramarathons. Plus, ultra running is relatively new to China as they have only about ten ultramarathons, so I’m excited and privileged to help bring this sport to the Chinese mainstream!”

The official website, including registration link, is http://www.mtgaoligong.com/

The race is also featured here on the Badwater website.

For Further Information, Contact:

Race Management: Margaret King of XingZhi Co. Ltd. at jindoudou “at” exploring.cn

Runners / Participants Contact: Ms. Zoe Qianzhao of XingZhi Yunnan Co. Ltd. at zhaoqian “at” expewise.com

Race Director / International Representative: Chris Kostman of AdventureCORPS at adventurecorps “at” gmail.com

AdventureCORPS announces Fisher Space Pen as Official Pen of Badwater

Oak Park, CA – AdventureCORPS® is pleased to formally announce its partnership with Fisher Space Pen® of Boulder City, NV and to recognize Fisher Space Pen – American-made pens originally created for the space program – as the Official Pen of Badwater®, the world’s toughest brand and the world’s toughest races.

AdventureCORPS and Badwater only partner with reputable brands with similar values and which already have a proven track record among Badwater athletes. In this case, AdventureCORPS Chief Adventure Officer and Race Director Chris Kostman has been a fan and user of Fisher Space Pens for as long as he can remember. Although Chris never lived out his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, he’s remained a staunch advocate of space exploration and all things NASA.

Fisher Space Pen rose to prominence when founder Paul Fisher invented a retractable, pressurized pen called the Anti-Gravity 7 (#AG7) that worked flawlessly in zero gravity aboard the first manned Apollo mission in 1968. Five decades later the company continues to thrive with pens still flown aboard every manned space flight.

Besides organizing the world’s toughest races, Chris has worked as an archaeologist across the Middle East and South Asia, is a technical cave diver, and has competed in wintertime snowshoe races across Alaska. Through it all, he’s been a Space Pen user.  “These pens write upside down, under water, in temperatures as cold as 30 below and 250 above, in zero gravity, and they essentially last forever! Fisher Space Pen is an iconic American brand built to perform in extreme conditions, so a partnership with Badwater is an absolutely perfect fit,” said Kostman.

As a result of this partnership, all entrants in all four BADWATER races, including the legendary STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 18-20, Silver State 508 ultracycling race on September 17-19, and Badwater Cape Fear on March 18, 2017 are receiving Fisher Space Pens which feature a laser etching of the BADWATER® brand logo. The feedback from the runners who received them already at the May 1-2 Badwater Salton Sea has been, well, out of this world.

“Fisher Space Pens are the most extreme writing instruments – both in and out of this world. We are proud to be a partner with BADWATER on their extreme races! Do something worth writing about,” commented Matt Fisher, VP of Sales for Fisher Space Pen, and the grandson of the founder and inventor, Paul C. Fisher.

More info at http://www.spacepen.com 

It's no coincidence that the Fisher Space Pen display boxes look like the surface of the moon! Fisher Space Pens have been carried on every manned NASA mission since Apollo 7!

It’s no coincidence that the Fisher Space Pen display boxes look like the surface of the moon! Fisher Space Pens have been carried on every manned NASA mission since Apollo 7!

Farm To Feet™ : Official Sock of BADWATER®

Oak Park, CA – AdventureCORPS® is pleased to formally announce its partnership with Farm To Feet™ Socks of Mt. Airy, NC and to recognize them as the Official Sock of Badwater®, the world’s toughest brand and the world’s toughest races.

AdventureCORPS and Badwater only partner with reputable brands with similar values and which already have a proven track record among Badwater athletes. AdventureCORPS first learned of the American-made Farm to Feet socks from Pam Rickard, a veteran of Badwater Cape Fear and Badwater Salton Sea who is a big fan of these wool socks made in her home state of Virginia. Rickard sent two pair to Chris Kostman, the BADWATER race director, and he wore them every day while running the eight-day Badwater Presents Mustang Trail Race in Nepal last October. He came away with happy feet, no blisters, and totally impressed. Kostman said “I have long been sold on merino wool because it is simply the best fabric to put against the skin: it almost has ‘artificial intelligence’ because it ‘knows’ whether the wearer needs to be warm or cool. It’s wicking property is unparalleled, and one can wear wool for several DAYS before it starts to stink! These Farm To Feet socks are the ultimate for the training and racing that the world’s toughest athletes take on!”

All entrants in all 2016 BADWATER races, including the legendary STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 18-20 and the Silver State 508 ultracycling race on September 17-19, are receiving Farm To Feet Socks and the feedback from the March 19 Badwater Cape Fear and May 1-2 Badwater Salton Sea sock wearers has been incredible favorable.

Farm To Feet is committed to goal of creating the world’s best wool socks by exclusively using an all-American recipe: US materials, US manufacturing, and US workers. Using a domestic supply chain, Farm To Feet manufactures premium products with the highest quality materials, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Get a 15% discount when you order Farm To Feet by mentioning BADWATER at www.farmtofeet.com

F2Fad

Badwater Pioneer Al Arnold Wishes the 2016 Competitors Well

Hello Badwater Ultramarathoners!

Hopefully you will be successful in your quest. But, as you meet the challenges ahead, ALWAYS stay hydrated. Its been a long time since we have had another ‘Roger Rabbit’ … Chris can explain. Remember, you are a guest and only because of the endless meetings between Chris and Government Agencies. It wasn’t easy, but you’re here and that’s what counts. I repeat: keep hydrated. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences … even death.

I’m writing a book about my life, IL VECCHIO, The Old Man. Hopefully, I will be around long enough to complete it. (I’ve already passed the actuary tables.) As I review my drafts, it’s logical that, for no apparent reason, I chose to  challenge something that hadn’t been accomplished … Death Valley. That was a long time ago. Now it’s your turn.

Good luck and stay  safe.

AL

*****

NOTE: Al Arnold is the Neil Armstrong and Edmund Hillary of ultramarathons, the first to run between Badwater and Mount Whitney, back in 1977, after two failed attempts in 1974 and 1975. He became the first inductee into the Badwater Hall of Fame in 2002, on the 25th anniversary of his historic run, and remains a staunch friend and fan of the race. He lives in Walnut Creek, CA and is 88 years old. His birthday is February 4, 1928. He can be reached by email at alarnold1977 “at” msn.com and loves hearing from fellow ultrarunners. His essays are archived here on the Badwater.com website.

Al Arnold was the ultimate VIP when he visited the race in 2002. Photo at Badwater by Luis Escobar: Mark Johnson (L) and Scott Weber (R).

Heat Training Tips from a 20-Time Badwater 135 Finisher

Heat Training Tips

By Marshall Ulrich, 20-time Badwater 135 finisher

Are you planning to do a run or race in one of the hot deserts of the world? If so, you need to heat train! Let’s get you ready so you can put your dreams in action!

Heat training is one of my favorite subjects, as I’ve had to prepare for more than 25 crossings of Death Valley, in July, as well as other desert races.

A few things to keep in mind as you are heat training: It is possible to train, or acclimate to heat. Your body learns to sweat more, your veins come to the surface to aid in cooling, and your kidneys and lymph system learn to retain more sodium and other electrolytes. While humidity is a factor in some places, it is not much of a factor in deserts; less humidity means better evaporative cooling.

Heat training can be done anywhere, as long as you have access to a dry sauna:

  • Start heat training 6 to 8 weeks (4 weeks minimum) before your desert event.
  • Always drink plenty of water.
  • Be sure to add electrolytes (my favorite is Sustain tablets), including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Weigh yourself before and after you go in the sauna; drink at least 2 cups of fluid for every pound lost.
  • Have someone check in on you while you are in the sauna.

Here are week-by-week guidelines.

Week one: Find a dry sauna and set the heat to 180 to 200°F. Dress in swim trunks, weigh yourself, bring your water bottle and a towel to sit on and/or wipe sweat out of your eyes, and step in. Stay in about 20 minutes if you can, then step out of the sauna and take a 5 to 10 minute break at room temperature. Go back in for 15 minutes. Do this twice during the first week. You should notice some caking around your temples as you body “dumps” salt; this is normal. It is very important to drink as much as you can while you are in the sauna and during the break, including electrolytes. Finish with a cool down period/break at room temperature (continue to drink) until you feel like your temperature has returned to normal.

Weeks two and three: Go to the sauna two or three times a week. Stay in about 20 minutes, take a 5 to 10 minute break, go back in for 15 minutes, take another 5 to 10 minute break, then head back in for another 15 minutes. Finish with a cool down period. The amount of salt that your body is dumping should be decreasing, and you should be increasing the amount of water you’re drinking as your body learns to sweat sooner, and more, to cool you more effectively.

Weeks four and five: Go to the sauna three to four times a week. Stay in at least 30 minutes at a time, if you can, but continue to take 5 to 10 minute breaks. It is not necessary to exercise while in the sauna, but it helps; the simplest is to jog in place. If you want to add exercise in the sauna, this is the time to do it, as your body has begun to acclimate to the heat.

The final week(s): You should be able to stay in for about an hour with two to three 5-minute breaks, and you should be doing this three to four times a week. Your consumption of water should be almost double as you will be sweating more, sooner, for longer. Your sweat will not taste as salty.

Remember, you are stressing your body and you need to allow it to recover, so don’t drive around with the heater on in your car! This serves very little purpose and can cause serious harm if you pass out and have an accident.

An alternative to visiting the sauna is waiting until the heat of the day reaches 90 degrees and above, and run in dark sweats (top and bottom, top being most important). Start gradually as you did in the sauna and work up to about an hour and a half run. Take lots of water and drink, drink, drink, remembering to replace your electrolytes.

With both training scenarios, make sure you are peeing and monitor the color; it should be a light straw color. If it’s darker than that, you’re not drinking enough. A runny nose also signals good hydration. You can also pinch the skin on the back of your hand to check how quickly it rebounds—it should do so almost instantly; if it stays up in a tent shape, you’re not hydrating enough.

With appropriate heat training you can safely put your desert racing dreams in action!

##

The ultimate endurance athlete, Marshall Ulrich has run more than 120 ultramarathons averaging over 125 miles each, completed 12 expedition-length adventure races, and climbed the Seven Summits all on his first attempts. As of 2015, he is a 20-time finisher of the world’s toughest footrace, the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, including winning the race in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996.

Marshall finished the first-ever circumnavigation on foot of Death Valley National Park, about 425 miles in one of the hottest, driest places on earth, during the most blistering month in U.S. history (July 2012). He’s ranked this expedition as tougher than ascending Mount Everest, but not as challenging as his record-setting transcontinental run of more than 3,000 miles from San Francisco to New York City, which was the subject of his memoir, Running on Empty.

In his sixties, Marshall inspires adventurers, active and armchair athletes, and a growing general audience by sharing his experiences and defying the ideas of “too far,” “too old,” and “not possible.”

More info at marshallulrich.com

Marshall and his support team cross the Badwater 135 finish line for the 20th time in 2015!

Marshall and his support team celebrate his 20th Badwater 135 finish in 2015!

2016 STYR Labs Badwater 135 Pre-Race Press Release

STYR-Logo

THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST FOOT RACE CELEBRATES 39th ANNIVERSARY OF ICONIC ROUTE FROM DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK TO MOUNT WHITNEY

To download the full Press Release, Media Kit, and Credential Application in PDF format, click here. To download the July 2016 issue of BADWATER Magazine, click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Death Valley, CA:  On July 18-20, AdventureCORPS presents its legendary STYR Labs BADWATER® 135. Now in its 39th year, the world-renowned event pits up to 100 of the world’s toughest athletes against one another and the elements. In scorching temperatures and at altitudes as high as 8,300 feet, runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers from 21 countries and 27 American states will face off in a grueling 135-mile non-stop run from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA. Widely recognized as “the world’s toughest foot race, “ it is the most demanding and extreme running race 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 Whitney Portal at 8,300’ (2530m). The course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600’ (4450m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100’ (1859m) 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 with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Springs, Keeler, Alabama Hills, and Lone Pine.

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A true “challenge of the champions,” the 2016 STYR Labs Badwater 135 features 51 Badwater veterans and 46 rookies: die hard “ultra-runners” of every speed and ability, as well as athletes who have the necessary running credentials, but are primarily known for their exploits as adventure racers, mountaineers, triathletes, or in other extreme pursuits. With one of the most international fields in race history, the athletes represent twenty-one countries by citizenship or residence: Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America (with 27 different American states represented).

While runners began running the course in the 1970s, the race itself has been part of the fabric of life in Inyo County since 1987. A recent study indicated an annual economic impact of 1.2 million dollars, half of it spent in Death Valley National Park and surrounding gateway communities such as Lone Pine, CA. The race is supported by U.S. Congressman Col. Paul Cook (Ret.) of California’s 8th District, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, and a wide panorama of businesses and charities which are positively impacted.

There are 25 women and 72 men. The youngest male runner is 25 (rookie entrant Sam Weir of Austraila) and the youngest female entrant is 29 (rookie entrant Kayla Delk of the USA). The oldest male is 69 (five-time finisher Mark K. Olson of California) and the oldest female is 60 (rookie entrant Pamela Chapman-Markle of Texas). The overall average age is 46. Full roster details are available here: http://dbase.adventurecorps.com/roster.php?bw_eid=78&bw=Go

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 26:16:12 was set in 2010 by Jamie Donaldson of Littleton, CO. It is expected that the winners of the 2016 STYR Labs Badwater 135 will finish in near record time for both men’s and women’s divisions. The average finishing time is approximately 40 hours, while the overall time limit is 48 hours. For those who finish in less than forty-eight hours, their reward is the coveted Badwater 135 belt buckle. There is no prize money.

The 2016 race field is particularly competitive. Veteran contenders include 2015 men’s champion Pete Kostelnick of Nebraska, 2014 champion Harvey Lewis of Ohio, 2013 men’s champion Carlos Sa of Portugal, 2011 men’s champion Oswaldo Lopez of Madera, CA (Mexico citizenship), two-time men’s runner-up Grant Maughan of Australia, and other notable contenders such as Marathon des Sables champion Mohamad Ahansal of Morocco, Grand Union Canal champion Dan Lawson of the UK, 2016 Badwater Cape Fear and 2016 Badwater Salton Sea champion Jared Fetterolf of Texas, among others. Also competing is Marshall Ulrich, 65, of Evergreen, CO, a twenty-time Badwater 135 finisher and four-time winner in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996, along with David Jones, 64, of Murfreesboro, TN, the 1997 Badwater 135 race champion, seven-time finisher, and 60+ age group record holder. For a  full preview of the top men’s field, click here.

The women’s field, with 25 entrants, includes 12 rookies and 13 veterans. Notable contenders include the 2015 women’s champion, Nikki Wynd of Australia, 2014 women’s champion, Alyson Venti of Barbados, Badwater 135 veteran Brenda Guajardo who is a three-time winner of the Nove Colli ultramarathon in Italy, 2016 Brazil 135+ women’s champion Sada Crawford of Cayman Islands, and others. For a full preview of the top women’s field, click here.

Every year is a new year at the Badwater 135, with rookies and “previously unknown” athletes surprising the contenders with top performances. New stars will shine as the race unfolds.BAD-UltraCup.2The STYR Labs Badwater 135 is the final event in the Badwater® Ultra Cup, a three-race series which began with the 51-mile Badwater® Cape Fear in March, continued with the 81-mile Badwater® Salton Sea in May, and now concludes with the STYR Labs Badwater 135 in July. Those runners who complete all three events in the same calendar year are featured on the Badwater.com website and their virtues are extolled throughout the Internet and in future editions of BADWATER Magazine. In 2014, seven remarkable athletes completed the entire Badwater Ultra Cup, nine completed the 2015 Badwater Ultra Cup, while seventeen racers completed the first two Badwater races this year and will toe the line at the third and final Badwater race on July 18.

Now in its seventeenth year producing this race, AdventureCORPS is pleased to welcome our title sponsor, STYR Labs – an innovative nutrition customization and tracking platform delivering cutting-edge supplements to connected athletes and health and fitness consumers worldwide. The advanced ecosystem includes an activity tracker, wireless scale, and free app that collects health and fitness data to create personalized multivitamins or protein blends specific to the user’s health and fitness goals and needs. Sergio Radovcic, founder of STYR Labs, is no stranger to this race with three consecutive Badwater 135 finishes. More info at www.styr.com

AdventureCORPS  also greatly appreciates the support of Farm to Feet Socks, Fisher Space Pen, Caring House Project Foundation, ZZYXXZ, and ZombieRunner.com, plus the local support of Furnace Creek Ranch, Stovepipe Wells Resort, Panamint Springs Resort, Dow Villa, Pizza Factory, the community of Lone Pine, CA, the people of Inyo County, and other generous companies and individuals. More info: www.badwater.com/about-us/sponsors/

Official Charities of the Badwater 135 include 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 thirty million dollars and directly assisted thousands of challenged athletes world-wide. AdventureCORPS also supports the Bald Head Island Conservancy, Death Valley Natural History Association, Conservation Alliance, and One Percent For The Planet. One of the goals of the Badwater 135 is to raise funds for, and awareness of, these organizations. More info.

This year, over 50 of the race entrants are competing on behalf of a charity of their choice. Some of those include 100 Mile Club, Break the Stigma Project, Caring House Project Foundation, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Death Valley Natural History Association, Homes for our Troops, Hope So Bright, The Herren Project, and others.

This year’s race celebrates the 39th anniversary of Al Arnold’s original trek from Badwater to Mt. Whitney in 1977. Arnold, an ultrarunning pioneer and human potential guru, competed in a solo effort: it was 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, and has been held annually without serious incident, fatality, or any citations issued by any branch of law enforcement. For more info about Al Arnold and also the original race click these links:

1977 Al Arnold: http://www.badwater.com/blog/category/al-arnolds-insights/

1987 Race: http://www.badwater.com/blog/1987-the-year-badwater-became-a-race/


WEBCAST, RACE UPDATES, PRESS CREDENTIALS, AND FURTHER INFO:

A stock image gallery – for bona fide media use only – may be accessed at the following link, with Photographer Name / Badwater.com attribution required: www.flickr.com/photos/chriskostman/sets/72157654693333871

For the duration of the 2016 race, fans can follow the race through a “live” webcast at http://www.badwater.com/2016-styr-labs-badwater-135-webcast/

The Badwater 135 is held under permits from Death Valley National Park, California Department of Transportation, Inyo National Forest, and Inyo County. Media attending the event may be required to obtain permits from some of those same agencies.


FOLLOWING THE STYR LABS BADWATER 135 ONLINE

Follow the 2016 webcast at:

http://www.badwater.com/2016-styr-labs-badwater-135-webcast/

Follow the 2016 time splits and results at:

http://dbase.adventurecorps.com/results.php?bw_eid=78&bwr=Go

Follow the race on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/badwater

Official Hashtag: #Badwater135

Follow the race staff’s live photostream on Instagram:

http://instagram.com/badwaterHQ

Follow the race director’s live photostream on Instagram:

http://instagram.com/chriskostman

Follow the race staff’s photostream archive on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventurecorps/

Follow the race director’s photostream archive on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskostman/

Join the Facebook conversation:

http://www.facebook.com/badwater135

Download the July 2016 issue of BADWATER Magazine:

http://www.adventurecorps.com/downloads/bw/2016July.pdf


ABOUT ADVENTURECORPS, INC.:

Oak Park, CA-based AdventureCORPS®, Inc. is an athlete-run firm producing and promoting ultra-endurance sports events and the world’s toughest brand, BADWATER®. Adventure is our way of life. AdventureCORPS’ world-class events for athlete-adventurers include epic races such as the Badwater® 135, BADWATER® Salton Sea, BADWATER® Cape Fear, and Silver State 508™, and other events. Our products include the Badwater® line of apparel, skin care products, gear, and services. Founded in 1984 by Chris Kostman, this group effort is dedicated to exploring the inner and outer universes, seeking adventure, energy, and insight both in daily life and “out there.” More info is available at  www.adventurecorps.com and www.badwater.com. Badwater® is a federally registered trademark owned by AdventureCORPS, Inc.

CONTACT:

Chris Kostman
Chief Adventure Officer and Race Director
AdventureCORPS, Inc. 638 Lindero Canyon Road, #311
Oak Park, CA 91377 USA

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