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BADWATER Salton Sea Race Rules (Updated 4-20-14)

General Race Rules

  1. All runners must check in at the start line, ready to race, at 0630 and the race will begin at 0700 on May 5, 2014.
  2. There are only three divisions: men's team, women's team, and mixed team.
  3. The race number must be worn and visible at all times during the race. It can be placed anywhere obvious: hat, hydration pack, number belt, chest or back of shirt, etc.
  4. The clock does not stop for any reason until the race course officially closes after 28 hours. All racers must leave the course by the 28th hour.
  5. Running must always be single file and outside the white "fog line" on the edge of the roadway. Running should be off the left side of the road, facing traffic. Running well away from the pavement may be done on either side of the road, depending on which side is safest and has the best line of sight. The intent of the rules and the event's concept is that all running is done outside the white "fog line" and therefore never in any traffic lane (except during the first 6.7 miles through Salton City, where all running is down local roads.)
  6. All members of each team must remain together while running (within 25 meters) at all times. Teams must make their presence known at all Time Stations located along the route and may only depart each Time Station together. Team arrival times at Time Stations will be recorded and made public. All members of each team must run the entire distance and cross the finish line together to be considered Official Finishers.
  7. Teams which do not complete the course intact (i.e. one or two team members drops out along the way) will not be ranked, but the remaining team members are encouraged to complete the race under all applicable race rules and their finishing times will be listed as "HON," short for "Honorary Finisher." Finisher buckles will be awarded only to all intact team members who complete the full 81-mile route within the guidelines of the race, but only intact teams of three will be ranked as Official Finishers. HON finishers will not be eligible for the Badwater 135 Qualifying Lottery, explained below.
  8. Racers, crew, and staff must not litter, mar, or pollute the landscape or environment.
  9. All racers, crew and staff must display courtesy, good taste, decorum, and sportsmanship at all times. Nudity is specifically not allowed.

Legal and Bureaucratic Issues

  1. All racers must follow and complete the entire application and entry process, filling out all forms and paying all necessary fees.
  2. All racers and all crew members must sign the Accident Waiver and Release of Liability / Release of Name and Likeness. Each racer must also bring the properly completed Check-In Form and Medical History Form to Runner Check-In.
  3. All race vehicles must meet the minimum requirements of property damage and personal injury liability automobile insurance for the State of California. All vehicle drivers must be fully licensed.
  4. All racers and all support team members must attend Racer Check-In and the Pre-Race Meeting.
  5. All entrants must bring one U.S. dollar (or more) in a sealed envelope to Racer Check-In. Please write the runner number on the envelope. This envelope will not be returned and the money will be donated to charity.
  6. During Racer Check-In, all entrants must display ONE satisfactory reflective vest and TWO blinking red lights PER RUNNER and PER CREW MEMBER. These must be worn and utilized by the runners and crew at all times while outside of vehicles during nighttime periods of the race. Runners without satisfactory quality, or quantity, nighttime safety equipment will not be allowed to compete.
  7. All applicants must be a minimum of 18 years in age when submitting an application to race.
  8. All racers must be willing to submit to a drug urine test before (at any point prior to the race, after being officially confirmed for entry), during (at any time), or after the race (up to 90 days after the conclusion of the race). If any WADA banned substances are detected, the racer - AND THEREFORE HIS OR HER TEAM - will be disqualified from competition, listed as DISQUALIFIED FOR DOPING in the final standings of the race, and banned for life from any AdventureCORPS event. Refusal to submit a urine specimen upon demand will also result in the racer being disqualified from competition, being listed as DISQUALIFIED FOR DOPING in the final standings of the race, and being banned for life from any AdventureCORPS event. Additionally, any BADWATER Salton Sea finisher who fails a drug test within 36 months after competing in any edition of BADWATER Salton Sea will be retroactively disqualified from any and all previous BADWATER: Salton Sea races, removed from all BADWATER Salton Sea race results, as well as banned for life from any AdventureCORPS events.
  9. No TV, film, or video crew, person, producer, director or other broadcast media representative may accompany or cover any racer or the race itself without the specific written permission of AdventureCORPS, Inc. All film crews must sign a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement and, potentially, pay a Rights Fee. Additionally, multiple government agencies may also require payment of a filming fee and signature of a filming agreement.

Support Crew and Assistance

  1. Each team must be accompanied by a support crew comprised of no more than one four-wheeled motor vehicle and a minimum of two crew members - both of whom are legally licensed to drive and at least one of whom can speak English - at all times. Each team must have its own dedicated personal support crew and vehicle; crew and support vehicles may not be shared, except informally in the spirit of the event, i.e., support crews may lend assistance to other teams, racers, or crews. "Unofficial crews or crew vehicles" and "family cheering squads" are not allowed at the race.
  2. Runners must progress under their own power without drafting, helping, pushing, supporting, or any other type of physical assistance, EXCEPT from their teammates. (Teammates may help one another in any reasonable manner, including pushing, pulling, towing, an the like.)
  3. Runners may not use walking sticks, ski poles, or the like. So-called "cooling vests" or other types of artificial / technological cooling systems may not be worn or utilized by race entrants while making forward progress on the race course. (More info.) Crewmembers may not carry an umbrella or shade cover for a runner, except while stationary.
  4. Runners may not be accompanied by a crew member at any given time while making forward progress on the race course, EXCEPT during brief moments when supplies are being handed off. Crew members that are handing off supplies, or otherwise providing aid to the runners, must be off the roadway at all times (i.e. outside the white "fog line" on the shoulder). Crew members may not run in front of race entrants at any time. Crew members may not accompany runners during the trail section of the race (mile 40.6 to mile 48.5.)
  5. After mile 6.7 (leaving Salton City), runners must NEVER run abreast with other runners: All running must be single-file.
  6. Crew members may not use illegal drugs, stimulants, or dope, as well as alcohol of any kind, during the race or at any official race events or activities.
  7. Wheeled conveyances (other than a motorized support vehicle), including in-line skates, strollers, and bicycles, are prohibited on the course at all times. Likewise for hovercrafts and helicopters. Runners accompanied by any such conveyance will be disqualified.

Support Vehicles

  1. The California Motor Vehicle Code, and all local, county, and/or State Park laws, rules, and regulations, must be respected at all times. In particular, support vehicle drivers and crews are reminded that phones must only be operated by the driver with a hands-free device; seat belts must be worn by all vehicle occupants at all times while moving, and it is illegal to drive on a highway while displaying emergency flashers. For further information, consult the DMV Code.
  2. Support vehicles may not be wider than 78" in width (not counting mirrors, fenders, or bumper which extend beyond the widest part of the actual vehicle body.) Small Cars, Minivans, and SUVs are recommended. Oversize SUVs, vans, and trucks, or other types of oversize vehicles are strongly discouraged. Motorhomes, RVs, "SportsMobiles," Sprinter Vans, and all types of Hummers are specifically not allowed.
  3. All support vehicles must have their headlights on while driving, 24 hours a day, except as noted in Rule 8 in this section of the rules.
  4. All race vehicles must have highly visible signage on the back of the vehicle stating "CAUTION RUNNERS ON ROAD," as provided by the race organizers at Runner Check-In. (Teams may provide their own signage for this purpose, but its suitability will be inspected.)
  5. All support vehicles must have their Team's designated race number easily and clearly visible on all four sides. The race number must be at least 11" (28cm) tall. A high-visibility "paint pen" may be used to mark the team number in the lower right corner of the windows on all four sides of the vehicle, so long as it does not obstruct the view through any of the windows. (The race organizers will have several paint pens available for this purpose.) Alternatively, or additionally, teams may choose to have custom signage made to identify their vehicle: Team numbers are mandatory; Team Names are optional, but encouraged.
  6. Except as noted above, the view through vehicle windows may not be blocked or obstructed with any signage, paint, or the like. All vehicles will be inspected at the start line, and no team will be allowed to start the race which has any vehicle windows blocked excessively. If a team's support vehicle is found with blocked windows during the race, that team will be forced to stop and wait while the vehicle's windows are unblocked and signage properly mounted.
  7. Vehicles must "leapfrog" the runner at all times. Generally speaking. each "leapfrog" must be at least THREE MILES or more in length during daylight, and ONE MILE or more in length during nighttime. Racers may never be "shadowed" (driving a vehicle at the runner's speed) and vehicles must not "caravan" (drive together, like a train, at any speed). Driving may never be at the speed of any racer. Driving must be done at the speed of traffic, never slowing down to encourage, talk to, or lend assistance to any racer while moving. All assistance must be provided by pedestrian crew members; handing off of supplies from the vehicle is never allowed.
  8. Vehicles must be parked completely off the road surface whenever they are stopped (with all four tires right of the white line, preferably at least 8 feet beyond the white line). Many areas of the route have very little shoulder for parking, so care must be taken in choosing stopping places. When stopping/parking, vehicles may not stop on the left side of the road, except in VERY LARGE pullouts at which the vehicle will be at least 15 feet from the edge of the roadway. From 700pm to 700am each day (night) of the event, at all times while stopped or parked off the road, support vehicles must have their headlights turned off and emergency flashers turned on.

Safety and Medical Issues

  1. Remember, at all times and in all situations, safety is the most important issue. This means safety for racers, crew, staff, and the general public must always be respected. The roads are not closed for this event and may be, in fact, quite busy with tourist and local traffic.
  2. I.V.s (intravenous fluids) are not permitted during the race. If a racer receives an I.V. during the race, for any reason, then that racer is disqualified and must withdraw from the race and the race course. His or her teammates will also be disqualified, but may choose to finish the race course unofficially.
  3. From 700pm to 700am each day (night) of the event, while out of doors on the race course, all racers and all crewmembers must wear reflective material facing in all four directions, as well as blinking red lights facing front and rear. Racers and crewmembers are encouraged to wear reflective material during the day as well. We highly recommend the products from (click "Nighttime Running" in their store.)
  4. Racers are responsible for their own actions, their teammates's actions, and their crew’s actions; crews are responsible for both their own actions and their racers' actions.
  5. Always look and listen both ways before crossing the highways. Remember that drivers will not expect to encounter a racer or parked vehicle out on the course. Remember we are on public roads with no road closures or traffic monitoring. Racers should not cross over the highway more than necessary; crew should cross the highway carefully to bring assistance to their racer.
  6. All entrants and crew must study "Medical Risks in the Badwater Ultramarathon," "Dangers of Running in the Heat," and "The Dangers of Hot Weather Running".

Leaving the Course or Withdrawing

  1. Every inch of the course must be traveled by each racer. In the event of a routing error, e.g., wrong turn, the racer may be driven back to the exact original spot where he/she left the course and continue running from that location. There will be no allowance made for lost time or miles run in the wrong direction.
  2. If a racer or team needs to leave the course, his/her crew must note the exact location with a numbered stake in the ground. This numbered stake must be visible from the road in both directions. The racer and his or her team must then resume the race from the same place that he/she left it. The numbered stakes will be provided to all runners at Runner Check-In. Racers may only leave the course for appropriate reasons such as rest or medical attention. Focus must be kept on the speedy completion of the course.
  3. If a racer or team withdraws, he/she or his/her crew must contact Race Headquarters or a Time Station immediately. Team number, reason for withdrawal, time of withdrawal, and miles completed must be stated. All racers and crew who drop are encouraged - and expected - to come to the finish line and the post-race brunch to greet and celebrate with their fellow racers and crews.
  4. All Emergency Evacuation costs for participants or crews will be borne by that person or their heirs. The race organizers are in no way liable or responsible for emergency evacuation.


  1. All racers who begin the event will receive a BADWATER Salton Sea race t-shirt and Race Packet, as well as entry into the post-race brunch (for all racers and crew members per team). All teams which officially complete the event together within 28 hours will receive a finisher's buckle for each runner.

Badwater 135 Qualifying Lottery

  1. All individuals who completed the 2014 race officiaially, with their team still fully intact and recognized as an officially ranked teams, will have their names entered into a lottery. During the post-race brunch, three names will be selected at random from this lottery and those three individuals will receive Guanranteed Entry in the 2015 (not 2014) Badwater 135.
  2. NOTE: All other Badwater 135 qualifying standards must also be met (for example, the mandatory three 100-mile race finishes, with Badwater Salton Sea "counting" as one of the three 100-mile races), a full and complete Badwater 135 application must be submitted for the 2015 race during the standard application period, and the Badwater 135 entry fee must be paid in full.
  3. The Badwater 135 Qualifying Slots from the Badwater Salton Sea Official Finishers Lottery are non-transferable and must be used in 2015, or not at all.

Rule Enforcement and Penalties

  1. Race rules are designed to provide a safe and fair experience for everyone involved and to help ensure our ability to produce the race again next year.
  2. Major rule infractions by racers or their crew, especially those regarding "cheating," will result in immediate disqualification of the racer.
  3. Other, lesser offenses will result in the following cumulative time penalties:
    • First Penalty: One Hour
    • Second Penalty: Disqualification
  4. Time penalties are imposed at the finish line by adjusting finishing times.
  5. The Race Director has the authority, at any time, to overrule any rule or invent a new rule based on extenuating, unforeseen, and/or unusual circumstances and/or to maintain the integrity and fair play necessary for the successful completion, and continuation, of the race. The Race Director has ultimate authority in regards to all rules, their interpretation, and their enforcement. There is no "appeals committee" nor an "appeals process." All entrants in the race, and their support crews, willingly acknowledge this fact, as well as all other race rules, by attending the race in any capacity.
  6. In all cases and circumstances, it is the intent, and spirit, of the rules which will govern their implementation and enforcement.


  1. Have fun and keep smiling!