True Stories from the Badwater Ultramarathon

This is an ongoing archive of Badwater stories, past, present, and future. If you have written something or would like to write something about any aspect of this event or its course, please send it our way for possible inclusion on this website. We are looking for articles about everything, especially first person "I was there" accounts of what it was like to race or crew on this course.

Books About Badwater

Check out this comprehensive list of titles that are either about the Badwater Ultramarathon or are authored by Badwater veterans and feature Badwater. Includes easy links to online merchants. Happy reading!

Race Reports

2009 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Evolution, Confidence, and Conflagration
2008 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Redemption, Records (and Rain?)
2007 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Records Broken as the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon Turns 30
2006 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Veterans Triumph at the 135-Mile Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon
2005 Race Report by Chris Kostman: 2005 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon: An "Unbreakable" Record Falls
2004 Race Report by Chris Kostman: San Francisco Adventure Runner Dean Karnazes Wins By A Mere Seven Minutes After 135 Miles
2003 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Pam Reed Does It Again At World's Toughest Foot Race
2002 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Female Runner Makes History By Dominating International Field of Racers In World's Toughest Foot Race
2001 Race Report by Chris Kostman: Californians Triumph in Mother Nature’s Greatest Sports Arena
2000 Race Report by Chris Kostman: A classic race is reborn as an epic international battlefield
Badwater Turns 25: History of the race from 1977 through 2002, by Roy Wallack (PDF reprinted from 2002 Race Magazine)
For Pete's Sake: the 1987 Race and the First Badwater Double, by Richard Benyo (PDF reprinted from 2004 Race Magazine)

2010 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

2010 AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon Recap #38, In-depth and very entertaining report by Charlie Nickell
Badwater Ultramarathon 2010 : ma course & notre épopée — an extremely well done video about the 2010 AdventureCORPS Badwater Ultramarathon with some of the best footage I have yet seen of the setting. It features the whole race, with a particular focus on Vincent Toumazou of France
Badwater Ultramarathon 2010 - FINISHED Business, a three-part race report by two-time Badwater finisher Iris Cooper Imhof. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
"Lessons Learned at Badwater" by Amanda McIntosh: Hammer Nutrition athlete, coach, and crew person for 2010 finisher Doug Ratliff
Crewing for Reza Baluchi, report by Steve Matsuda, crew person for Reza Baluchi—Badwater Ultramarathon's first Iranian finisher
Structural Elements Joins Team Newton Running at Badwater, race report by one of the crew for Ian Adamson
RailRiders Adventure Clothing interviews 2010 Badwater finisher Ian Adamson
Badwater Ultramarathon 2010 photo gallery by Ben Jones
Badwater: Mission Accomplished, by first-time finisher Dave Walker
Badwater Race Report, by 2010 women's champion and record holder Jamie Donaldson
Badwater 2010 Pictures, women's champion and record holder Jamie Donaldson shares her favoriite photos from this year's race
"The Power of Plan" - life lessons from my record breaking 2010 Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon, race report by five-time finisher Frank McKinney
Runner No. 82, race report by 46 year-old British ultrarunner and 2010 Badwater finisher Mark Steven Woolley
2010 Badwater Ultramarathon, race report by finisher Joe Judd
Journey to the Brink and Back, 2010 race report by first-time finisher Benjamin Elad
David Corfman on the Badwater Ultramarathon, 2010 race report by finisher David Corfman as it appeared on the Cincinnati Enquirer website
Paul Grimm's Badwater race in photos
Badwater: Part One, two-part race report by finisher James Elson. Part 1 | Part 2
How Hot Is Death Valley?, two-part race report by James Plant, crew person for two-time finisher Hung-Kwong Ng
Part 1 | Part 2
135 Amazing Miles, race report by two-time finisher Tony Portera
Abigail's Challenges: Running for Juvenile Diabetes, by 2010 finisher Tim Welch
2010 Badwater Race recap, by 2010 rookie finisher Brian Recore
Bloating, Blisters and Blitz to the Summit, Part 16, race report by 16-time finisher Marshall Ulrich
Live from Badwater and Badwater Was Awesome, blog reports by Deena Kastor, crew member for five-time finisher Shannon Farar-Griefer
2010 Badwater Ultramarathon Recap, in three parts by John Vigil—crew person for Susannah Harvey-Jamieson
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Massive multi-part blog report about Gregg Geerdes' 2010 Badwater race. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11
Badwater race video by Philipp Corfman, son of rookie finisher David Corfman

2009 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Badwater!, 2009 race report by finisher Steve Hanes
Badwater 2009 Crew Report, by Michael Hanes, crew person for finisher Steve Hanes
UltraAry - Badwater 2009, two-part photo montage documenting Brazilian finisher Ariovaldo Branco's Badwater race. Part 1 | Part 2
UltraAry - Badwater 2009, four-part video race report for Brazilian finisher Ariovaldo Branco. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Photo and video montage of four-time finisher Jonathan Gunderson and crew
Badwater Ultramarathon 2009 photo gallery by Ben Jones
Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon, race report by rookie finisher Tony Portera
Badwater Ultramarathon, 2009 race report by finisher Sharon Gayter
Phoenix man completes Badwater Ultramarathon, Feature story in the Arizona Republic on Perry Edinger's Badwater race; written by Bob Young
Audio slideshow of Perry Edinger's race, featured on azcentral.com
Elizabeth's 2009 Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon race recap, by finisher Elizabeth Carrion

2008 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Badwater 2008 photo gallery by Ben Jones
Badwater 2008 photo gallery by Badwater Medical Director Lisa Bliss
2008 Badwater Ultramarathon Crew Report, by Dave Bursler, crew person for 2008 finisher Phil Rosenstein
Badwater 2008 photo gallery by veteran Don Lundell of Badwater sponsor ZombieRunner.com
Hot on the Trail, In July, iRun runner-in-chief Ray Zahab and a small support crew followed Jen Segger as she embarked on the challenge of a lifetime - the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon
2008 Badwater Ultramarathon: The Call of the Desert, by finisher Alisa Springman
A Folly, by finisher Mary Gorski
Mary Gorski Goes the Distance - 135 Miles in Summertime Heat

2007 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Badwater 2007 race report by finisher Jan Herrmann
Three Part Article by Dave Remington (discusses charity, the race, nutrients)
3 years, 405 Badwater miles, and FINALLY a buckle! by finisher David Harper
Badwater, a Way of Life, by Ben and Denise Jones, 2007 Badwater Hall of Fame Inductees
(Story from the 2007 Race Magazine; PDF format.)
Badwater Ben Jones' photo gallery of the 2007 race
Crewing for a Champion, by Dave Bursler, crew for Lisa Bliss
My Badwater Family, by finisher Jamie Donaldson
Badwater 2007 by finisher Ludovic Chorgnon (Very extensive, with photos ) en Francais
Badwater 2007 photo gallery by veteran Don Lundell of Badwater sponsor ZombieRunner.com
Romancing the Stone, a 2007 Badwater Story by finisher Arthur Webb
Badwater and Extreme Event Survival, by nine-time official finisher Arthur Webb
Badwater Runner Adopted by Dr. King School: Todd Baum, 2007 finisher
(Includes multiple photos, plus video and media links)

2006 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

The Grinder, by eight time official finisher Arthur Webb
Badwater Ben Jones' photo gallery of the 2006 race
My Life at Badwater, by 11-time finisher and 2006 hall-of-fame inductee Jack Denness
(Story from the 2006 Race Magazine)
In Pursuit of the Elusive and Coveted Belt Buckle Badwater 2006, by finisher Bill LaDieu
Dr. Lisa Bliss' 2006 Badwater photo gallery
Fun in the Sun, 59-minute video created by finisher Jonathan Gunderson and his crew
Five-time finisher Ian Parker's 2006 Badwater web page with links to lots of great photos
Bad Feet at Badwater, from the Zombie Runner blog, written by Gillian Robinson
2006 Badwater Ultramarathon photos taken by Don Lundell of Zombie Runner
The Return of the Desert Fox, race report by 2006 finisher Guenter Boehnke (PDF, 8 pages)
The Return of the Desert Fox, race report by 2006 finisher Guenter Boehnke (PDF, 8 pages in German)
2006 finisher Jonathan Gunderson has a web site with a play-by-play report of his race, photos, and much more
Race report by 2006 rookie finisher Dave Bursler
2006 Badwater: Blisters, Broken Van, Dust Devils, High Humidity, Race report by 2006 finisher David Harper

2005 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Badwater Ben Jones' photo gallery of the 2005 race
Four-time finisher Ian Parker's 2005 Badwater web page with links to lots of great photos
Race report by Jason Dorgan, 2005 Badwater finisher (PDF, 13 pages)
For Arlington Man, a Marathon is Just a Warmup, story on 2005 finisher John Dodds that appeared in the Washington Post in August, 2005
Badwater Ultramarathon: A cuire au four... thermostat 50°!, extensive race report by 2005 finisher Gérard Cain. Contains over 150 photos. (French)
Badwater: Chaussée Brûlante, ("Badwater: Extreme Roadway") from the French magazine Ultrafondus: the most extensive Badwater report we've seen. (PDF, 29 pages in French)
Reflections on the 2005 Badwater Ultramarathon by Geoffrey Hilton-Barber, the first blind athlete to complete the race
2005 Badwater finisher Greg Minter has a great site with links to numerous photo galleries of the race and his training blog
2005 Badwater Ultra, race report by finisher Dave Harper
S.J. Man Shows he Can Take the Heat, story about finisher Dan Marinsik that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News
To Sleep Now or Later? by Nikki Seger, 2005 official finisher

2004 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Three-time finisher Ian Parker's 2004 Badwater web page with links to lots of great photos
Above & Beyond, Curt Maples was featured in this story about U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq who did more than just serve their country: they put time and effort into causes close to their hearts.
67:59:45 — A Long Time to be Outdoors in Death Valley by Jonathan Rice, crewmember for 11-time finisher Jack Denness
Albert Martens Survives Blistering Death Valley by crewmember Gwen Blatz, published in The Carallon newspaper of Southeastern Manitoba, Canada (PDF, 7 pages)
Bangemachen Gilt Nicht ("Fear Does Not Count") by Andrea Schuster-Betz, crewmember for Thomas Betz (German)
Höllische Leidenschaft ("Infernal Passion"), this coverage of the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon appeared in the German magazine FLOW (PDF, 7 pages)
See You on the Mountaintop by Arthur Webb, 2004 finisher
Trials and Travails of Team Coonhound and the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon by 2004 finisher Bruce Gungle
Death Valley Welcome by Guenter Boehnke, 2004 finisher (English)
Death Valley Welcome by Guenter Boehnke, 2004 finisher (German)
Racing Badwater for Camp Sunshine by Mike Brooks, 2004 finisher
Tusconians Reed and Gungle Tackle the Badwater Ultramarathon by Amit Mehrotra for the Arizona Daily Star
Badwater 2004 Race Report: Robert Wimmer #34 by Sebastian Bär, support crew (English)
Badwater 2004 Race Report: Robert Wimmer #34 by Sebastian Bär, support crew (German)
Baghdad Badwater: Major Curt Maples with 52 boxes of School Supplies for Iraqi School Children

2003 First Person Accounts, Profiles, Features, and More

Ian Parker's 2003 Badwater web page with links to lots of great photos
Desert Diva: Pam Reed's Run into the Record Books, This article, which originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Running Times, covers Pam Reed's overall win in the 2003 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon
The Long Road by Dan Marinsik, 2004 finisher, for The Magazine of Sigma Chi, Fall 2003. (PDF, 3 pages)
135 miles. 125 degrees. 3 mountain ranges. 2 days. No IVs. No prize money. It could only be ... by Mark Zeigler from the San Diego Union-Tribune
Bettendorf woman goes the distance to reach her goals, feature about 2003 finisher Bonnie Busch by Sean Moeller for Quad City Times
2003 finisher Luis Escobar's Badwater website with numerous images
Read Jack Denness' reports for EventRate.com, sent via satellite phone while he crewed for Wayne Simpson
The Last Lone Runner by 2003 honorable mention finisher Arthur Webb
Rooke to Veteran, Ultraladies’ Style: More Ultra, Less Lady by Nancy Shura, 2003 official finisher
A DNF story, One Step at a Time by Jody-Lynn Reicher, 2003 entrant and 2002 finisher
Badwater to Mt. Whitney: The Way to Happiness by Ivory Phillips, crew for 2003 official finisher John JR Radich
Badwater Week: And What a Week it Was by Scott Ludwig, 2003 official finisher
Badwater: My 4 and 1/2 Minutes of Fame by Bill Lockton, 2003 official finisher
Badwater, A Good Comfortable Road by Bill LaDieu, 2003 official finisher
Bad Water Maybe, but a Good Experience, Nonetheless by Marvin Snowbarger, 2003 race official
Badwater Runners' Report for the JustDo262 Yahoo Group by 2003 staffer and 2002 finisher Stephan Matsuda
Badwater: It Seems Foolish at First by Joe Prusaitis, 2003 finisher

2002 First Person Accounts, Profiles, and Poems

Badwater Turns 25: History of the race from 1977 through 2002 by Roy Wallack (Story from the 2002 Race Magazine, also published in Ultra Running Magazine.)
Finisher Ian Parker's 2002 Badwater web page with links to lots of great photos
Marathon is a Breeze Compared to this One: Tucson Marathon Organizer Recalls 135-miler by Amit Mehrotra, Arizona Daily Star
National Public Radio: Braving the Badwater Ultramarathon
2002 Badwater, The Tuffest by 2002 finisher Rick Nawrocki
Badwater Runners' Report for the JustDo262 Yahoo Group by 2002 finisher Stephan Matsuda
Badwater Threepeat by 2002 finisher Ruben Cantu
The Badwater Report by 2002 finisher Jan Ryerse
My Badwater 2002 Story by 2002 finisher Kari Marchant
Crewing for Kari by Howie Stern, crew for 2002 finisher Kari Marchant
Desert Dance by Larry Robbins
Reflections upon Badwater by 2002 finisher Angela Brunson
Steven Silver @ Badwater 2002 by Blade Norman, crew for 2002 finisher Steven Silver
Bridge Over Troubled Water by 2002 finisher Arthur Webb
Out of My League, or Home at Last? by 2002 finisher Vito Bialla
Running with the Gods by 2002 finisher George Biondic
Bild Magazine, German language coverage of 2002 finisher Winfried Friedel (large file size)
German language newspaper coverage of 2002 finisher Winfried Friedel (large file size)

2001 First Person Accounts and Profiles

Dead Run, a feature on Vilma Mejia by Michael Gougis, New Times L.A.
Badwater Poem by Eberhard Frixe of Germany
Brave One-Legged Briton Runs 135 Miles Across Desert in 130F Heat by Stewart Cook, London Daily Express (large file in jpg format with lots of photos)
One-Legged, One-Armed Runner Conquers Blistering Race through Death Valley by Stewart Cook, National Examiner USA (large file in jpg format with lots of photos)
Wenn Laufen Zur Nebensache Wird: Badwater Ultralauf 2001 von Dr. Holger Finkernagel
PDF format: requires Adoba Acrobat. Thirteen pages and lots of photos (in German)
Meeting the Challenge at the 2001 Badwater Ultramarathon by Phil Hicks for the Tyler Morning Telegraph
Retun to Badwater 2001 by Ruben Cantu
Mr. Bo Peep Runs Badwater by Arthur Webb
My Time in the Desert by Jim Benike
He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother by Courtney Boova, crew for Marshall Ulrich
Industriekaufmann Eberhard Frixe aus Meine durchquerte Death Valley by Annika Koch about Eberhard Frixe
From Lowest to Highest in 2001 by Rick Nawrocki, Cancer Survivor
Crewin' for Rick Nawrocki, the "Cry Tuff!" Man by Al Parell
Badwater Quad for Starving Children by Marshall Ulrich with lots of photos by Tony DiZinno
Badwater 2001: My Account by Rick Miller
Steven Silver's Badwater 2001 by Blade Norman
Shannon Farar-Griefer's Badwater 2001 Double Story
Badwaterultra.com: Website of the Week by Tom Owen, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier, Waterloo, Iowa
USMC Major Wm Curt Maples Barfathon at Badwater
Matt Palocsay's Badwater 2001 Story

2000 First Person Accounts and Profiles

My Journey through Hell by Arthur Webb, 2000 finisher
Scott McQueeney's Incredible Badwater Story Archive
Badwater 2000 Race Report From my Perspective by Scott McQueeney, 2000 finisher
Badwater 2000 by Rick Nawrocki, 2000 finisher and cancer survivor
Coach Weber's Badwater 2000 Incredible Photo Album and Race Report, by Scott Weber, 2000 finisher
Badwater Reflections by Erika Gerhardt, 2000 finisher
Life is Either and Adventure or Nothing at All by Dixie Madsen, 2000 finisher
Story From the Back by Frank Macmillan, 2000 finisher
Badwater 135. They Said it Could Not Be Done! by Lisa Smith, 2000 finisher
This Is My Story by Ruben Cantu, 2000 finisher
A Badwater (Love) Story... by Mick Justin, 2000 finisher
Badwater and Back by Chris Moon, 2000 finisher
The Relatively Uneventful Badwater 2000 by Lynne Werner, 2000 finisher
Badwater Ultramarathon Race Report in French, by Marc Perier, 2000 finisher

1999 First Person Accounts and Profiles

Breast Cancer Survivor Takes Second, this account of Louise Cooper-Lovelace's race appears on mountainzone.com
My Most Unforgettable Ultramarathon (& What I Learned From It) by Marshall Ulrich, first person account of his solo, UNASSISTED crossing prior to the 1999 race
Real Life for Us Wierdos by Adam Smiling Man Bookspan, 1999 finisher
Badwater 1999: What Worked / Didn't Work For Me by Scott Weber, 1999 finisher
Fire and Ice: the 1999 Badwater Story by Jason Hodde, 1999 entrant
The Arthur Webb and Steven Silver Badwater Saga by Arthur Webb, 1999 finisher
The Other Half of the Arthur Webb-Steven Silver Story by Steven Silver, 1999 finisher
A Crew Report, by Jim Wolff, 1999 crew for Steven Silver (with link to tons of race photos)
Badwater and Beyond by Lisa R. Smith, 1999 unofficial finisher
A Badwater High by Brian Manley, 1999 finisher
1999 Badwater Reflections by Ephraim Romesberg, age 68, 1999 finisher
Death Valley Hallucinations, a Personal Top Three List by Death Valley Jack Denness, 1999 finisher
Real Heroes by Joe Decker, 1999 finisher

Not So Ancient History: Where It All Started

Read original 1977 articles, with photos, about Al Arnold, the first person to complete the trek. Includes two PDF downloads.
Read an 1977 article from Marathon Magazine about Al Arnold—in full color! (5 meg PDF file).
Read original 1981 articles, with photos, about Jay Birmingham, the second person to complete the course.
Photos from Jay Birmingham's book, The Longest Hill, now online as a slideshow. Jay is the second person to complete the Badwater to Mt. Whitney course, back in 1981 (and again 2004).
Jay Birmingham's book, The Longest Hill, an in-depth look at his Badwater to Mt. Whitney run in 1981. This is the entire book!
I Was There when Hell Froze Over, By Tamara L. Dickey, stepdaughter and crew member for Jay Birmingham
Birmingham Sets Another Record by Greg Larson, Florida Times-Union, August 19, 1981
From Lowest to Highest: Birmingham Claims Another Record from The Starting Line Newsletter, September 1981
Death Valley: A Sojourner's View, by Jay Birmingham contrasting his 1981 and 2004 experiences (PDF)
Le Desert: Badwater Becomes a Race by Richard Benyo, originally printed in Runner's World, August 1988. Includes ten photos plus an additional Q&A interview article with Jeannie Ennis and Tom Crawford!
The Tale of Badwater Bart by Bob Wischnia, Runner's World, July 1990, regarding the 1989 race. (PDF)
For Pete's Sake: The First Badwater Double by Richard Benyo, 1989 (Story from the 2004 Race Magazine)
Rhonda Provost: The First Woman to Complete a Badwater Double by Richard Benyo
(Story from the 2006 Race Magazine)
Read chapter five about the 1991 Badwater Race from Over The Edge: A Regular Guy's Odyssey in Extreme Sports
Badwater Turns 25: History of the race from 1977 through 2002 by Roy Wallack (Story from the 2002 Race Magazine, also published in Ultra Running Magazine.)