“DNF” is a Dirty Word (actually, three of them)

Hello everyone. I would like to remind, ALL OF YOU, why you are “in-the-running.” As individuals it is imperative that you Finish What You Start! Being a member of the Application Review Committee, I have evaluated hundreds of BW applications and have never seen any Badwater Ultramarathon where ALL of the participants finished the event. To enter this event I expect that all of you are capable of a respectful elapsed time of 60 hours or less. But, when you fail to finish …….. this IS NOT acceptable!! In ’02 (when I was at the race in person) I was shocked to see all of the “In need of medical treatment or sleep” at Stovepipe Wells What was that all about? It’s only @40 miles. That’s not even a third of the way. This Ultra event invites only the toughest because that ‘Long White Line’ is supposed to be a realistic challenge for the hardy. If you feel that you’re not up-to-the-task …….. do yourself a favor: STAY AWAY from the starting line.

Remember ‘Forest Gump’: “Stupid is as stupid does”. IF you manage your crew and yourself, you will finish this race. With a few exceptions, this Ultra is not about your finishing time BUT, it is about your being able to finish. Either you have “heart” or you don’t! Statistics will predict the recording of “DNF’s”. Collectively, EVERYONE should start putting pressure on this concept. I guarantee that ANYONE that is recorded as a DNF (unless you get run-over by a ‘blue lizard’), will be be very unhappy with my ranking of a ZERO on a future application. That could receive my recommendation of ‘one year’s probation’. That, my friends, is “tough love”! If you’re tough, then PROVE IT! Not to me but to yourself. So, IF you all pull-together then BW 135 will have demonstrated that, not just a few, but the entire field is a great success. Who, after all those hours and miles of training, wants to return home with a DNF!?

How can I be so adamant, you might say, when I DNF’d in ’74 and ’75? My crew member almost died of intense heat in ’74. He wasn’t even past Furnace Creek. In ’75 I had just passed Towne’s Pass …. in 10 hours. That was it: too heavy, too fast & “Stupid is as stupid does”. No one here tonight is stupid. Think smart, be smart.

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