The Solitude of the Race Course

“How time flies! My running adventures are almost like looking in a rear-view mirror; while driving down the road, eventually they slip out of view. But, those memories will never fade. My most fond recollection of Death Valley was the beauty of its solitude. That, in-it-self, is more than worth the many hours of training. Unfortunately, some ULTRA runners may abuse the sanctuary of the desert while in their quest to win. It will be difficult to recover what they have “lost.” The beauty of being the pioneer, in 1977, of Badwater to the summit of Mt Whitney, was the solitude. “Water wagons” and “intense” crew members are unnatural to the environmental beauty of the Badwater Ultramarathon. Most runners will recognize and feel, in their hearts, this solitude. It is not a bad thing to feel alone in this hostile environment. Absorb every impact of your body and observe as you stride forward, ever forward: 135 miles of natural wonder. Each entrant has made a personal commitment to BW135 by competing in the world’s toughest endurance running event. Some of you will remember the “presence” of their adventure. On the other hand, a few entrants possess the ability to accomplish amazing feats. Performance versus solitude: acclaim and cherish. Both are winners within the same event, yet worlds apart. So, my ULTRA friends, take your time, stay smart, obey the Race Rules and enjoy the “beauty of solitude”. You can be in a crowd and, at the same moment, an individual. Rear-view mirrors can only “reflect” for so long and then it’s gone. But, if it is truly in your heart Badwater 2006 will be with you forever. Good luck, stay safe and respect the course and the ‘Event’ itself.” – AL

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