There’s a question we’re asked all the time and it goes like this:
“I’ve done X, Y, and Z races. Will I get into Badwater 135 next year?”
EVERYBODY who sends us that email receives the same reply, and here it is:
Thanks for writing and for your interest in the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. We really appreciate your enthusiasm, however we have a policy of not “giving odds” on the likelihood of being accepted to race.
Every year we receive a greater number of applications than the year before, despite the fact that we routinely raise the minimum qualifying standard required to apply. The system is clearly explained on the website for all to see and review. In other words, we don’t give “secret tips” to people who take the time to email us for more information.
We will say that It’s a good idea to plan a few – or several – years in advance for this race, not only to prepare yourself mentally and physically, but also to line up the qualifications and experiences that will give you a decent shot at being invited to compete.
Additionally, we encourage all prospective Badwater 135 applicants to do the following:
1. Very carefully study the minimum qualifying standards to apply, as outlined on this website, and which are occasionally refined or redefined. Be sure to take special note of Section C: Preferred Qualifying Races.
2. Compete in, and successfully complete, other official Badwater® races, such as Badwater Salton Sea, Badwater Cape Fear, and Artsakh Ultra. They all provide an authentic Badwater® experience: They are held in fantastic, beautiful, little-known locations; they offer an extremely challenging, iconic route; they are produced with a world-class attention to detail and provide an intimate, personal experience for every participant. They also help you get to know the world of Badwater, and connect with Badwater veterans.
3. Attend the Badwater 135 as a pacer / crew member. Not only would you be helping somebody complete the race, but you would learn a lot in the in process and also acquire another important component for any future Badwater 135 application. You can post your interest in the Badwater Participants/Crew/Pacers group on Facebook as well as on the 2022 Facebook Event Page. We encourage you to pay attention during the runner selection and announcement process – or check the roster when it is published – and look for anyone that you might know, live nearby, or have some sort of connection with, then contact them directly and see if you can join their crew. (Move quickly, most runners select their crew immediately in February when they are invited to competed.)
4. Consider the various avenues available for Badwater 135 Automatic-Qualification outlined on the Entry Tab of the Badwater 135 webpage.
5. Do hard races! Tackle the toughest 100-mile (or longer) ultras and have those bona fides ready to submit on your Badwater 135 application!
Thank you again for your inquiry. We hope to see you “out there” in the near future!