2021 Schedule of Events:
(All times in 24-Hour / Military Time)
|2021 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
||Set your watch to official race time. Click here!|
|Please Note:||Some aspects of this schedule are are subject to change to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.|
|January 1-31||Badwater 267 VR takes place. Info.|
|Friday, Jan. 22||Application becomes available via email FOR 2020 CONFIRMED RUNNERS ONLY, so that they may confirm their intent to compete in the 2021 race, or defer their entry to 2022. The deadline to submit their intent is February 5.|
|Friday, Feb. 5, 0900 PST||The application will become available to all new qualified applicants via a link at the bottom of the Entry tab on this webpage after we complete a Facebook Live video on the Badwater page on Facebook regarding the 2021 Badwater 135 Schedule, Application, and Selection Process. All would-be 2021 competitors should watch it live, or the archived video.|
|Friday, Feb. 19 at 1700 PST||Application taken off-line.|
|Saturday, March 6 at 0900 PST||Facebook Live Video announcement of the 2021 race field invitations, hosted by Race Director Chris Kostman. Also, the 100 selected racers will receive an invitation email, while all other applicants will also be notified of their status via email.|
|Saturday, March 20 at 1700 PDT||Absolute deadline for Badwater 135 Ultramarathon application paperwork and fees to reach the race office. Athletes who miss this deadline will forfeit their entry in the race.|
|Saturday, March 27||2021 Badwater 135 Entrant Roster posted online.|
|2021 Badwater Cape Fear: our only East Coast event! (Note: rescheduled to October 2, 2021.) Info.|
|2021 Badwater Salton Sea: our only “team ultra”! (Note: rescheduled to November 7-8, 2021.) Info.|
|April 3-18||Badwater 267 VR Elite takes place. Info.|
|Saturday, May 15||Starting Groups and Bib Numbers assigned and listed on roster.|
|July 1||2021 July BADWATER Magazine available as a Pdf download. (16MB, 78-page PDF file)|
|Sunday, July 11, 0900-1030||Online Pre-Race Meeting for All Racers + All Crew Chiefs + All Crew
ALL racers, ALL crew chiefs, and ALL crew members must attend / view the Online Pre-Race Meeting. It will be archived for later viewing for those who can not watch it live. A special code will be given out to prove it was watched.
|Sunday, July 18, 1300-1800||Racer Check-In and Registration / Retail of BADWATER Gear:
Each Racer and their designated Crew Chief must attend; all crew are welcome and encouraged to attend. Held in the Wildrose Hall (formerly the Date Grove Diner) at The Oasis in Furnace Creek (next to golf course.)
|Sunday, July 18, 1830||
Group Photo of All Racers at the Thermometer in front of the Furnace Creek Visitors Center
2021 Runners Only: please be ready to pose for the photo at 630pm!
|Monday||Rest & Relaxation; Vehicle Prep; Buy Ice and Supplies
Other options: Enjoy the pool – fed by Furnace Creek – at The Oasis, or go visit Badwater Basin to take photos next to the sign. Get your preparations done, but relax and rest while you can!
|Monday, July 19, 1200-1330||Retail of BADWATER Gear:
Held in the Wildrose Hall (formerly the Date Grove Diner) at The Oasis in Furnace Creek (next to golf course.)
|Monday, July 19, 1230-1330||Optional Races Rules Review / Questions & Answers / Discussion of Best Crewing Practices / Retail of Badwater Gear:
Since the pre-race meeting is held online, we also host an in-person meeting to review race rules and best crewing practices, as well as a Q&A session. Anyone may attend. If you want or need to know more this race, how to crew, or anything else, please attend! Held in the Wildrose Hall (formerly the Date Grove Diner) at The Oasis in Furnace Creek (next to golf course.)
|Monday, July 19, 1330-1400||Media Check-In and Briefing
All journalists / media / videographers / photographers must attend. (PLEASE download the Press Kit and PRE-REGISTER via email!) Held in the Wildrose Hall (formerly the Date Grove Diner) at The Oasis in Furnace Creek (next to golf course.)
|Monday, July 19, 1400-1500||Private Staff Meeting
Held in the Wildrose Hall (formerly the Date Grove Diner) at The Oasis in Furnace Creek (next to golf course.)
|Monday, July 19, 2000||1st Wave Starts at Badwater Basin
(ALL Wave 1 racers must check in at 1930)
|Monday, July 19, 2130||2nd Wave Starts at Badwater Basin
(ALL Wave 2 racers must check in at 2100)
|Monday, July 19, 2300||3rd Wave Starts at Badwater Basin
(ALL Wave 3 racers must check in at 2230)
|Tuesday, July 20, 0300||Furnace Creek General Store Closes
By special arrangement, the General Store at Furnace Creek will remain open on the first night of the race until 0300. They have food, snacks, drinks, ice, and much more. Please support them, and stock up heavily!
To purchase bags of ice, the crews will purchase the quantity they need at the register in the store, take the receipt to the trailer where the employees working the trailer will hand out the bags.
|Tuesday, July 20, 0400||Stovepipe Wells General Store and Gas Station Opens
By special arrangement, the General Store and Gas Station in Stovepipe Wells will open at 0400 during the first night / morning of the race. They have food, snacks, drinks, ice, and much more. Please support them, and stock up heavily!
|Tuesday, July 20, 1000||First Time Cut-Off: Mile 50.5
Deadline for ALL RACERS, regardless of starting wave, to pass Mile 50.5 (2000′ Elevation Sign, located 8.6 miles beyond Stovepipe Wells)
|Tuesday, July 20, 2000||Second Time Cut-Off: Mile 72
Deadline for ALL RACERS, regardless of starting wave, to pass Mile 72 (Panamint Springs Resort.) Note: the last racers to complete the race officially usually require between six and eight hours to climb / run from Panamint Springs Resort at mile 72 to Darwin Time Station at mile 90. Note: Panamint Springs Resort has restaurant food, snacks, drinks, ice, and much more. Please support them, and stock up heavily!
|Tuesday, July 20, 2100||Approximate time for the First Racer to cross the Finish Line|
|Wednesday, July 21, 0500||Third Time Cut-Off: Mile 90
Deadline for ALL RACERS, regardless of starting wave, to pass Mile 90 (Darwin Time Station)
|Wednesday Afternoon||Fourth Time Cut-Off: Mile 122 within 42 hours
ALL RACERS should pass Mile 122 (Lone Pine Time Station) within 42 hours of their own elapsed time, depending on starting wave.
|Wednesday, July 21, 2000, 2130, and 2300||Course Closes for 1st Wave Racers at 2000, at 2130 for 2nd Wave Racers, and at 2300 for 3rd Wave Racers. (There is a 48 hour time limit, based on start time.)
NOTE: ALL RUNNERS are encouraged to complete the race by 1800 on Wednesday in order to attend the post-race get-together* in Lone Pine. That equals a 46 hour completion for the 2000 wave runners, 44.5 hours for 2130 wave starters, and a 43 hour completion for 2300 wave starters.
|Wednesday, July 21, 1900-2300||Post-Race Get-Together, Lo-Inyo Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 223 East Locust Street, 1.5 blocks east of 395 (north end of town). Pizza and drinks will be served. No charge (up to four crew per runner may attend).
NOTE: After the Post-Race Get-Together, many runners and support crew members continue their socializing and celebrating at Jake’s Saloon at 119 North Main Street in downtown Lone Pine (near Lone Star Bistro)!
|Saturday, October 2||2021 Badwater Cape Fear: our only East Coast event! (Note: Normally held in March each year.) Info.|
|Sunday-Monday, Nov 7-8||2021 Badwater Salton Sea: our only “team ultra”! (Note: Normally held in late April.) Info.|
2021 RACE DATE: Monday-Wednesday, July 19-21, 2021.
SUNRISE / SUNSET (July 19, using Ridgecrest for reference): Moonset: 1:31am | Morning Civil Twilight: 5:20am | Sunrise: 5:49am | Moonrise: 3:55pm | Sunset: 8:04pm | Evening Civil Twilight: 8:33pm | Note: July 23 is the full moon.
DISTANCE: 135 miles / 217 km.
WHO: An international, invitational field of up to 100 endurance athletes representing twenty or more countries and twenty or more American states. Stay tuned for the 2021 Roster.
APPLYING TO ENTER: The Badwater 135 Ultramarathon is, and always has been, an invitational race. See above for the application timeline. Click the Entry tab above for the qualifying standards and application procedures.
RACE MAGAZINE: The 2021 July BADWATER Magazine is available as a Pdf download (16MB, 78-page PDF file.)
STAY IN THE LOOP: If you are racing or if you are crewing, you should be receiving the regular email updates from the race office. Please also “Become a fan of” our Facebook page (Badwater135), join our 2020 Facebook Event Page, subscribe to our @Badwater Twitter feed (also please use hashtag #Badwater135 when Tweeting or posting on Instagram about the race), and follow our two Instagram accounts: @BadwaterHQ and @ChrisKostman.
IMPORTANT MANDATORY FORMS FOR RACERS AND CREW MEMBERS
All entrants must download, print, complete, sign, and bring the following mandatory forms to Racer Check-In:
• Check-In Form (one per racer)
• Accident Waiver & Release of Liability (one per racer AND one per crew member)
• Medical History Form (one per racer)
• NPS Acknowledgement of Risk Form (one per racer)
• Optional: Medical History form (for any racer or crew member with relevant medical history to report)
Click here to download ALL of the above forms in one PDF document.
Optional Custom Signage and/or “CAUTION RUNNERS ON ROAD” signage order form (July 1 is the 2021 deadline to submit)
Bring all these forms, fully completed, to Racer Check-In. (For crew members who will arrive later, have them complete and sign their waiver in advance of the race, and bring those waivers with you; we must receive all waivers and paperwork together during Racer Check-In.)
HOTELS: We have reserved blocks of rooms in Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Lone Pine during our event. Information about our special pricing is provided ONLY to confirmed entrants in the race, as well as media. That special information is necessary to make reservations and to secure the special rates that we have obtained for Badwater 135 Ultramarathon racers, crew, and staff. Entrants, media, and sponsors: do not delay in making your reservations; the Death Valley and Lone Pine area is a very popular destination. All registered entrants will receive the special booking codes and information.
STARTING LOCATION: Badwater Basin, Death Valley, CA.
ENDING LOCATION: Whitney Portal, elevation 8360 feet, located near the end of Whitney Portal Road, above Lone Pine, CA, on Mt. Whitney. The race does not continue up the Whitney Trail further onto the mountain.
COURSE RECORDS: Men’s: Yoshihiko Ishikawa, 2019, Japan: 21:33:01. Women’s: Patrycja Bereznowska, 2019, Poland, 24:13:24. For Age Group records and more info, click here.
AWARDS: All racers who begin the event will receive a Badwater 135 Ultramarathon t-shirt, hat, Badwater Magazine, and a goodie bag. All racers who officially complete the event within 48 hours will receive a finisher’s t-shirt and “The Holy Grail of Ultra Running,” the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon Belt Buckle.
RACE HEADQUARTERS: This will be set up during the race at the Furnace Creek Ranch and then at the Dow Villa in Lone Pine, CA for the duration of the race.
FOLLOWING THE RACE ONLINE: We will upload time splits, image galleries, and social media posts on a continual basis for the duration of the 48 hour race. This will be centralized on the website at this link. Following our Facebook and Instagram is equally important, along with the time splits page here. This will take place throughout Racer Check-In on Sunday, and then during the entire race, plus we keep the entire webcast archived forever.
PERMITS: This event is held under special use permits from the California Department of Transportation, Inyo National Forest, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County Public Works, Inyo County Public Health, and is additionally overseen by the California Highway Patrol. (If one of these agencies won’t issue us a permit, this race could be cancelled. Please keep that in mind!)
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
OFFICIAL CHARITY: The official charities of the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon are Challenged Athletes Foundation and Bald Head Island Conservancy. We are also members of 1% For The Planet and the Conservation Alliance, as well as life members of the Death Valley Natural History Association. Click here for all the info about these wonderful organizations and what you can do to get involved. Click here for info about our environmental efforts.
Entry Fee Refunds via CAF Fund-raising: Race entrants may have their entry fee reimbursed by raising at least $7500 for Challenged Athletes Foundation, an Official Charity of the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. Fund-raising for CAF is made simple with a fully automated and personalized webpage where friends, family, and co-workers may donate in a secure and simple manner. The $7500 must be raised in full by July 15. On approximately August 1, those race entrants who raised at least $7500 – as verified by CAF – will have their entry fee refunded.
Free Guaranteed Entry in the Race For Major Charitable Donors: The race organizers will give a limited number of qualified applicants the opportunity to be guaranteed acceptance into the race in exchange for a $7,500 donation to Challenged Athletes Foundation or Bald Head Island Conservancy (at our discretion, as to which organization.) Here are the guidelines for this opportunity:
A full and acceptable application must be submitted during the standard application timeframe. Within the application, the applicant must state “I am willing to make a $7,500 donation RIGHT NOW to one of the Official Charities of the Badwater 135, in order to guarantee my acceptance in the race.” The Race Committee will review the application, and if they unanimously agree to accept the applicant, the applicant will receive an Entry Acceptance email. At that time, the applicant must immediately donate $7,500 to CAF or BHIC (at our discretion) via check or the special weblink provided. Upon confirmation of that donation by CAF or BHIC, the applicant will receive notice of their Confirmed Entry in the race. NO ENTRY FEE will be required.
PLEASE NOTE: This offer is only available during the standard application timeframe. It may not be utilized later, for example by an applicant who was not accepted into the race, in order to gain entry.
Also please note: under NO circumstances should an applicant make the $7,500 donation – with the intention of earning Guaranteed Acceptance – until advised to do so by the Race Committee.
Finally, any applicant who utilizes this offer to enter the race must take advantage of this opportunity in 2021. If he or she is unable to race in 2021 for some reason, entry will NOT be guaranteed in a later year.
Las Vegas Airport to Furnace Creek: 140 miles
Los Angeles Airport to Furnace Creek: 250 miles
Lone Pine to Las Vegas Airport: 240 miles
Lone Pine to Los Angeles Airport: 210 miles
DIRECTIONS TO FURNACE CREEK FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND LAS VEGAS:
Click Here: Pdf download of the best route to drive to and from Death Valley. Print this and use it for your drive to and from the event!
NEVER USE A GPS TO NAVIGATE TO DEATH VALLEY!
Applying to Compete in the Badwater® 135 Ultramarathon
Globally recognized as the world’s toughest foot race, the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon is a pure athletic challenge of athlete, shoes, and support crew versus a brutal 135-mile / 217km stretch of highway and a forty-eight hour time limit. From the start line in Death Valley to the finish line high on Mt. Whitney, this one-of-a-kind foot race offers the promise of a supremely personal achievement along with international accolades for those who rise to the occasion.
A true “challenge of the champions,” the Badwater 135 pits up to 100 of the world’s toughest endurance athletes against one another and the elements. The time limit is forty-eight hours and the finisher’s award is the coveted Badwater 135 belt buckle, the Holy Grail of endurance sports, pictured below:
Above: The 2021 Badwater 135 Finisher’s Belt Buckle. “Difficilia Quae Pulchra” means “Beauty is Difficult to Attain” in Latin.
The Badwater 135 is, and always has been, an invitational race. Applicants will be considered purely upon their race application and its specific written merits. Questions of “Will you get in?” and “What’s the best way to get in?” are answered on this webpage.
2021 Badwater 135 Plans
Application and Selection Schedule:
• February 5, 2021 at 900am Pacific Time: Application becomes available via a link at the bottom of this page after we complete a Facebook Live video on the Badwater page on Facebook.
• February 19, 2020 at 500pm Pacific Time: Application submission period ends.
• February 19 through March 5, 2021: A committee of four race staff members reviews and scores each application.
• March 6, 2021: Facebook Live Video announcement of the 2021 race field invitations, hosted by Race Director Chris Kostman. Also, the 100 selected runners will receive an invitation email, while all other applicants will also be notified of their status via email.
• March 20, 2021: Absolute deadline for Badwater 135 Ultramarathon application paperwork and fees to reach the race office. Athletes who miss this deadline will forfeit their entry in the race.
• March 27, 2021: 2021 Badwater 135 Entrant Roster posted online.
Badwater 135 Automatic Qualifying Spots
NOTE: For all Automatic Qualifying Spots listed below, in order to gain entry to the Badwater 135, Minimum Qualifying Standards must be met, a full application must be submitted during the standard application period, and the full entry fee must be paid. These Qualifying Spots are non-transferable and have no cash value.
Also Note: Badwater Salton Sea no longer provides Automatic Qualifying spots for Badwater 135, though it remains a Preferred Qualifying Race.
1) A limited number of qualified applicants have the opportunity to be guaranteed acceptance into the race in exchange for a $7,500 donation to Challenged Athletes Foundation or Bald Head Island Conservancy. The guidelines for this opportunity are explained near the bottom of this page.
2) The male and female 51-mile race winners at BADWATER CAPE FEAR will be awarded guaranteed entry into the next year’s Badwater 135.
3) The male and female winners at BRAZIL 135 will be awarded guaranteed entry into the same year’s, or next year’s (but not both years), Badwater 135.
Organized by a Badwater 135 veteran, Mario Lacerda, BRAZIL 135 was created in the spirit of the Badwater 135, featuring 135 miles of hot, mountainous terrain in the middle of Summer (January in Brazil).
4) The men’s and women’s solo winners of the KEYS 100 in Florida will earn guaranteed entry into the next year’s Badwater 135. Organized by Bob Becker – a Badwater 135, Badwater Salton Sea, and Badwater Cape Fear veteran – the KEYS 100 has become legend in the world of ultra running. It’s extremely hot setting in the Florida Keys in May, and its entirely pavement-based route, have proven time and time again to reveal those runners who are ideal candidates to tackle the Badwater 135.
NOTE: For all Automatic Qualifying Spots listed above, in order to gain entry to the Badwater 135, Minimum Qualifying Standards must be met, a full application must be submitted during the standard application period, and the full entry fee must be paid. These Qualifying Spots are non-transferable and have no cash value.
Badwater 135 Qualifying Standards
Those submitting an application to compete in the 2020 Badwater 135 Ultramarathon must meet at least ONE of the following THREE Qualifying Standards. Please review these Qualifying Standards to determine which standard(s) describes you, if any. You will be required to select at least one of these when you submit your race application. Those who do not meet at least one of these standards MAY NOT apply.
Here are the 2021 Qualifying Standards, at least ONE of which must be met prior to applying for the 2021 Badwater 135:
- You have officially finished the Badwater 135 in the past four years AND have completed at least one 50-mile or longer ultra running event in the previous 24 months other than the Badwater 135.
- You have officially finished at least THREE running races of 100 continuous miles or longer, at least one of them in the previous 24 months. Exception: Officially finishing the 81-mile BADWATER SALTON SEA race “counts” as one 100-mile race for this qualifying purpose.
- You have officially finished the Brazil 135 in less than 48 hours in the past three years AND have completed at least one 50-mile or longer ultra running event in the previous 24 months.
Preferred Qualifying Races
Not all 100-mile (and longer) races are created equal; some are more suitable than others for preparing a Badwater 135 applicant to be successful at the world’s toughest foot race.
Our view of ultrarunning is expansive, with the experience of an epic route being intrinsic to what we call “exploring the outer and inner universes.” As well, the physical, mental, emotional, and logistical challenge of traversing a widely varying course with a plethora of terrain and climatic changes provides a more rewarding – and challenging – experience for all involved.
Applicants who have completed some of the following Preferred Qualifying Races will have a greater likelihood of being selected to compete in the Badwater 135:
Brazil 135, Brazil, 135mi / 217km, Website
Keys 100, Florida, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Badwater Salton Sea, California, USA, 81mi / 130km, Website
Spartathlon, Greece, 153mi / 256km, Website
Angeles Crest 100, California, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Arrowhead 135, Minnesota, 135mi / 217km, Website
Coast to Kosciuszko, Australia, 149mi / 240km, Website
Chimera 100, California, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Fat Dog 120 Trail Race, British Columbia, Canada, 120mi / 193km, Website
Grand Union Canal Race, United Kingdom, 145mi / 233km, Website
Hardmoors 110, United Kingdom, 110mi / 168km, Website
Hardrock 100, Colorado, USA,100mi / 162km, Website
HURT 100, Hawaii, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
The Lakeland 100, United Kingdom, 100mi / 162km, Website
Leadville Trail 100, Colorado, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Nove Colli, Italy, 125mi / 202km, Website
North Downs Way 100, United Kingdom, 100mi / 162km, Website
Northburn 100, New Zealand, 100mi / 162km, Website
Pinhoti 100, Alabama, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Sinister 7, Alberta, Canada, 100mi / 162km, Website
Superior 100 Fall Trail Race, Minnesota, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
Tortour de Ruhr, Germany, 143mi / 230km, Website
Tuscobia 150. Wisconsin, USA, 150mi / 241km, Website
Ultramilano-Sanremo, Italy, 175mi / 281km, Website
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, France, 103mi / 166km, Website
Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, Japan, 102mi / 165km, Website
Ultrabalaton, Hungary, 136mi / 220km, Website
Wasatch Front 100, Utah, USA, Website
Western States 100, California, USA, 100mi / 162km, Website
- 24-Hour Races do not count as qualification races. However, feel free to include any significant 24-Hour race results in your application, in addition to meeting the minimum qualifying events.
- Stage Races do not count as qualification races. However, feel free to include any significant stage racing history in your application, in addition to meeting the minimum qualifying events.
- “Backyard Ultra” races – where one runs solo on their own route – do not count as qualification races. However, feel free to included any significant backyard ultra racing history in your application, in addition to meeting the minimum qualifying events.
- All application requirements must be attained prior to submitting the application to compete in the upcoming Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. We will not consider incomplete applications, nor unqualified applicants.
STEP 1: Between February 5 and 500pm, Pacific Time, February 19, 2021, applicants must complete the online Race Application Form. The link for the application is at the bottom of this page.
STEP 2: For those applicants who have experience as a pacer at the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon: A letter of recommendation from the athlete for whom the applicant paced at the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon is highly recommended. It must be sent by email from the person for whom the applicant paced directly to the Badwater race office. It must be sent to adventurecorps-at-gmail-dot-com prior to the application submission.
STEP 3: On March 6 we will announce the race field via a Facebook Live video on the Badwater page on Facebook . We will also notify each applicant that same day via email whether he or she is, or is not, invited to compete in the 2021 Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. Each invited applicant will be emailed the three-page Entrant Contract, Entry Fee Payment Form, and Charitable Donation Form (this last page is optional). We will also email the Wait List Runners to let them know of their status.
STEP 4: By March 20, invited runners must submit the paperwork – in paper form, not electronic – and full entry fee to the race office. Athletes who miss this deadline will forfeit their entry in the race and their spot will be made available to next most qualified applicant.
Step 5: On or before March 27, confirmed entrants in the race will have their name, essential biographical information, social media links, and perhaps some selected quotes posted on the race website, and printed in BADWATER Magazine, and/or used in a promotional manner. Complete application forms and/or contact info for any or all athletes may be made available to the media or race sponsors, but will not be made available to the public or posted to the website.
- All Applicants are encouraged to take the application process seriously and compose a detailed and accurate application.
- Applications should be written as if the reader has never heard of the applicant and has no prior knowledge of the entrant or any of the events in which he/she has participated, including Badwater events.
- Acronyms and initials should not be used when listing events and such; please type out the full name of any event, person, or place mentioned in the application.
- For every race mentioned, the application must include the full race name, year, place, and finishing time, plus the weblink to the specific webpage on the event website which will verify your results claim. All links listed should be complete, i.e., start with http://.
- “Officially finishing” any event mentioned is defined as meeting all time cutoffs, including the overall time limit, for the event in question.
- Some special consideration is given to applicants who are veteran Badwater 135 pacers. (If you were a crew member at Badwater 135, a letter of recommendation from the athlete for whom you paced at the Badwater 135 is required. It must be sent by email from the person for whom you paced directly to the Badwater race office. It must be sent to adventurecorps-at-gmail-dot-com immediately prior to your application submission.)
In preparing your application, keep in mind the standard reasons that generally lead to some applicants not being invited:
- The applicant only just met the minimum standards.
- The applicant’s credentials are only recent, i.e., not a seasoned ultra endurance athlete with a breadth of experience.
- The applicant’s credentials are only old, i.e. all or most of the credentials are from too long ago and may not reflect current ability.
- The applicant has no experience in extreme heat or on the Badwater course as a pacer.
- The applicant didn’t “prove” his or her claims (i.e., they said they paced at Badwater 135, but no letter of recommendation was received, or they claimed they finished or won any number of major races, but didn’t provide any proof of that).
- The applicant submitted a “thin” application – not only few qualifications were listed, but not much time was put into the preparation of the application itself. (Applicants should not assume “we’ve already heard of him/her”.)
Due to permit, safety, and operational restrictions that limit the field to 100 entrants, we apologize now that many qualified applicants will not be accepted. We encourage those not invited to attend the race as a crew member, a gratifying experience in itself, as well as an outstanding addition to a future application to compete.
Entry Fees, Refunds, Awards, and Charity Entries
Awards: All racers who begin the event will receive a Badwater® t-shirt, Badwater® hat, Badwater® Magazine, Badwater® backpack, Badwater® sunglasses, and other one-of-a-kind Badwater® items, as well as entry into the post-race pizza party (for the racer and up to four crew members). All racers who officially complete the event within 48 hours will receive a finisher’s t-shirt and Badwater® belt buckle.
Race Entry Fee: The Badwater 135 entry fee will remain $1495 for 2021. For any runner who is selected to compete in 2021 Badwater 135, a $500 NON-refundable / NON-transferable deposit will be required upon confirmation in the race. (Exception: if the 100-runner race does not take place in 2021 – but we do offer 10-person monthly races as an alternative – the $500 deposit may be applied to one of the 10-runner monthly races held in 2021 ONLY and IF you are able to enter one of the monthly races. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will the $500 deposit be refunded or applied to any other race.) The balance of $995 will be due 30 days prior to the race. We will not accept that $995 balance of the entry fee unless we feel 99% sure that the race will take place. Again, this $500 deposit is NON-refundable / NON-transferable.
Where Does the Entry Fee Go?: It costs a fortune to organize a world-class event in this remote, unique, and inhospitable environment, more so than ever in 2015 and beyond with the release of Death Valley National Park’s new 73-page Rules & Regulations for Sporting Events document with its myriad new requirements and expenses. Everything we need – and everybody we need – has to be transported to the race location from 150 to 3000 miles away. Some of the key expenditures are insurance, permits, ambulance on patrol, expenses for up to 50 volunteers (hotels, gas, food, and more, for five days), renting up to 20 satellite phones and 20 high-powered radios, the medical team (and associated expenses and supplies), the webcast team (and associated expenses and supplies), graphic design, web hosting, web design, web software and database development, advertising, promotional expenses, printing, postage, utilities, overhead, rental cars, airfares, food, drink, ice, medals, buckles, t-shirts and hats, post-race pizza party for 400+ people. Last, but not least, the Race Director spends about 1000 hours per year working specifically on behalf of this event. Others work tirelessly year-round, too, to create a safe and successful race. Finally, we only have about 95 entry fees with which to work, not hundreds like some races.
Entry Fee Refunds via CAF Fund-raising: Race entrants may have their entry fee reimbursed by raising at least $7500 for Challenged Athletes Foundation, an Official Charity of the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. Fund-raising for CAF is made simple with a fully automated and personalized webpage where friends, family, and co-workers may donate in a secure and simple manner. The $7500 must be raised in full by July 15 of this year. On approximately August 1, those race entrants who raised at least $7500 – as verified by CAF – will be refunded $1495 by check.
Free Guaranteed Entry in the Race For Major Charitable Donors: The race organizers will give a limited number of qualified applicants the opportunity to be guaranteed acceptance into the race in exchange for a $7,500 donation to Challenged Athletes Foundation or to Bald Head Island Conservancy (at our discretion, as to which organization.) Here are the guidelines for this opportunity:
A full and acceptable application must be submitted during the standard application window. Within the application, the applicant must state “I am willing to make a $7,500 donation RIGHT NOW to any of the Official Charities of the Badwater 135, in order to guarantee my acceptance in the race.” The Race Committee will review the application, and if they unanimously agree to accept the applicant, the applicant will receive an Entry Acceptance email. At that time, the applicant must immediately donate $7,500 to CAF or BHIC (at our discretion) via check or the special weblink provided. Upon confirmation of that donation by CAF or BHIC, the applicant will receive notice of their Confirmed Entry in the race. NO ENTRY FEE will be required.
PLEASE NOTE: This offer is only available during the standard application window. It may not be utilized later, for example by an applicant who was not accepted into the race, in order to gain entry.
Also please note: under NO circumstances should an applicant make the $7,500 donation – with the intention of earning Guaranteed Acceptance – until advised to do so by the Race Committee.
Finally, any applicant who utilizes this offer to enter the race must take advantage of this opportunity this year. If he or she is unable to race this year for some reason, entry will NOT be guaranteed in a later year.
The 2021 application will be available from February 5 through 500pm PST, February 19, 2021 only. The Wait List will be composed of runners who applied during the traditional application window, and narrowly missed being selected to compete during the initial selection of 100.
NOTE: If you are racing Arrowhead Ultra and/or Brazil 135 this year, please wait until after completing either or both races before submitting your Badwater 135 application. (Once your application is submitted to us, it will be immediately under review and no changes or additions may be made.)
The 2021 Badwater 135 Ultramarathon application was available February 5-19 only!)
Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater® 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. The start line is at Badwater Basin, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Whitney Portal at 8,300’ (2530m). The Badwater 135 course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600’ (4450m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100’ (1859m) of cumulative descent. Whitney Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Springs, Darwin, Keeler, Alabama Hills, and Lone Pine.
Useful PDF downloads:
NEVER USE A GPS TO NAVIGATE TO DEATH VALLEY!
Google Map of Route with all Checkpoints and most Landmarks (This requires cell service to work, so download Maps.me to use it on the race route)
Badwater 135 Race Rules & and National Park Service Regulations
Download “Top Ten Rules at Badwater 135” six-page PDF by clicking here.
Download the full Race Rules in this six-page PDF by clicking here.
Note a 2020 / 2021 change: OSHA Class 3 high-visibility / reflectivity garments must be worn by crew members at all times during the event. Wearing Class 2 garments during the day is no longer allowed.
Also Note: Please also study and follow the 2020 COVID-19 Mitigation Plan for the rules and guidelines specific to the 2021 race. They are equally mandatory and will be enforced like the rest of the race rules. Download the one-page 2020 COVID-19 Mitigation Plan PDF by clicking here.
General Race Rules
- There are three starting times for the 2021 Badwater Ultramarathon (800pm, 930pm, and 1100pm on July 19, 2021), but all racers in all groups are competing in the same race. Runners must check in at the start line, ready to race, 30 minutes prior to their start time.
- Starting Groups are assigned by the race director and are non-transferable. Split times will be collated throughout the race to maintain overall standings. There are only two divisions: men’s and women’s. The racer to arrive at the finish line in each division with the lowest overall time, based on their starting time, will be considered the winner.
- The race number bib must be worn by the racer on the front of the body, unmodified, unfolded, and visible at all times during the race. It may not be worn on the head or hat. The Pacer Bib numbers must also be worn similarly by any pacer / crew member who is running along with his or her racer. (Both racer and pacer bib numbers will be provided at Racer Check-In.)
- All racers MUST have passed, and be proceeding beyond, the following locations along the race route within the specified time cut-offs:
• Mile 50.5 (2000′ Elevation Sign, located 8.6 miles beyond Stovepipe Wells): All racers must pass by 1000am, Tuesday morning (regardless of starting wave).
• Mile 72 (Panamint Springs Resort): All racers must pass by 800pm, Tuesday night (regardless of starting wave).
• Mile 90 (Darwin Turn-Off): All racers must pass by 500am, Wednesday morning (regardless of starting wave).
• Lone Pine at Mile 122: Within 42 hours, based upon start time. Additionally, beyond the Darwin Checkpoint, if it becomes clear that a racer will not be able to finish the race officially within the 48-hour time limit, that racer may be forced to withdraw from the course and the race prior to the actual conclusion of the 48 hours.
- Runners who fail to meet the specified time cut-offs along the course must withdraw from the race course; similarly, runners who are disqualified from the race must also withdraw from the race course. Such runners may not continue on the race course “unofficially” or after simply removing their bib number. Crew members from withdrawn runners must also depart the race course, unless they formally join another runner’s crew.
- The clock does not stop for any reason until the race course officially closes 48 hours after each designated official start time. All racers must leave the course by the 48th hour beyond their start time: Finishing, or remaining on the race course with the intent to continue, is not allowed after 48 hours.
- Running must always be single file, on the far left side of the road or off the left side of the road, facing traffic (pacers, too).
- Racers must make their presence known at all Time Stations located along the route.
- As it has since 1989, the race ends at Mt. Whitney Portal. If any racer or crew member chooses to hike on the Mt. Whitney Trail, official race logos must not be worn and the appropriate permits must be obtained from the Forest Service.
- Racers, crew, and staff must not litter, mar, or pollute the landscape or environment.
- 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
- If the event is canceled due to pandemic, extreme weather, community disaster, or other force majeure, neither refunds nor credits will be given.
- Although we anticipate using the same route each year, the final, exact route is subject to approval from various government agencies and is always subject to change due to various factors beyond our control.
- “Badwater®” is a federally registered trademark and may not used in any commercial or promotional manner except under license from AdventureCOPRS, Inc. In particular, t-shirts (such as for crew members, friends, supporters) may not state “Badwater” or feature any version of the race logo.
- All applicants must be a minimum of 19 years in age when submitting an application to race.
- All racers must follow and complete the entire application and entry process, filling out all forms and paying all necessary fees.
- Each Racer’s Support Crew must have a designated Crew Chief and his or her name and email address must be provided to the race organizers at least eight weeks before the race. All crew chiefs must study all race rules and information about supporting a racer and organizing and overseeing a support team, as well as study all email correspondence sent by the race organizers. Each Crew Chief is to be primarily responsible for managing the support crew, maintaining adherence to all race rules, state and local laws, and common sense, as well as overseeing the Health and Safety of all crew members and the racer at all times.
- The names and email addresses of all support crew members must be provided at least four weeks before the race (preferably eight weeks.) All crew members must study all race rules and information about supporting a racer and organizing a support team, as well as study all email correspondence sent by the race organizers.
- Each racer is strongly encouraged to bring a nurse, EMT, MD or other first responder or medical professional on his or her support team.
- Each racer is strongly encouraged to bring at least one crew member or Crew Chief who is a veteran racer, crew member, or Crew Chief with Badwater 135 experience.
- Each racer is strongly encouraged to carry a walkie-talkie for communicating with his or her support crew.
- All racers and all crew members must sign and submit the Accident Waiver and Release of Liability / Release of Name and Likeness. Each racer must also submit the properly completed Check-In Form and Medical History Form.
- All racer support 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.
- All racers and all designated Crew Chiefs must attend Racer Check-In, while all crew members are encouraged to attend. Additionally, all racers and their designated Crew Chiefs and All Crew must attend / view the Online Pre-Race Meeting (a code will be provided during the meeting to prove it was viewed.) Those racers and/or their Crew Chiefs who do not complete the scheduled check-in and attend / view the Pre-Race Meeting will not be allowed to participate. Attendance is mandatory: no exceptions will be made.
- All racers must bring one U.S. dollar (or more) in a sealed envelope to Racer Check-In. Please write the racer number on the envelope. This envelope will not be returned and the money will be donated to charity. Inside the envelope, the Secret Code mentioned in the online Pre-Race Meeting must be written.
- During Racer Check-In, all entrants must display a minimum of two running-style reflective vests – which will be worn and utilized by the racer and pacer (if a pacer is used) during nighttime periods of the race – and eight blinking red lights for racers, pacers, and crew members to wear at night. Runners without satisfactory quality, or quantity, nighttime safety equipment will be required to purchase additional gear at that time, IF any such gear is available.
- During Racer Check-In, all racers must display one OSHA Class 3 high-visibility / reflectivity garment for each crew member to wear at all times during the event. See point 4 under “Support Crew & Assistance” below.
- During Racer Check-In, all racers must show that they have at least eight personal portable toilet products such as the Biffy Bag for use on the race course wherever toilets are not available. (Ziplocks or dog poop bags are NOT acceptable.) Such products must be used discreetly and must be disposed of properly after use. Public and/or unsanitary defecation by racers or crew members will result in disqualification of the racer. (To order Biffy bags with a 10% discount – and free shipping – and which will be automatically shipped directly to Death Valley for pick-up during Racer Check-In, use code BADWATER2021 at Biffybag.com and submit your order before June 30.)
- All racers and crew must pay the Death Valley National Park Entrance Fee for each of their support vehicle(s). Proof must be brought to Racer Check-In. Racers will not be allowed to check-in for the race without proof of paying the Park Entrance Fee.
- No commercial photography or videography may be conducted at the race without the specific written permission of AdventureCORPS, Inc. Additionally, the National Park Service, California Department of Transportation and/or the U.S. Forest Service may also require commercial filming agreements. Also, bona fide media must contact AdventureCORPS, Inc. to request a media credential. All media, photographers, and videographers must attend the Media Check-In and Briefing prior to the race.
- PHOTO / VIDEO REGULATIONS WITHIN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The National Park Service – which has jurisdiction over the first 85 miles of the race route – regulates photography and videography if it makes an impact on Park resources or other Park visitors. Information is available at this link.
- 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 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 135 finisher who fails a drug test within 36 months after competing in any edition of the Badwater 135 will be retroactively disqualified from any and all previous Badwater 135 races, removed from all Badwater 135 race results, as well as banned for life from any AdventureCORPS events.
Support Crew and Assistance
- Each racer must be accompanied by a support crew comprised of no more than one four-wheeled motor vehicle and at least two and no more than four crew members – at least two of whom are legally licensed to drive and at least one of whom can speak English – at all times. Race entrants may have no more than one support vehicle and no more than four crew members in total on the race course.
- “Unofficial” or extra crew members and “family cheering squads,” may only be present in Lone Pine and at the finish line; they may not drive on the race course except between Lone Pine and the finish line and such drive must be made without stopping. A secondary vehicle may not be used to shuttle crew members or supplies to and from the runner and support vehicle, except within Lone Pine.
- Each racer must have his or her own personal support crew and vehicle; crew and support vehicles may not be shared, except informally in the spirit of the event, i.e., crews may lend assistance to other racers or crews. (Exceptions may be made under some circumstances for married couples or others who have a history of racing together and would like to race this event with a shared crew. Please inquire.)
- ALL support crew members (except those actively pacing their racer) must wear OSHA Class 3 high-visibility / reflectivity clothing at all times during the event. (New for 2020/2021, Class 2 garments are no longer allowed during the day. Crew must wear Class 3 at all times unless running as a pacer.) These regulations may ONLY be met by wearing the special garments developed by ZZYXXZ in collaboration with BADWATER and which can be pre-ordered for pick-up in Death Valley prior to the race, OR by wearing certified OSHA Class 3 shirts / jackets. Here is an example of products which meet this Class 3 requirement (be sure to select Class 3, not 2, garments, which will have sleeves): Example. Please note: Running-type reflective vests, such as those by Nathan Sports, do NOT meet OSHA Class 3 requirements.
- Racers and Pacers may dress as they choose during daylight. At night, Racers and Pacers must wear 360 degree reflectivity (such as runner-type reflective vests by Nathan Sports) and front and rear blinky lights. Racers and Pacers are not required to wear the specific OSHA Class 3 garments that are required for all crew members, but that level of high-contrast reflectivity and visibility is highly recommended for racers and pacers, too.
- In addition to the requisite reflective garments, all crew members, pacers, and racers must wear front and rear blinky lights whenever they are outside of a motor vehicle during nighttime.
- Beginning immediately at the start line, racers must not run abreast with other racers or with pacers, except when passing a slower racer, which must be done quickly. All running must be single-file. Additionally, pacers may not run in front of, even slightly, racers at any time. (Pacers may run next to their Racer briefly, when handing off supplies or spraying their Racer, but only on the left of the Racer.)
- Racers must progress under their own power without drafting, helping, pushing, supporting, or any other type of physical assistance. Racers may not use walking sticks, ski poles, or the like, unless they are legally blind and have cleared this in advance. So-called “cooling vests” or other types of artificial / technological cooling systems may not be worn or utilized by racers while making forward progress on the race course. (Wearing / carrying bags of ice is always allowed.) Crew members may not carry an umbrella or shade cover for a racer while the racer is moving forward on the race course.
- Any crew member running along – for more than few moments – with their racer is considered a pacer and must wear the pacer’s designated bib number (provided at Racer Check-In). Racers may not be accompanied by more than one crew member at any given time while making forward progress on the race course. Additional crew members that are handing off supplies, or otherwise providing aid, to the racer and/or pacer must be off the roadway at all times (i.e. left of the white line on the shoulder) and may never run along with the racer. To be clear: if a racer is moving forward on the race course, NO MORE THAN ONE crew member may also be moving with, or near, the racer at the same time.
- No more than two crew members, including a pacer if one is present, may be on the opposite side (racers’ side) of the highway at any given time.
- Crew members, other than pacers, may never cross the roadway during the entire Father Crowley / Panamint Pass climb (a 12.2-mile stretch from Time Station 3 at Panamint Springs Resort at Mile 72.7 to the unmarked pass at Mile 84.9), as described above. Also, each racer, or racer’s pacer, is strongly encouraged to carry a walkie-talkie for communicating with his or her support crew during this 12.2-mile stretch of the race route. In addition to Badwater race staff, this will also be monitored by National Park Service staff who have the authority to disqualify racers.
- Racers may not be accompanied by pacers or moving crew members until Mile 42 at the Stovepipe Wells time station. Exception: racers over the age of 65 may utilize a pacer from Mile 3.5 (Natural Bridge turn-off.)
- 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. Racers accompanied by any such conveyance will be disqualified. (Drones are illegal within Death Valley National Park boundaries.)
- 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.
- The California Motor Vehicle Code, and all local, county, and/or federal 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.
- Support vehicles may not be wider than 80″ in width, per official manufacturer spec’s. 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 similar, such as the Dodge Ram 1500 / 2500), vehicles with extra high rooflines, and all types of Hummers are specifically not allowed. Support vehicles may not pull trailers of any kind. (The largest vehicle currently allowed at the event is the Nissan NV3500. See the Ideal Support Vehicle and Set-Up blog post for further information.)
- All race vehicles must have highly visible signage on the back of the vehicle stating “CAUTION RUNNERS ON ROAD.” Magnetic reusable signs may be ordered from our sign vendor (see below), or one-time use signs will be provided – if needed – at no charge upon request by the race organizers at Racer Check-In.
- All support vehicles must have their racer’s bib number easily and clearly visible on both sides, the front, and the left rear. Sticky racer bib numbers will be provided to ALL racers at no charge during Racer Check-In: these racer numbers must be displayed on all four sides of the support vehicle.
- Display of the racer’s name is optional, but must be at least 6″ (15cm) tall if displayed, with a white background and black, blue, or red letters. Each racer may choose to also create or pay for vehicle identification signs. Our suggestion is to order standardized, professionally made signs for this purpose from the specific Los Angeles-based sign shop which which the race is affiliated. (See example below.) For those who order the signs from the specified LA sign shop, the race organizers will pick up all ordered signs immediately prior to the race, bring them to Death Valley, and deliver them at Racer Check-In. Click here for the: Signage Order Form.
- Sponsor / Charity names and graphics may be placed on support vehicles on the left and right sides only, but NOT on the front or rear.
- Vehicle windows may not be blocked or obstructed with any signage, paint, or the like. No racer will be allowed to start the race who has any vehicle windows blocked. If a racer support vehicle is found with blocked windows during the race, that racer will be forced to stop and wait while the vehicle’s windows are unblocked and signage properly mounted.
- Driving must be done at the speed of traffic, without 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, nor is slowing down to speak with or to a racer or other person while moving. Vehicles must “leapfrog” the racer at all times. Each “leapfrog” should generally be at least two miles or more in length. Racers may not be “shadowed” (driving a vehicle at the racer’s speed.) Driving may never be at the speed of any racer.
- All support vehicles must have their headlights on while driving, 24 hours a day.
- Vehicles must be parked completely off the road surface whenever they are stopped (with all four tires right of 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 parking lots or exceptionally large pullouts. From 700pm to 600am 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.
- When parked, the doors on the left side of the vehicle must never be opened into the roadway, even momentarily. All exiting of the vehicle by active crew members must be from the right side of the vehicle; drivers may exit from left, but only if space allows for them to do so without their door opening into the roadway. Crew members must not stand on the left side of a parked vehicle (between the road and the vehicle.)
- Support vehicles must not park across from parked vehicles on the other side of the road (50 meters in either direction), in order to avoid bottlenecking the roadway.
- Support vehicles may not stop during the one-mile stretch which begins at Harmony Borax Works at Mile 19.1, while runners pass through the curvy “Harmony Curves” section of Hwy 190. Each support vehicle should wait at Harmony Borax Works long enough to allow the runner to cover the next, mostly uphill mile, then drive ahead (no stopping nor slowing until Mile 20.1).
- On the Father Crowley / Panamint Pass climb (a 12.2-mile stretch from Time Station 3 at Panamint Springs Resort at Mile 72.7 to the unmarked summit at Mile 84.9), support vehicles may only stop at EIGHT designated locations along the route. These are identified in the route book and with signage along the roadway. They are located 1.8, 3.4, 4.7, 5.3, 7.9, 8.7, 10.5, and 12.2 miles beyond Panamint Springs Resort. Except in a legitimate emergency situation, stopping at any other location along this stretch of roadway, even momentarily, will result in the immediate disqualification of the racer associated with the stopped crew. In addition to Badwater race staff, this will also be monitored by National Park Service staff who have the authority to disqualify racers. (More details and photos.)
Safety and Medical Issues
- 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. The roads are not closed for this event and are, in fact, quite busy with tourist and local traffic.
- 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.
- Racers are responsible for both their own actions and their crew’s actions; crews are responsible for both their own actions and their racer’s actions.
- 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 the event is held on public roads. Racers should not cross over the highway more than necessary; crew should cross the highway carefully to bring assistance to their racer – except on the Father Crowley climb as noted elsewhere – rather than the racer crossing to the crew / vehicle. Time Penalties or Disqualification will be enforced with a Zero Tolerance Policy towards dangerous crossing of, or behavior on, the roadway.
- Per Park Service regulations, racers and crew members may not wear any headset covering the ears, or any earplugs in both ears, unless it is a necessary prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing. (One runner-recommended headphone system which appears to be allowed under the rules is this one.)
- All racers 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
- 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.
- If a racer needs to leave the course via motor vehicle, his/her crew must physically mark the exact location with a numbered stake in the ground. This numbered stake must be visible from the road in both directions. The racer must then resume the race from the same place that he/she left it. The numbered stakes will be provided to all racers at Racer Check-In. Racers may only leave or otherwise drive up or down the course via motor vehicle for medical attention, NOT simply to rest. This must be reported as soon as possible to Race Headquarters or the nearest time station. Racers found in a moving motor vehicle will be disqualified unless they are en route to or from medical care. Focus must be kept on the speedy completion of the course.
- If a racer withdraws, he/she or his/her crew must contact Race Headquarters or a Time Station immediately. Name, bib #, reason for withdrawal, time of withdrawal, and miles completed must be stated. All racers and crew who withdraw from the race are encouraged – and expected – to come to the finish line and the post-race party (not in 2020) to greet and celebrate with their fellow racers and crews.
- All Emergency Medicine and/or Emergency Evacuation costs for participants, crew members, or staff will be borne by that person or their heirs. The race organizers are in no way liable for medical care, nor responsible for emergency evacuation.
- All racers who begin the event will receive a Badwater 135 race t-shirt, hat, Race Magazine, and a goodie bag with other one-of-a-kind Badwater items and products from the race sponsors,
as well as entry into the post-race pizza party (for the racer and up to four crew members– not held in 2020). All racers who officially complete the event within 48 hours will receive a finisher’s t-shirt and commemorative Badwater 135 buckle.
Rule Enforcement and Penalties
- 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.
- Major rule infractions by racers or their crew, especially those regarding “cheating,” will result in immediate disqualification of the racer.
- Other, lesser offenses will result in the following cumulative time penalties:
- A WARNING may be issued, depending on the nature of the infraction, at the discretion of the race official (A “slash” will be marked on the racer’s bib number.)
- First Penalty: One Hour (“X” will be marked on the racer’s bib number.)
- Second Penalty: Disqualification
- A WARNING may be issued, depending on the nature of the infraction, at the discretion of the race official (A “slash” will be marked on the racer’s bib number.)
- Time penalties are imposed by the penalized racer stopping at the final Time Station in Lone Pine to serve his/her time penalty. The race and clock will continue while the penalized racer waits out his/her penalty time. A Race Official will be present to oversee this process. Any racer who is required to serve a time penalty, but does not stop to do so, will be disqualified.
- 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.
- In all cases and circumstances, it is the intent, and spirit, of the rules which will govern their implementation and enforcement.
- Have fun and keep smiling! Remember, you chose to be here!
To download the full 2021 Press Release, Media Kit, and Credential Application in PDF format,
click here. To download the July 2020 issue of BADWATER Magazine, click here.
Bona fide media – roughly defined as those who provide “breaking news service” to the general public – are encouraged to apply to cover the event in person, however no commercial photography or videography may be conducted at the race without the specific written permission of AdventureCORPS, Inc.
The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service may require special permitting well in advance of the race and may also require payment of a permit fee and associated Ranger Monitoring fees.
Some film crews may be required to sign a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement and, in some cases, pay a Rights Fee.
ADDITIONAL PHOTO / VIDEO REGULATIONS WITHIN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The National Park Service regulates photography and videography that is considered commercial in nature. (The NPS had jurisdiction over the first 85 miles of the race route; the final 50 miles of the race route are outside DVNP jurisdiction. Therefore photos and videos shot over the last 50 miles of the race route – Darwin, Keeler, Lone Pine, Portal Road, and finish line – are not governed by NPS regulations.) In simple terms, this means the following:
– Photo / video for personal use, including posting to runners’ and crew members’ social media accounts, websites, and similar is not regulated, so long as it is conducted in a safe manner and according to the rules of the race, the motor vehicle code, and the NPS special event permitting guidelines. No permit is required for personal use.
– Photos / video which is being shot to provide to sponsors of runners to be used by the sponsors in a promotional purpose IS regulated and may require a Commercial Filming Permit. Said permits have an up-front $210 fee and may likely also require Ranger Monitoring. Any monitoring costs would likely be fractionally shared by all those who are required to have a Commercial Filming Permit, and will be billed after the event.
– If you or your crew members will be shooting photos and/or video to provide to your sponsor(s), you likely require a Commercial Filming Permit and thus should contact the Special Park Uses office at Death Valley National Park at least 30 days before the event to inquire.
– All those who are required to obtain a Commercial Filming Permit, and all bona fide media must also attend the Media Check-In and Briefing prior to the race.
Please contact us with any questions, to apply for a Media Credential, or for other information. Thank you!
We really, really appreciate the global interest in the world’s toughest foot race! Here are the best ways to get involved with the race (and none of them involve actual spectating in person):
1) Compete in it!
2) Serve on a competitor’s support crew! 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 application. You can post your interest in the Badwater Participants/Crew/Pacers group on Facebook.
4) Watch the live webcast!
But PLEASE, we really do NOT want spectators at the event.
Every additional car just adds congestion and safety issues, plus parking at the start and finish are extremely limited. Of course, “it’s a free country,” but if you’re a true fan, you’ll either crew or stay home and follow the webcast. (Sorry to be so blunt, but we will have multiple law enforcement jurisdictions scrutinizing every aspect of the race – and every additional car out there really does make a difference.)