Jennifer emailed me at work today with a link to a CNN.com article on the Badwater Ultramarathon. 135 miles through Death Valley, with temperatures of 130 degrees and pavement so hot that runners have to stay on the painted lines in order to keep their shoes from melting. The subject line of her email was “Don’t even think about it.”
I had, of course. Not so much about running it – much like Wayne and Garth when they met Alice Cooper in “Wayne’s World”, I’m not worthy to even say the “Badwater” name out loud with only a few 50K’s under my belt.
There are quite a few that I shouldn’t mention. For example, the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, a jaunt across the Rockies featuring 33,000 feet of climb with an average elevation of 11,000 feet. Ditto the Leadville Trail 100, also in the Rockies. And the Western States Endurance Run in the Sierra Nevadas. And the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run, right here in Virginia.
And then there’s the Barkley 100 Mile Run in Tennessee. More than half of all Barkley entrants quit before the 21st mile. In its 22 year history, only 8 runners out of around 700 have finished this 100 mile race within the 60 hour cutoff. 60 hours! By way of comparison, this year’s Badwater winner finished that 135 mile race in under 24 hours.
What makes Barkley so tough? Read this Washington Post article. It gives a great overview of Barkley, and also offers some insight into what makes ultrarunners tick.
hope to plan to run a 50-miler in 2010. I would consider that to be an amazing accomplishment. But it would be a long, long way from doing a 100-miler (50 miles, to be exact), and further still from doing one of the caliber of those I’ve mentioned.
I can still think about it, though.
PS to the Blawger Survivor crew – I’m still in.