How are we going to fit all of this STUFF (and all of US) in here?
Having to unpack everything to show the authorites that we are legit before we go over Hoover Dam
Some early construction on the bridge that will one day span the gorge
Dinner at a buffet in VEGAS! Matt, Steve, Burke, Mongo, Scott
Last minute shopping trip on the way to Death Valley
Scott says "Don't worry, we'll get it all in here..."
A quick run up the hill, to a viewpoint, upon arriving at Death Valley
Zabriskie point just over my right shoulder, Death Valley in the distance
Team 38 - Matt Kalina, Burke Painter, some poor sap who's going to stay on his feet for 135 miles, Steve Ochoa, and Scott Jacaway
Gentlemen, welcome to Death Valley!
It isn't very wide, but it is LOW...
Wow! Actual Clouds...
Zabriskie point again
Standing in line at the check-in at Furnace Creek
More team 38...notice the thermometer in the background...
It says 120 F (in the shade) - and it actually got warmer after that!
Steam machinery to replace the '20 mule team'
The 'Last Supper' the night before the race
The medical crew at the table next to us
The bib - it's official
Ready to drive to the start...
Yeah, yeah, I know; time to GO
Vacating the rooms and going to load the crew vehicles
What Badwater looks like when it is dry
Team 38 at the beginning of the Journey - the obligatory 'crew' photo at the Badwater sign. Burke, Steve, Mongo, Scott and Matt
All of the 6am starters
Another view of the 6am starters
At the starting line, minutes before the start. Standing next to David Goggins - I would be nowhere near him after the race started - he is a motivated operator, and he finished hours ahead of me.
Luckily, we are still in the shade...
Adam Bookspan playing the National Anthem on his trumpet (like in 'Running On the Sun') A very motivating experience to say the least
RD Chris Kostman, telling us not to worry about the 135 miles or the 130 degree temperatures or the big climbs and descents before us...
GO! And they're off...
Down the road we all go...most of us will make it to Whitney Portals, however a few will not for one reason or another (or several...)
Some actual 'bad water' at Badwater. Runners are the tiny dots in the distance
More Bad Water, runners even smaller dots in the distance
Looking North through Death Valley
The sun hitting the mountains across the valley
Better put some sunscreen on now before the sun starts beating down on us - Steve with the handoff
Laughing because I foolishly had some sunscreen land in my eye...
Getting ready for a crew stop. Note - when it starts to warm up, you really don't want to put anything on the ground, like the sprayer seen in the photo
Number one rule - the crew takes care of the crew. If one of the crew is down, it can take the runner right out of the race
Full service pit stop! Sunscreen, spray and water bottle change.
The first turn, just before Furnace Creek
Just about a mile before Furnace Creek
Now the sun is up...notice the grey shirt - it helps to show where the runner is drying out (dry means hot...) Thanks to Don Meyer for suggesting this
Miles and miles along the road and still not above sea level yet.
Each stop, every mile or so, is a race for the crew to be ready for the runner and have what he needs. Steve and Burke getting ready for about the 20th (or subsequent) time
Only 100 more vertical feet and we'll be at Sea Level, though we'll go up and down above and below Sea Level many times in the miles to come
Nattu Natraj and pacer
Much signage required on each crew vehicle.
This is between Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells
Burke says "Heat? What Heat?"
Devil's Cornfield with the sand dunes in the background...getting closer to Stovepipe Wells
Some promising clouds...
Clouds mean shade...they can also mean deadly flash floods...
In the distance, climbing the grade (nothing compared to what is coming)
Trying to keep everything covered and wet for the evaporative cooling effect. It was 130 F according to the thermometers in several rental vehicles of crews that we spoke with.
A very smooth stride - I believe this is Adam Bookspan. He has been here before (see 'Running On the Sun')
The dunes getting closer, but slower than we would have liked at the time
More clouds...like monsoon season back in AZ
And the Dunes of Stovepipe Wells
Still More Clouds...
Closer to the Dunes...
Stovepipe Wells means one thing - a dip in the POOL!
And some respite in the shade off of the feet
Those clouds sure are threatening
Steve in front of Xy Weiss' Hummer at Stovepipe Wells
Burke in front of Xy Weiss' Hummer at Stovepipe Wells
Matt in front of Xy Weiss' Hummer at Stovepipe Wells
After some foot repair by John Vonhoff (author of 'Fixing Your Feet') and some Electrolyte Elixer from Woofie Humpage, I am ready to leave Stovepipe Wells and start the climb up to Towne's Pass
Lisa Bliss (Race Medical Director) and Jeff Lynn (medical crew member) sit waiting for their research 'test subjects'
Stovepipe Wells, ready to GO
Taking a pre-planned break in Panamint Valley just before sunrise the second day
It's amazing how shutting your eyes for a few minutes can really bring your energy level back...or make you even more tired than you were when you stopped...
On the climb out of Panamint Valley, toward Father Crowley
A short break, probably to step on the scale
Thankfully, the sun hasn't started beating down on us again (yet...)
The climb goes on and on and on...and you have to watch out for oncoming traffic since it's you, them and a guardrail...
Strange occurence with the Succeed! caps...
Better shot of the S! cap Clump
Artistic photo (by Burke) of the white S! caps against a black volcanic rock background.
Matt pacing a rejuvinated Robert. It's amazing what daylight (and good friends) can do for one's outlook!
Matt and Robert moving on down the road toward Darwin time station
Trying to keep up with a runner and her pacer who passed us on the climb (I think it is Noora Alidina) though she soon pulled away out of sight.
Just keep chugging along - what success at any ultramarathon is all about.
Progress made, but still over 50 miles to go!
Burke, checking the signage. The duct tape does tend to melt over time. Fortunately, 'goo gone' does an excellent job taking the adhesive off after the race.
Now Leaving Death Valley National Park...more runners from the later waves (8am and 10am) start passing me
Time for a spray down...the second day is starting to get a bit warm...
Scott talking to Leigh 'turbo' Corbin, one of Xy's crew. At Darwin time station
Team 38 crew vehicle, number 38 laying down and recovering inside...
Scott and Burke with Leigh Corbin (Xy Weiss' crew)
Darwin Time Station, more runners passing as I am passed out in the van...
Passed out in the van, actually just spending time off the feet and recovering from a spray down that was a little colder than anticipated.
A Happy Crew is a helpful crew. Fortunately I didn't upset them with all the things a runner goes through completing 135 miles in 125+ degrees; these gentlemen took it all in stride. And for that I owe them all a huge Thank You
More Darwin Time Station in the late morning or early afternoon of the second day
Also time for a crew change...Matt and Burke are headed to Lone Pine, where Scott and Steve just arrived from.
Still spending time of the feet...
Today, the clouds are even more threatening - though the shade keeps retreating, taunting me as I descend into Owens Valley
Remember those threatening clouds? They delivered quite the thunderstorm! After it stopped raining it was actually nice; though when your internal thermostat is stressed, you feel cold when you should feel comfortable (relative to 120+ heat)
Crossing one of a number of washes which, thankfully, were never flowing hard enough to be dangerous
Splish Splash and a cool respite for tired feet
Steve telling Burke how badly I was doing - Burke finding it hard to believe compared to how I am doing now...after the rain
This is actually an uphill grade...the 'town' of Keeler in the background. I caught a second (or third, fourth, etc.) wind here and was really focussed getting to Lone Pine in good time and being ready for the climb to the portals.
Well, running uphill for a little while, anyway
Thank You to Ben and Denise Jones, the 'Mayor' and 'First Lady' of Badwater. I saw Ben driving up and down the course a number of times. He even stopped to take my picture and ask how I was doing! ( http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2595500790072786939zgNNMU ) Yet another person from 'Running On the Sun'
Looking East from the road to Lone Pine
On the road through Owens Valley to Lone Pine.
Just keep chugging, heading to Lone Pine
Yes, I am feeling that good (right now...)
Well, that was then, this is now...Sitting for a break, eating, drinking and getting ready for the falling sun...
Glazed expression, not just from the clear glasses...
Feeling sort of 'blurry'
Oops, sat too long, starting to cool off too much...Burke breaking out the night-running gear.
Mary Kashurba and her crew, just before she passed me (I had passed her earlier when I was feeling good - she caught up and left me behind)
Storms moving on and the sun falling behind the Sierra, leaving these hills in the dark...
Steve showing off the Arizona flag he brought along. He carried this flag with him through every mile of the Marathon Des Sable the year he ran (and finished) it.
Carrying the flag, focussed on the finish ( http://www.badwater.com/2006web/shows/2006showCK13/pages/DSC_189.html )
RD Chris Kostman awards the medal for finishing the Badwater 135
Gentlemen, welcome to Whitney Portals...I just can't believe that I made it! ( http://www.badwater.com/2006web/shows/2006showCK13/pages/DSC_190.html )
Team 38 at Whitney Portal after a finish, for the buckle, no less! I couldn't have done it without this crew.
This was the second pair of shoes I wore during the race. The first pair I wore from the start to Townes Pass, I wore these (a size larger) the rest of the way.
Now the ugly part...what a pair of feet look like after 135 miles on pavement in the Summer through Death Valley
Chris just has to get a shot of the Toe Socks (Injinji was one of the race sponsors, though I wore their socks long before they sponsored this race.)
The funny thing about blisters, once you smash them flat the right way, they tend not to bother you as much...( http://www.badwater.com/2006web/shows/2006showCK20/pages/DSC00438.html )
I had to cut a hole in the molefoam to relieve the pressure of the blister that popped somewhere around mile 80
And for the other foot...
Same story, other foot. ( http://www.badwater.com/2006web/shows/2006showCK20/pages/DSC00439.html )
A Happy bunch - we all survived and we all made it to the finish line together.
After a fine fixing job by John Vonhoff ( http://www.badwater.com/2006web/shows/2006showAB07/pages/IMG_1917.html ) my feet are ready to take me to the awards dinner...
Happily, I was able to nap a bit before after getting my feet fixed.
I felt bad because my crew had already started to take the signage off of the vehicles and they started sorting out all of the gear!
Calling home to give them the good news (in case they hadn't been following the webcast)
My eyes are closed but there is a movie playing in my mind...flashbacks of various parts of the race as I retell the tale on the phone
Well, I guess my eyes are closed because I was tired...and being thankful that everything went well for us
Some people do this race with a lot more shoes. Maybe next time I will have more...Next Time?!
Interesting what a person can do with a stack of horseshoes and a little creativity
The final result...see that 1:21:15? That is the time that I finished...1:21 am! Over 43 hours on the course...and I wouldn't change a thing (well, a faster time would have been nice but at lest the suffering was tolerable, mostly)
The winner, Scott Jurek, being interviewed before the awards party
The inside of the Lo-Inyo school gym
David Goggins is congratulated by yet another admirer
Talking with someone (off camera) One of many members of the Badwater 'family' We all chowed down on Pizza and Salad. They even had quite a variety of soft drinks...
Congratulating David Goggins as he walks past.
Roughly translated to English, Los Chingones means 'badasses' (according to Steve) This shirt is worn by Ulli Weber, multiple Badwater finisher (unfortunately not this year...)
Jack Menard, who finished again this year. I met Jack at Across The Years (my first ultra) in 2003 and listened to many of his stories of running Badwater in 2002. It was an honor to stand with him at the awards ceremony.
I think Steve grabbed the Red Bull from the drink cooler, like I said, they had quite a variety...
Waiting for all the fun to start...getting sleepy after a belly full of food...and very little sleep the previous couple of days
Jack Deness, yet another 'character' from 'Running On the Sun' This year he and his wife Mags were volunteering at the race. It was great to see them both out there.
After each person received their buckle and finisher's shirt, we lined up together. Jonathan 'Gundy' Gunderson is standing between Jack Menard and I, we both started at 6am and went back and forth several times early on during the race. The only reason I finished ahead of him (and it was only by a few minutes) was because he had even bigger issues than I did; though he fought through them and made it to the finish.
The wonderful medical crew of the 2006 Badwater Ultramarathon. Woofie Humpage, John Vonhoff, Andy Jacobson, Jeff Lynn, David and Lisa Bliss, Jamie Huneycutt, Kent Wang and Dave Heckman
Team 38 celebrating with the buckle after the awards dinner.
Wow, that was FUN! Wait a minute...now we have to drive back home!
The two medical crew volunteers who helped me the most during the race; Woofie gave me some Succeed! caps (and some ORS) after my S! caps all gelled together. John Vonhoff fixed a blistered toe at Stovepipe Wells then did a good repair job the morning after I finished.
Signage on the race vehicles.
The result of the adventure - stuff. It's nice to look at, but the memories are what really count.
The most expensive belt buckle I own, but I wear it almost every day.