Okay, guys. This post will be a short one–I am headed out on a thrilling journey in the morning!
I am so excited to be here in Death Valley right now. I’m out here to crew Lisa Smith-Batchen as she takes on her 10th and final Badwater Ultramarathon. For those who don’t know, the Badwater Ultramarathon is a 135 mile race through Death Valley. The temperature can get as high as 130 degrees F but today was a bit cooler with a high of 115.
The terrain, the distance and the heat all combine to make the Badwater Ultramarathon a uniquely and undeniably tough race. This is a grueling course and is widely recognized as being one of the toughest races on the planet so it’s no wonder that it draws the world’s most accomplished endurance runners wanting to try themselves against this treacherous stretch of desert.
In the past day or so that I have been out here I have met so many incredible people. I will write more on that next week after I have had a chance to process my entire Badwater experience, but right now I do want to to tell you briefly about one AMAZING person I have met here–Sister Mary Beth. Sister Mary Beth is a long-time friend of Lisa’s and she is one inspiring lady. I will write more next week, but till then, please take a moment and read this article about the wonderful cause that fuels Lisa and Sister Mary Beth’s amazing feats of ultrarunning.
Just to give a quick update, I have been training for my 306 mile Death Valley run in LA for the past couple weeks and it has been very hot, but I am adjusting and I have experienced a real shift in how I view the heat–I am thankful for it more than ever because I know that the more I train in the heat the better prepared I am for those 306 miles in Death Valley. By the way, the Badwater course that I will be traversing on Monday and Tuesday as a part of Lisa’s crew is part of the course I will run for the H2OPE event so this is going to be great training for me–I will get to see a portion of the course I’ll be running, but I will also get to see what it is like to crew for someone running in the conditions here in Death Valley. I am really looking forward to gaining that perspective. Lots more to write on that, though I don’t think my thoughts on this are fully formed yet, but I’ll be writing about that next week for sure.
One last thing I want to mention: I am very blessed and thankful to be partnering up with Nike as they develop their first ever shoe designed specifically for running in this kind of heat. They have provided me with a prototype pair of shoes, the soles of which are made of a special type of rubber so that they don’t melt out on Badwater Road.
That’s about it for now…I have an early morning and a long two days ahead of me. Prayers and blessings for all of the Badwater athletes and crews would be very much appreciated!