One of the world’s toughest races is comprised of a a tight-knit community of runners and support crew.
Napa Valley Register writer Ahren Trumble has cataloged a nice perspective on what it’s like to be a support crew at one of the world’s most difficult races, The Badwater Ultramarathon.
Badwater is a 135-mile race that takes place in one of the hottest parts of North America. Racers experience temperatures near 120 degrees Fahrenheit as they start from Badwater Basin in Death Valley, California and climb over 8000 feet to the end of the race, which is at the trailhead to Mount Whitney.
Trumble was on the support crew for St. Helena, California runner, Juan Sanchez. While there, he observed the tight-knit community of Badwater runners.
“If your runner or team was in need, not one of these athletes would hesitate to lend a hand, a spray of water or some blister-control advice,” he wrote. “Oswaldo Lopez, Juan’s friend and the winner of Badwater 2011, passed us just after dark around mile 70. Although his pace was much faster than ours, he slowed and ran with us for 15 minutes or more, talking to Juan, offering him words of encouragement before pushing on into the night and his victory in less than 24 hours.”
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