Runners Battle 120-Degree Temps At Badwater Ultramarathon

At nearly 300 feet below sea level, the Badwater Basin is the lowest point on the North American continent. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Fifteen of the 96 starters did not finish the 135-mile race.

Portugal’s Carlos Gomes De Sá and Catherine Todd claimed the men’s and women’s victories at the Badwater Ultramarathon on Wednesday.

The race, which takes runners 135 miles through Death Valley and up and down three mountains, is known as one of the hardest endurance tests in the world. Air temperatures reached 120 degrees and the pavement was said to be around 170.

Gomes De Sá, a 39-year-old making his Badwater debut, crossed the finish line in 24:28:16. Taking second in the men’s race was Australian Grant Maughan (24:53:57). Oswaldo Lopez, who won the race in 2011, placed third (25:27:03).

American Pamela Reed placed second in the women’s race, stopping the clock more than 40 minutes behind Todd’s result of 29:55:29. In third was American Meredith Dolhare (32:52:40).

The first American to cross the line was Harvey Sweetland Lewis III, who took fourth in the men’s race with a time of 25:49:50.

Fifteen of the 96 runners that started the race did not finish.

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