Running the grueling Badwater 146

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 6-12, 1997
Camping on the cheap on Kauai
Running the grueling Badwater 146
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Running the grueling Badwater 146
Question: I need info on the Badwater 146 running race between Badwater and Mount Whitney. I know you guys wrote it up something like three or four years ago in your "10 Most Grueling" (or whatever) athletic events. The winner, as I recall, was the Race Across America. Please help me out, if you can, with either the issue date of the original report or a place I could get information. Thanks.

Jennifer Kahn
Berkeley, CA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: Hail the owner of sturdy running shoes and a voracious appetite for pain! The starting gun for the Badwater 146 (a bit of a misnomer, actually--it's really a paltry 138 miles long) goes off in mid-summer, sending participants on a grueling up-and-down course--you'll gain and lose a whopping 20,000 vertical feet total--through 100-degree desert temperatures to the flanks of Mount Whitney. Sound like fun? Keep in mind that your feet will likely swell two or three shoe sizes in the scorching heat, so plan accordingly.

The good news: Forest Service officials have moved the finish line from the summit to a point just shy of 11 miles from the top, at a lung-friendly 8,300 feet. You'll also have a roomy 60 hours to finish the race, which means there's plenty of time for strolling. For details, check out our rundown of the world's toughest races in Outside's September 1993 issue or call the race directors at Hi-Tec Sports (209-545-1111).

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