From The Lean-To: Badwater's Baddest Man


Al Arnold

The Badwater Ultramarathon started yesterday, July 11th, at Badwater, Death Valley, the lowest place in the Western Hemisphere at 280 feet below sea level. And after 135 miles and two days of what I can only imagine is the most beautiful, blissful, hell-on-earth punishment a human body can put itself through, the race will end at the 8,360 foot-high Whitney Portal, the trailhead to the highest point in the lower 48, Mount Whitney. The course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700 feet of cumulative descent. All of this at an average of 120 degrees faranheit, even in the shade.

The lunatic pictured above is Al Arnold, the guy who first tried running the race solo in 1974. But it wasn't until 1977, on his third attempt, that he finished it....

Filed To: Athletes, Running

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