Pete Kostelnick, a 27-year-old ultrarunner from Lincoln, Nebraska, won the 2015 Nutrimatix Badwater 135 ultramarathon on Wednesday night. He completed the 135-mile course in 23 hours, 27 minutes, and 10 seconds, more than seven hours faster than he ran the course in 2014, according to the results.
The self-billed “world’s toughest foot race” climbs more than 14,600 feet in searing heat, starting at Badwater, Death Valley, which, at 280 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in North America. It finishes at the portal to Mount Whitney at 8,300 feet, according to the race website.
This year marked the race’s return to Badwater after a year in exile, during which time the race was held on an alternate course. New safety regulations put in place by Death Valley National Park in 2014 threatened the future of the race, but it was reinstated after race officials agreed on increased safety measures, including a night start.