Friday, March 16, 2012

Badwater Bound

About 3 or 4 years ago I was sitting with fellow competitor and friend, Jeff Ashizawa,  it was mid-week of the ENDURrun and we were having lunch at his place.  The conversation turned into ultra running, at time Jeff had only run a few races greater than the marathon distance and I was a dabbler in the ultra scene (and still am).  Somehow our talk led to the Badwater thing led to another and I said to Jeff, "If you ever run Badwater, I will go and crew for you..."

Jeff and I @ the 2009 ENDURrun

Fast forward to the summer of 2011, it was the first time since 2006 that I did not journey north of the border to run in the ENDURrun, but Jeff and Badwater were still on my mind.  Since that talk years before, Jeff had gone on to compete in many ultras, 50ks, 100ks, 100 milers, 24 hours races, he even won a 100 miler and a 24 hour race.  So I emailed him asking if he had given Badwater any thought lately.

I guess my little poke got Jeff thinking because soon after he told me he would enter in February with hopes that he would get chosen to run in the race.  From that day on I checked the Badwater site everyday, waiting for info about the 2012 race.  When the entry info was finally up, I emailed Jeff right away telling him.

There was a short window to submit your "running resume" and there are minimum requirements as well.  Looking at all these things and the fact that they only choose about 45 "rookies" I thought the chances of Jeff getting in were slim at best.  The entry period ended on February 15th and the site stated that the entrants would know February 21st or later if they got in.  I asked Jeff to let me know as soon as he heard something.

To my surprise, sometime late on February 21st I had an email from Jeff telling me that he got in!  My first thought was DAMN!  With all my excitement to go out to Badwater and help Jeff and have an epic experience, when it became REAL all I could think was man it is going to be hot as hell there!!  and we are going to be up for more than a day driving and running through the hot ass desert begging this poor bastard to keep moving, to stop puking, to stop complaining about the fact that his feet are two sizes larger than they were when he started.  Well now that I write all that out, yeah I guess this will be pretty fun!!

Another great part about the trip is that I was able to get two other Turtles to come with me to help crew for Jeff.  The more the merrier and I figure the more people there are the less chance that we will all fall asleep and leave Jeff somewhere stranded in Death Valley without water!

So come July 14th we will head west to Las Vegas and start an amazing adventure.  I am hoping that it doesn't turn into The Hangover:  Badwater Edition, or maybe I hope it does!

Check out some race reports etc of previous Badwater races at the below links and if you have any advice, please comment below!

Dan Rose Crew Report

Jamie Donaldson Blog

Ian Sharman Crew Report

Badwater: Running on the Sun Trailer