Non-Scientific Adventures

2002 Badwater Ultramarathon

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In July 2002, approximately 85 competitors from around the world gathered in California's Death Valley to run a blistering 135 miles through temperatures approaching 135°F.  The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000' of vertical ascent and 4,700' of descent.  It is one of the most demanding and extreme ultramarathons offered anywhere.

Badwater, Death Valley marks the lowest elevation in the United States at 282’ below sea level.  The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8,300’.  The Portals are the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States.  Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Keeler and Lone Pine.

Competitors had 60 hours to complete the course and the winner of the 2002 Sun Precautions Badwater Ultramarathon finished in ~ 27 hours.  The average finishing time was approximately 48 hours.

For the duration of the race, fans could follow the progress of competitors via a live webcast produced by adventureCORPS at

Ian Parker sucessfully completed the race, raising money for the Barbara K. Burgess memorial fund.

Statement from Ian (2002): I am attempting this race for the first time this summer, and along the way, hope to raise pledge for the fund established in memory of Barbara K. Burgess, a much missed colleague.  Please click here if you would be interested in contributing

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University of California, Irvine
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Lab Tel: 949-824-7833

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last updated 01/17/2006. Please send enquiries to