<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Evanescent Light : Badwater


evanescent
: fleeting, transitory
evanescent wave: a nearfield standing wave, employed for total internal reflection microscopy

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Badwater 135 Ultramarathon - 2013
The "World's toughest footrace"


Death Valley to Mount Whitney



Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater® 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. The start line is at Badwater Basin, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Whitney Portal at 8,300’ (2530m), which is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

I had previously completed the race 9 times in 2002 through 2011, and returned several times later not as a runner but as race staff photographer. Over those years the race changed considerably. The cutoff time for official completion was reduced from 60 to 48 hours in 2011; in 2014 the Death Valley National Park imposed a moraorium on sporting events so the course was re-routed to include climbs to Horseshoe Meadow and Cerro Gordo; and from 2015 onward the race has started in the evening rather than the morning, so runners are no lnger exposed to the fyll daytime heat of the hottest place on earth.

Click HERE for the Badwater 135 website

Click on the links below for photos from other annual editions of the Badwater, and for the years (2002-2012) when I was runnng Badwater.

Badwater 2021 Badwater 2019 Badwater 2015

Badwater 2014 Badwater 2013 Badwater 2002-12

Return to Badwater home page


BADWATER 2013


The Badwater Ultramarathon describes itself as "the world's toughest foot race". It is a 135-mile (217 km) course starting at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet (2548 m) at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mount Whitney. It takes place annually in mid-July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 °F (49 °C), even in the shade, are not uncommon. Consequently, very few people—even among ultramarathoners—are capable of finishing this grueling race. Currently, AdventureCORPS manages the competitive race from Badwater to Whitney Portal. The course route is specified, and the race is held annually. The field is invitation-only and limited in size. Demand to participate in the race usually far exceeds available spots.[Wikepedia]

I entered the race over 11 consecutive years, 2002-2012; finishing 9 times under the 60-hour cutoff, including once under the 48 hour time limit to be awarded the coveted Badwater belt buckle. This summer (2013) I returned, to watch and photograph the race from the other side of the road. My aim was not simply to capture images of the runners, but to place them within the context of the austerely beautiful environments of the race route through Death, Panamint and Owens valleys and across three mountain ranges.

 

















 

last updated 08/01/2019

IanParker
1146 McGaugh Hall
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697

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