<%@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 - 2021
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 run the race in 2002 through 2011, oficially finishing in 8 years, and returned several times later not as a runner but as race staff photographer. Over these decadesthe race has 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 full daytime heat of the hottest place on earth. The qualifications required to enter the race have got tougher and the overall standards of the runners have increased, as marked by a remarkabe shortening of the course record to 21 hrs 30 min.

 

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 2021, July 19-21

Back again after a one year hiatus owing to the covid pandemic.

This was my 16th year at the Badwater Ultramarathon, the "World's toughest footrace"; eleven years as a runner or pacer, and five helping on the race staff and as a photographer. My approach the first year I came to photograph the race was from the perspective of a landscape photographer, aiming to place the runners in context of the spectacular scenery of Death Valley and the Eastern Sierras. This year I shifted gears, and also took on the mindset of a 'street'/portrait photographer, concentrating on the runners and their support crews. Badwater offers a photographic challenge of capturing the emotions of a group of very special people pushing themselves to the limit in an extreme environment. Moreover, the runners and their support crews are friendly, like having their pictures taken, and in any case have all signed waivers permitting the taking and publishing of photos!

The images below are a selection from many hundreds of shots. Click HERE for links to to numerous other photos from the 2021 Badwater Ultramarathon. Click HERE for the race website, with links to full results.

 

 

Start line at Badwater Basin for the 8:00pm wave

 


 


 


 

   

   

   

   

 

 

 

8:00 pm runners at night along the Badwater Road

   


Brian Hamilton; Badwater 2021


 

Dawn the next morning - runners from the sand dunes to Stovepipe Wells

   

   

 

   

   

 


   

   

 

   

 

Fuel for a runner; Badwater 2021

Six bags of ice, Stovepipe Wells; Badwater 2021

 

The 5000 ft ascent of Towne Pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

Timothy Deer at 4000ft on Towne Pass; Badwater 2021



   

 

 

 

 


 


 

   

 

Towne Pass to Leaving Death Valley N.P.

   

 

   

 

   

 


   

 

   

   

 

   


 

 
   

   

   

 

Wednesday morning, along highway 190 by Owens Lake

   

 

   

 

   

   

   



 

   

   

   

   

   

 

Ascent of Whitney Portal road

 

 

 

 

   

 


 

   

 
Timelapse of runner rounding the Portal Road switchback; Badwater 2021
 

 

Badwater finishers at Whitney Portal - mile 135

 

   

 


   

 

 

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

   

 

   

   

 

   

 


 

 

 

 

   

 

   

   

   

   

   

 

   

 

 

 


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

Please send enquiries to evanescentlightphotography@gmail.com

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