BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021 |217KM | 4,450M+: ULTRARUNNING AT 50ºC IN THE DEATH VALLEY
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021 |217KM | 4,450M+: ULTRARUNNING AT 50ºC IN THE DEATH VALLEY. Our ULTRA TRAIL USA section travels today to an asphalt test with its own legend, due to the fierce temperatures, above 50ºC in which it is run.
Born in 1987, fewer than 100 runners are admitted each year. Each bib has an extensive personal team of assistance in race to guarantee its maximum safety. Here chronicle results and photos of this edition won by Harvey Lewis with 25h50m23s and Sally McRae with 30h48m47s
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021
ULTRARUNNING AT 50ºC IN THE DEATH VALLEY
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON, HISTORY & THE ROUTE (1987-2021)
Runners from this summer’s Badwater 135 ultramarathon ran through Death Valley and climbed up to three mountain ranges to finish at the mountain portal. Whitney west of Lone Pine, California.
The race covers 135 miles (217km) with a positive slope of 4,450m and a negative gradient of 1,859m. The brutal temperatures of the area muliplicate the suffering, yha in itself high, of an ultra asphalt in almost constant ascent.
Al was a visionary American ultrarunner, lover of extreme challenges. A resident of Walnut Creek, Califonia, he became obsessed with this project: Run from Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in America 86 meters below sea level), to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States (4,421m).
Thus, after two previous unsuccessful assaults, Arnold, then 49, left at 5AM of 3AGO 1977 to fulfill his dream. At the third, it was the winner. He achieved it in 84 hours, with stops and detours.
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON BORN IN 1987
Since 1987, the race is held in honor of that feat. Arnold, always supported the career of which he was a pioneer until his death in 2017 at the age of 89. Thus, this 2021 The 44th edition of this race took place from Monday to Wednesday, hosting last night its last finalists.
That is if, now, due to park restrictions, runners no longer go like Arnold, running to the top of the mountain. Whitney. The race ends at the entrance to the park, the so-called Whitney Portal at 2,529m altitude. But that’s enough with that, already….
The men’s and women’s records in the race preview were both from 2019: The men’s record is 21h33m1s, set by Yoshihiko Ishikawa of Japan., while the women’s record holder was Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland with 24h13m24s
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021: RACE CHRONICLE
Starting, as always, in badwater basin, the Badwater Ultramarathon had 84 entries this year: 24 women and 60 men, as many others in 2020, it was suspended due to the pandemic, returned with a mix in the peloton of veterans and rookies.
To highlight, as always in ultras, the high average age of the peloton: This year’s youngest runner was 28; while the eldest was Bob Becker, 76, arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Quite a veteran with three finisher buckles to his credit. Bob was aiming to become the oldest competitor to finish. It could not be, he had physical problems after completing the first third of the race.
It is important to remember that each runner requires a whole support team to follow them all the way. A common attitude in all ultras USA, which here is also vital in its continuous role of refreshing and rehydrating the runner. As you will see in the photos, you can barely see a runner without his “squire” next to him.
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON: THE FINALIST BUCKLE AS ONLY PRIZE.
In this race, there is no cash prize. And in addition, you must finish in less than 48 hours. But if you succeed, as is tradition in so many American ultras, from Western States to Leadville, you will receive the coveted Badwater 135 belt buckle. This is how the 2021 theme looked with this year’s theme engraved in Latin on the back: “Difficilia Quae Pulchra” (Beauty is hard to reach)
The 2021 edition started in three successive waves last Monday night.and the last runners at the finish line crossed MIercoles last night, thus achieving a dream… and receive in recognition the coveted buckle.
In an edition more “USA” than ever, due to the limitations of travel from abroad, we had however many veteran champions of previous races, thus, Harvey Lewis, 45 years old was one of the great favorites, with already a victory in 2014, plus no less than 10 finished and five podiums to his credit.
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021: HARVEY LEWIS MEN’S WINNER.
This 2021 he finished at the top again and thus achieved his first double in the Badwater 135. In contrast, the female winner was, Sally Mc Rae debuted at the top of the podium.
Harvey’s victory was not easy. Most of the race saw a fight for the head of it between a trio formed with the local rider by two foreigners: Ukrainian Igor Gotsuliak and Russian Sergey Ionov.
At mile 90, with two-thirds of the race contested, Lewis was marching nearly an hour behind Gotsuliak. However, he knew how to manage that final third brilliantly and by the passage through mile 122 he was already marching with an hour’s advantage.
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON. 135. TOP5 MEN
1. Harvey Lewis (USA) 25h50m23s
2. Igor Gotsuliak (Ucrania) 26h35m08s
3. Sergey Ionov (Rusia) – 26h49m06s
4. Kenneth Ringled (USA) – 28h56m37s
5. Mark Wooten (USA)- 29h39m02s
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021: SALLY MC RAE WOMEN’S WINNER
Champion Sally Mc Rae had already signed a top10 here. In 2018 she finished in seventh place and this year she was coming for the win. So Sally McRae took the lead of the race from the equator of the race and went forward, without looking back.
She picked up then-leader Suzi Swinehart and continued to widen the gap to the finish line, where she arrived with no less than 2h49m ahead of Norma Roberts, who took silver. From behind. Swinehart knew how to resist to stay on the podium, thus improving on her sixth place of 2019.
BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON. 135. TOP5 WOMEN
1. Sally McRae (USA)- 30h48m47
2. Norma Roberts (Canadá) – 33h37m49
3. Suzi Swinehart (USA) – 34h24m33
4. Caryn Lubetsky USA) – 34h56m11
5. Jessica Hardy (USA) – 35h56m
PHOTO GALLERY BY BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON 2021
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