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The first Badwater ultra race

The first Badwater ultra race

Posted on Jul 15, 2019 in Blog, Women's endurance running history

It is 6am on Friday 31st July 1987 and the temperature at the Badwater sinkhole in Death Valley, California, is already over 30°C. By midday it will rise to over 40°C.

British ultrarunner Eleanor Adams stands with three others waiting to start the first Badwater ultra race. Heat radiates from the ground, baking the soles of their shoes. Sweat beads on their foreheads. The four competitors, two British, two American, will cover 146 miles from Badwater, the lowest point in the US, 282 feet below sea level, to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, 14,494 feet above sea level.

Dozens of runners have attempted the distance and a handful have completed it, but it has never been raced

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