September 23, 2012

The Hikers Made It!

They survived! This past Monday, Scott and his brother David set out to hike Mount Whitney in California, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States ... and they did amazing!  (Full photo album Here) 22 miles of sheer incline with heavy packs on their backs (11 up and 11 down)- I'm impressed they're still able to hobble around after all that!

After climbing to the highest point, they drove through Death Valley and stopped at Badwater, site of the lowest point in the United States and home of the Badwater Ultramarathon. Thankfully the guys weren't there to run the race, but just to experience the site of the "toughest footrace known to man." Here's a description of the race:
Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater Ultramarathon is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at nearly 8,300’ (2530m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. 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.  
The heat in Death Valley during the race is so hot that runners resort to running on the dotted white line on the road to prevent their shoes from melting on the asphalt... I am so jealous that these guys got to stand at this place of running history! (Full photo album Here)

Want to learn more about Badwater and a surprising history of long distance running? Check out A Few Degrees from Hell: The 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon or Born to Run - whether or not you are a runner, you will love these and it will make you want to visit places like Badwater too!

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