Growing up, I loved running! Today I love it even more! When I was young, I used running as endurance training for hockey. It wasn’t until after I stopped playing hockey competitively that I began to run longer distances. It all started during a long weekend camping trip when my sister Stacey invited me to join her in running the Scotiabank Marathon in Toronto later that summer. What I didn’t know at the time, was only six short years later, I would be running in the 2013 Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. For those who don’t know, this race is 135 miles long (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55C). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000 feet (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700 feet (1433m) of cumulative descent. It is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.After completing my first marathon with my sister, I told her I would never run that far again. I honestly thought that was the truth. Yesterday, I ran farther then a marathon distance, by myself, in the rain, as part of training.
It only took a couple of weeks after that first marathon to realize I wanted to complete harder and tougher marathons with challenging environmental elements. While researching races such as The Great Wall of China Marathon, the Mount Everest Marathon, I eventually came across the website for the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. At first I couldn’t believe anyone would run that far, but after reading the majority of the website, I was hooked. It was love at first sight. I knew that completing the Badwater 135 would be my next athletic goal.Having a goal in mind was one thing, but completing a goal like this is another. Criteria for your application to even be reviewed it must include: a minimum of three completed 100 mile races. Additional endurance adventure races and experience crewing for another Badwater participant probably doesn’t hurt. The application is then reviewed by a panel of judges, who only choose up to 100 runners a year. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, considering I never ran further then 42km, and I struggled through the final kilometers during that race. After researching training, nutrition, stretching, and recovery, and the help of family, close friends and of course my loving wife, Julie, I knew that getting to the Badwater finish line was achievable!
Throughout this blog I will tell you about my journey to Badwater. I will also provide current training updates, gear recommendations as well as anything I find interesting in the world of running. Please follow along on my journey from the rural roads in Cambridge Ontario to the hot roads in Death Valley California….and beyond….if my wife lets me ;)……Just kidding Julie J