Thursday, July 10, 2008


Well, it is really only about 3 days to go until I toe the line at Badwater. I remember less than a year ago at dinner the night before the Rio Del Lago 100 miler, I was speaking with Nattu Natraj, a two time Badwater finisher. He talked about his prep and the race and I remember admiring his accomplishment but clearly stating "That is one race I will never do." Well, fast forward and here I am.

I have been picking up supplies and some gear for Badwater (man do those nickles and dimes for every little item add up!) I grabbed a 5 gallon water cylinder water cooler today. I get the support van from my sister and her husband tomorrow. My buddy Willy is going to outfit the back with a special custom-made storage/work-station he built for his Furnace Creek 508 race. Then I head down to Death Valley Saturday.

My crew is now set as follows: I have Rajeev Patel and Carilyn Johnson for all of the day 1 (Rajeev is the Rd for the Ruth Anderson Ultras and an accomplished ultra runner, Carilyn won this year's Ruth Anderson 50 mile event). For all three days, I also have Martin Casado, Nicole Whiting, Joe Judd and Lisa Huerta. (Lisa won the 100km at Ruth Anderson; Nicole volunteered at Ruth Anderson and is a fine ultra runner; Martin ran some of the American River 50 miler this year with Rajeev - they both finished; and Joe ran some of the Lean Horse 100 with Raj last year). It is amazing how small and close of a world it is in the Ultra community.

A few days ago I did a 3:30 20 miler with fellow Badwater runner Jonathan Gunderson ("Gundy"). He gave me some good pointers. Then yesterday I met with Don and Gillian of ZombieRunners for a couple of hours for some awesome Badwater advice (they are both Badwater finishers).

Yesterday was my final sauna day - I will now try to hydrate and get to Badwater ready to go. I did a nice run in the warm sun today with my friend Diego (a collegue from Spain via Switzerland). It was very warm - but nothing, I thought, compared to what is coming up.

So, I think I am ready. My goal - to finish. My secondary goal - to get the belt buckle (sub-48 hours). My third goal - to go between 40 and 45 hours. Other than having fun, living every moment of the race experience(no matter how painful), enjoying the scenery, and having a great time with my crew - I have no other goals. I am not "racing" Badwater. Maybe a future year. This year - it is only the finish and a possible buckle.....and maybe Whitney's summit on my birthday Wednesday.

Thank you all who donated to my fundraising efforts for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. To date, we raised over $7500!! If you still want to contribute, please go here: Alan's CAF Page.

Stay tuned: pre-race reports from Death Valley to follow as the countdown to Badwater continues.


Eudemus said...

Go kick some serious ass Alan!!!

Alan said...

Thanks - but I'm just hoping not to get my ass seriously kicked by the desert!

Baldwyn said...

Alan, I get butterflies in my stomach thinking about what you're about to do. I'm so excited for you. I wish I didn't just change jobs and have zero-vacation time and a baby on the way next month, or I'd have signed up to crew in a heartbeat. I think you're ready. I hope you toe the line, eager, rested, and cool, and I look forward to hearing about your adventures when you're able.

Alan said...

Thanks Baldwin - you definitely have higher priorities to worry about than my race. I appreciate the thoughts and look forward to updating everyone on what I intend to be a successful attempt!

Sean Lang said...

Being in the moment and having fun, tough goals when it is going to be 130F! Good luck and I am sure you will think back to the race with fond memories.

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Why did I think it was next weekend? Probably because I'm working so much......ugh, too late to wish you guys luck. You're doing it, right?