Monday 16th July and once again runners will be lining up to face the heat of Death Valley.
2012 for me is an interesting year for the race, we are seeing the old guard toe the line: Marshall Ullrich (aged 61), Pam Reed (aged 51) and Dean Karnazes (aged 49) all notable starters. Oswaldo Lopez (aged 40) will be hoping to cross the line in first place but the person to watch will be 100 mile man of the moment, Mike Morton (aged 40).
He has a reputation at the moment of not only winning all the ’100′s’ he enters but also winning them quickly. Typically around the 13 hour mark!
Until Timmy Olson came along and smashed all Western States records into oblivion, Mike Morton’s previous record at WS set in 1997 was considered to be the ‘best’ Western States time even though Geoff Roes set a faster time.
You may or may not know that Mike Morton disappeared from the running scene for years, 14 to be exact. Problems with injury, a re focus on life priorities and ’911′ all had a major impacts on his decisions. Talk Ultra caught up with Mike Morton in episode 7 and you may like to listen HERE or on iTunes
Needless to say, Mike Morton toeing the line at Badwater is an exciting prospect. I for one am really eager to see how he tackles this race. Will he respect the heat and the distance or will he run in his ‘unique’ way, running hard and hoping to survive?
I can’t help but think it will be a combination of the two – a respect for what is without doubt a tough and incredible challenge but I also think that he will push himself as hard as he possibly thinks he can in the hope that he not only wins the race but wins it in a time that sets a new benchmark.
It would be rude not to conclude this preview of Badwater without mentioning Arthur Webb – we had Arthur on Talk Ultra episode 10 as a ’15 min of Fame’ when we interviewed Scott Jurek – Arthur is heading out to Badwater, once again to hopefully complete the race for the 15th time! Yes, the 15th time aged 70 years – incredible. I wish you all the very best Arthur!
You can read up on Badwater HERE