CNN's Ashley Fantz came to Badwater this year and aired this great story on CNN.com. Check it out.
Badwater Ultramarathon: 135 miles in 130-degree heat
* Badwater Ultramarathon is 135 miles through one of the hottest deserts in the world
* It's essential that runners bring crews who check their vitals through three-day race
* Prize for finishing the course that traverses three mountain ranges? A belt buckle
updated 7:10 p.m. EDT, Wed August 12, 2009
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DEATH VALLEY, California (CNN) -- Today, you get a call from a friend. They need a favor.
Would you mind spending your vacation time this summer in Death Valley, a desert where temperatures hover around 130 degrees?
Would you be OK with sleeping in a van, if you get to sleep at all, for three days, because you'll be working your tail off spraying runners down with water, dunking them in ice and keeping track of everything that goes in (and -- yes -- out) of their body every 15 minutes so they don't die running 135 miles in the hardest footrace on the planet?
"Yeah, man, it's Badwater. You don't turn down a chance to be at Badwater," Mark Paterson said, adjusting his visor as sweat soaked his face.
He pulls at his shirt, trying to create some air, pointlessly. It was 4 p.m. and 126 degrees in a Death Valley village called Furnace Creek, what whoever coined the phrase, 'Hell on earth' had in mind.
READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE.