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SarahCrunning - 09/07/2017 16:29:16
   
Badwater 135
At 8pm tomorrow California time (4am on Tuesday, BST), the first wave of 100 runners will set off from Death Valley (280ft below sea level) on a 135 mile road race to Mount Whitney, California (8300ft above sea level). This is the 40th anniversary year of what is described as 'the World's toughest footrace' and ranked by National Geographic as top of its 10 toughest races. This year, athletes from 19 countries and 20 American States have been invited to compete (participation is by invitation only). The cut-off is 48 hours, with the third wave due to finish at 11pm on Wednesday 12th July (7am on Thursday, BST).

This year sees the highest ever number of female entrants (31), and 57 of the 100 runners are Badwater veterans. Ages range from 28 to 70 with an average age of 47 - a great reminder of the diversity of ultra runners and the benefits of age and experience in endurance racing. In 2016, both course records were broken with Pete Kostelnick (USA) taking the title for the second year running with a time of 21:56:32. Alyson Venti (USA) broke the women's CR with a time of 25:53:07. Kostelnicj is back this year to defend his title but faces tough competition, including champions from 2014 (Harvey Lewis) and 2011 (Oswaldo Lopez).

For the first time in 20 years, there are no former champions in the women's field, but there are a number of strong contenders including Brenda Guajardo who claimed second place in 2016 and Noelani Taylor who won last year's Badwater Cape Fear. This should make for an interesting race and it will be incredibly tough. Runners will face the desert heat in places such as the aptly named Furnace Creek and Devil's Cornfield but the race is entirely run roads and covers three mountain ranges - gruelling conditions by anyone's standards. The race organisers expect this year's winners to finish at close to course record times, so keep an eye on the forums and our Facebook page and twitter account for exciting updates.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/07/2017 09:00:33
   
RE:Badwater 135
The race is underway with temperatures predicted to hit 47 degrees in Furnace Creek, Death Valley. The runners started in three waves, with those predicted to achieve the fastest times setting out at 11pm California time (7am UK time). Good luck to everyone.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/07/2017 14:55:03
   
RE:Badwater 135
It's almost 8 hours since the third wave of runners set off and Pete Kostelnick (USA) and Oswaldo Lopez (Mexico) seem to be leapfrogging at the front. Kostelnick has won the race for the last two years and holds the course record. Lopez won in 2011. It will be dark now and hopefully a little cooler for the competitors. Amy Costa (USA) is leading the women's field at this stage.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/07/2017 18:33:07
   
RE:Badwater 135
After 11.5 hours, the leaders have passed the 70 mile mark and Italy's Marco Bonfiglio has overtaken Kostelnick (currently 3rd) and Lopez (currently 2nd). Hungary's Szilvia Lubics is leading the women's race at around 66 miles - 6 miles in front of current second lady Amy Costa.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 11/07/2017 22:27:16
   
RE:Badwater 135
After just over 15 hours Marco Bonfiglio is hanging onto the lead but Australia's Grant Maughan is hot on his heels with both men at around 82 miles. Surprisingly, the current title holder Pete Kostelnic has dropped back to ninth place. Szilvia Lubics continues to lead the women's field and is fourth overall with Amy Costa the current second lady and fifth overall. It looks wide open so far!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/07/2017 08:43:04
   
RE:Badwater 135
It all changed in the men's field in the final hours. Japan's Wataru Lino has won Badwater 135 in 24:56:19. Marco Bonfiglio is currently in second place with around 4 miles to go but Harvey Lewis III (USA) is right behind him and either could take second. Szilvia Lubics is at 118 miles - around 17 miles ahead of Amy Costa. Lubics has been running strong throughout and looks set to take the women's title.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/07/2017 10:01:05
   
RE:Badwater 135
The men's podium is complete as Marco Bonfiglio takes second and Harvey Lewis III comes in third. Szilvia Lubics continues to lead the women's field, but Mexico's Nelva Valladres has overtaken Amy Costa and is currently second lady.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/07/2017 17:05:17
   
RE:Badwater 135
Amy Costa (USA) has overtaken Szilvia Lubics (Hungary) in a surprise change to the women's field in the final miles. Lubics had maintained a strong lead for most of the race. Costa is now within 5 miles of finishing.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 12/07/2017 19:11:54
   
RE:Badwater 135
Apologies for the confusion over the winning lady - there were some glitches on the race tracker. The women's podium is confirmed as:

1. Sandra Villines (USA) 34:34:43
2. Amy Costa (USA)
3. Pamela Chapman-Markle (USA)

An all-American victory in the women's field. It's been an exciting race - look out for Alice Morrison's news round-up of all the action later in the week.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/07/2017 10:00:42
   
RE:Badwater 135
Here is Alice Morrison's news summary of the race action: https://www.runultra.co.uk/News/July-2017/Badwater-winners-2017
Sarah Cooke

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