The Badwater Ultra Marathon, dubbed “the most difficult run in the world”, was won by Harvey Lewis in a time of 23:52:55. Lewis, a teacher at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts, covered the 135 miles of California high desert over 50 minutes quicker than his nearest competitor, Grant Maughan of Australia. Alyson Venti, an Oceanography Ph.D. student from University of Miami won the women’s race in 28:37:28.
The course, famous for traveling from the lowest point in North America, Badwater, to the trailhead of the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, changed drastically this year due to permitting issues within Death Valley National Park. Over 30 years of safe and successful events were held in the park by Badwater’s parent company AdventureCORPS. They also host an equally crazy 508 mile bike race from the California coast into Death Valley. The Park suspended all event permits to conduct a safety audit, forcing the Badwater run to start somewhere other than Badwater or be cancelled.