Dan Lawson vs Death Valley

 

This weekend I’m thinking of Dan Lawson @therunningdan as he prepares to run the notorious Badwater 135. It starts in Death Valley USA where average temperatures hit 125F (52C) and ground temperatures 200F (93C). If you don’t run on the white line while on tarmac, your shoes melt.  At mile 17, Dan runs runs past Furnace Valley Ranch, site of the hottest ever recorded USA temperature of  134 F (57 C).

The 135 mile race takes athletes from Death Valley at 85m (280’ ) below sea level to 2530m ( 8,300’ ). With a cumulative  4450m (14,600’) of vertical ascent and 1859m (6,100’) of descent, this could well be the toughest challenge Dan has faced in his list of amazing ultra running feats. I’ve seen him set the world treadmill record of  521 miles in 7 days, running nearly half of it with a hairline ankle fracture; run the Brighton Marathon 7 times without sleep before running the distance an eighth time on race day in four hours.

I’ve followed as Dan has won race after race, notably the 100 mile (161km) Run the Rann over baking hot Indian saltflats and thorn-covered rocky hills in just over 24 hours, (8 hours faster than second and third placed runners). The Bangalore Ultra, races in China & Greece, 24 hour challenges and personal challenges like running from Mumbai to Goa. I must admit though, none give me the feeling of excitement and concern brought on by the Badwater 135.

Dan starts the Badwater at 11pm local time on Monday 18th July, (0700 UK time Tuesday 19th) running through the night. The race finishes on Tuesday 19th/Wednesday 20th with results posted on the website.

To track Dan’s progress: The GPS tracking map from Trackleaders has now been embedded in the race webcast: http://www.badwater.com/2016-styr-labs-badwater-135-webcast/ NOTE: If you will be looking at this with a phone, AFTER the race starts, go to http://bluedot.mobi/app-pc.html?event=badwater16 & select the race for a mobile-optimized functionality that looks better. (But use our webcast if on a computer.)

Dan has self-funded his running so far, having quit his job and sold his house to live this dream. He’ll appreciate any contributions to the £2,500 cost of running the Badwater 135.

Dan is on Twitter and Instagram