In 2018, I had the opportunity to share my passion for endurance running on national television as a guest on SBS Insight. During the episode, I made a bold declaration - I wanted to tackle one of the world's toughest races: Badwater 135 (and I got in trouble with Lidia for saying that!). This challenging race is a 135-mile (217km) journey, starting below sea level in California's Death Valley and ending at the top of Mount Whitney, with a total elevation of 4,000 meters. Held In the middle of the California's summer with most extreme weather conditions and temperatures reaching a scorching 54 degrees, it's not for the faint of heart, for sure.
Getting into the Badwater is no small feat, with only 105 runners selected each year from a pool of 1000+ applicants worldwide. The minimum qualifying standards are three 100-mile races (24h events are excluded nowadays) but, as the website points out, not all the 100-mile races are created the same! so particular attention is given to extra difficult ones and the overall runner's resume.
I have decided to apply for the 2024 Badwater 135, with applications being accepted in January 2024. The Badwater 135 is a formidable challenge that's not meant for the inexperienced. With the average age of participants hovering around 44 and some even over 50, now that I'm turning 45, it's the perfect time for me to take on this challenge.
With this in mind, I've created a plan for my racing year, not just to meet the minimum qualifications, but to maximize my mental and physical training.
Here's a rundown of my plan:
I aim to gradually build up my volume, elevation, and race difficulty.
Wish me luck!