“The time is near. A race that runs through the valley of your soul. Find your destiny and the calm and beauty in the heart of the fire.” –Mitch Keiler
The Badwater Ultramarathon (BW) is notorious for its reputation as the world’s toughest footrace “aka” the challenge of champions. BW represents a myriad of things to all those who show up to check-in at Furnace Creek: a culmination of one’s athletic career, a reunion with fellow runners from points across the globe, another opportunity to explore a new environment on foot, a long training run for perhaps something a bit beyond the pre-conceived norm, a chance to promote one’s cause and/or sponsors, and a chance to test one’s self against some on of the toughest venues provided in the United States. For me this event represented the intersectionality of years of running, a passion pursued relentlessly, and a cause worth running myself into and out of the ground. I’ll be perfectly honest, I do not go into most ultras with the foremost concern being whether or not I will make it; I focus on the experience or the results—both if the stars align. But I would be a damn fool if I did not admit that I had a recurring bout of trepidation at the thought of tacking the course.