Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How hot is Death Valley?? Badwater part 1

It's hot, very hot. But it's a dry heat.

It was an interesting journey to say the least. One day a few weeks ago, I received a text from my friend Shannon, "Hey do you want to crew at Badwater?" A quick glance of the calendar and I realized that it may just work out - you see a few days after Badwater, I would be running a race at Tahoe..... Hmmmm. I sent a message back, "sure". Unfortunately, that particular opportunity didn't pan out. By the time I had learned that, I did have a desire to crew. So, I posted to the Badwater blog, that I am willing, and would do anything for a beer ans a t-shirt.

Next thing I knew, I was being emailed by Hung Ng to see if I wanted to be on his team. Hell yes.

So, here I was with four random souls in a mini-van. I had met one of them briefly before Umstead - that was Rico. There was also Dave, Aubrey and of course our runner Hung.

It was quite astonishing how we all bonded quite quickly really - and by the end of it all, I had four new friends.

So, what does a crew do? In no particular order, drive the van, resupply, cool off the runner, pace the runner, blister repair, keep the runner hydrated, motivate, etc etc etc. It is tiring, at times quite intense, and very rewarding when it all comes together.

Before the start, Aubrey coats Hung with Sunscreen

The heat for the first part of the run is incredible - I believe we had temperature in the range of 120F - the road temp was over 160F. But it's a dry heat.

Dave soaking Hung's hood

Rico and the van

Jimbo and the van

The scenery is, well, scenery. Bland yet beautiful. The vastness is hard to describe. All you can see is desert, mountains, runners and crew, and a shimmer rising from the ground. It certainly reminds me of those pictures that came from the Mars Rover

It took a few miles to get our routine together, but after a while, it went something like this: Dave would grab Hung's hood and soak it in iced water. Rico would make Hung step into a shopping bag so that his feet would remain dry, Aubrey and I would spray him with iced water while offering up water and sportsdrink. And he would start to run on, and we would prepare for the next stop half a mile later...........

More to follow........


  1. Wow! You were so lucky to get to crew there. I am trying to find someone to crew next year.. any tips on finding someone who needs a crew member or pacer?

  2. yeah..Brian, let me know if you find someone. good luck with the race.