Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    Default Safety Concerns put Badwater and Death Valley Endurance Races on Hold

    They say it's all out of concern for safety, however, if you read the below article it seems like there's a little more to it; sounds like typical weasel talk.



    http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/12/23/...h-valley-endu/



    The National Park Service, citing safety concerns for athletes and the public, has temporarily halted issuing permits for the famed Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon and a dozen other endurance races at Death Valley.


    Since 1987 the Badwater basin in Death Valley has been the starting point for the grueling 135-mile footrace. It's the lowest place in the Continental U.S. and a century ago a temperature reading of 134 degrees made it officially the hottest place on Earth.


    The documentary "Running on the Sun" shows athletes baking in the sole-melting heat as they run across Death Valley National Park. For a certain type of endurance athlete, this is the pinnacle of a good time.


    But the growing popularity of Death Valley endurance events and the traffic, health and environmental hazards they pose have prompted the National Park Service to call a halt to the fun.


    Park Service spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman said the Park Service will issue no further permits for running and cycling events in Death Valley until they've completed a safety study and written new rules for athletes and their support crew vehicles to follow.


    "We don't want to wait till we have a death or an accident or a mass casualty of some kind," Chipman said.


    Cyclists were riding two or more abreast on Death Valley's two-lane roads, making it hard for cars to pass, she said. Park visitors also complained of environmental and visual blight as athletes relieve themselves along stretches of desert road with no porta-potties.


    In the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, each of the 100 athletes brings a support crew of up to six people and two vehicles.


    "A lot of it is traffic, people pulling in and out and following racers and creating a hazard as they were doing that for people just driving on the park roads and state highways," Chipman said.


    Chris Kostman's company AdventureCORPS put on the last 14 editions of the race. In messages via email and social media he has called on participants to protest the moratorium on permits. For now, he has chosen alternate routes for his events outside the Death Valley National Park limits.


    He says Badwater and other running and cycling events have had few safety issues.


    "As far as we can tell there have been no specific incidents that prompted the review," Kostman said.


    He said a cyclist had a heart attack during one of his events, but his medical team came to the rescue.


    "The Park actually told us it was a good thing that it happened during one of our events because we were able to respond so quickly," Kostman said.


    An organizer who had already been granted a permit for a February marathon will be permitted to go ahead with that race, but the Park Service would not accept any applications for events occurring before Oct. 1, 2014 until a new safety plan was in place, Chipman said. She estimated the plan would be ready by spring.


    Badwater is one of a dozen running and cycling endurance events that bring about 2,500 people to the park each year. More were in the planning stages, Chipman said.


    "This is what race organizers or participants don't really appreciate is that we need to look at all of our one million visitors a year," Chipman said.


    By withholding permits now, the park can set uniform safety standards in place for the benefit of all the park's visitors, she added.


    Correction: The Badwater 135 Ultramarathon started in 1987. An earlier version of the story said it had been in existence 24 years.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,739

    Default

    The hottest I've ever experienced was at Furnace Creek 129* at 10 P.M. in Death Valley. There's acool 150 mile trail/single track/bushwack trek from Badwater 282 ft below sea level to the top of 14, 497 ft Mt Whitney. It may be harder in some ways then the Badwater Run which largely follows paved road.

    http://www.simblissity.net/L2H.shtml

    http://dineshdesai.info/lowhigh/index.html

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-29-2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Age
    56
    Posts
    2,018

    Default

    I saw something on TV about this race. You pretty much have to be a bad ass just to get considered. Plus you have full vehicle support if you want it so I agree that it sounds weasely.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

  4. #4
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2004
    Location
    Colorado Plateau
    Age
    45
    Posts
    10,999

    Default

    I have nothing but respect for those who run badwater. However, running mainly on blacktop does nothing for me.

    This, OTOH, sounds quite cool:
    http://www.simblissity.net/L2H.shtml
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    4,007

    Default

    This is too bad. I've often had visions of getting to the point where I could run Badwater some day. But first I have to move from road marathons to easier ultras.

  6. #6

    Default

    This is a trend of NPS staff finding their inner Gestapos. Obama started it; told them to keep people out during the shut down although this had never happened during any previous shut downs. Park Service staff have control issues to start with (I worked for the NPS), and they are letting it all hang out.

    Next thing, JFK50 will be stopped because it goes for 26 miles on the C&O Canal Natl Monument, after all, consider all the park visitors who are inconvenienced by 1300 ultrarunners and their crews. Oh, and forget about the Crater Lake marathon, heck of an inconvenience to other Park visitors, you know.

  7. #7
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2004
    Location
    Colorado Plateau
    Age
    45
    Posts
    10,999

    Default

    Lets keep the politics out of this, shall we? As soon any mention of Nazism is mentioned in a thread about limiting races, we've left reality behind.

    Thanks!
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  8. #8

    Default

    I think when these kinds of events start to get too popular at some point thier impact, both short term and long term, become significant and a problem which has to be dealt with.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

    Default

    I saw this news also and was quite bummed out about it.
    The trend is not good for ultra runners.
    So many of the good races are on National Forest land.
    Leadville, Hard Rock, even Horton's race, "Mountain Masochist" in VA. (and many more)
    Will they all eventually be banned?
    I sure hope not.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  10. #10
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2004
    Location
    Colorado Plateau
    Age
    45
    Posts
    10,999

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    So many of the good races are on National Forest land.
    Leadville, Hard Rock, even Horton's race, "Mountain Masochist" in VA. (and many more)
    Will they all eventually be banned?
    I sure hope not.
    Good point. I wonder if the perceived danger of Badwater may be a factor as well?
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
    Twitter: @pmagsco
    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  11. #11
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-26-2004
    Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Age
    49
    Posts
    2,320
    Images
    52

    Default

    I will say up front that i am not all that well informed on this particular issue or qualified to comment, but I am willing to give the Park Service the benefit of the doubt.

    I for one have no interest in the nanny state, but in our American culture, the first moment that there is some incident, some form of suit would be brought, and event organizers and the Park Service would be raked over the coals for lacking any sort of safety or emergency plan.

    My thought would be that its the nature of the beast and the dangers to be expected. But most families do not think like that

    I also think that it is a legitimate concern to consider how big events disrupt the enjoyment of the park by other visitors and that adverse impact.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    I have nothing but respect for those who run badwater. However, running mainly on blacktop does nothing for me.
    Yeah, your brain has to go to another place when doing that; it reminds me of a cycling coach that would put his guys on an exercise room with no AC and they had to position the bikes facing a blank wall and just pedal for hours and no headphones/music... The idea was to develop that mental toughness.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Yeah, your brain has to go to another place when doing that; it reminds me of a cycling coach that would put his guys on an exercise room with no AC and they had to position the bikes facing a blank wall and just pedal for hours and no headphones/music... The idea was to develop that mental toughness.
    should be "exercise bike" in a room...

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    4,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Yeah, your brain has to go to another place when doing that; it reminds me of a cycling coach that would put his guys on an exercise room with no AC and they had to position the bikes facing a blank wall and just pedal for hours and no headphones/music... The idea was to develop that mental toughness.
    Sounds like torture, just like doing long runs on a treadmill (with or without headphones).
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •