In honor of today’s start of the Badwater 135 I can’t think of any better guide for mile #28 than to replay the episode with Bob Becker. For those that may have missed it Bob was my guide for mile #10.
For those not familiar with the Badwater 135 it is called the World’s Toughest foot race. It covers 135 miles from the Badwater Basin in Death Valley which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280 feet below sea level and finishes at Whitney Portal at 8300 feet which is the trailhead to the Mount Whitney Summit. Runners will traverse 3 mountain Ranges with a cumulative ascent of 14,600 feet and descent of 6100 feet. What is remarkable about this race is temps in Death Valley for this event are forecast for 114-117 degrees. This year it will involve 84 runners from 7 countries including 29 states. The roster is made up of 60 men and 24 women, with 36 of the participants are over the age of 50, there are 10 in the 60-69 age group and 2 over the age 70. Bob will be this years oldest participant at age 76. Bob has been a part of this race for total of 14 years either crewing for another runner or running the event. This is his 4th year running the event. As you listen I ask you to think how you will spend your days at age 76.
When it comes to ultra running Bob’s Bio is incredible.
On September 2, 2019, Bob was the overall winner and broke the race record at A Race For The Ages ("ARFTA") in Manchester TN. Bob completed 230 miles in just under 74 hours, besting the old record of 228 miles in this fixed time race. To level the field for older athletes, runners at ARFTA are age-handicapped: competitors run for the number of hours equaling their age to see who will complete the greatest number of miles.
In November, 2018, Bob won the "Masters" award at the Azalea 12/24 Hour race in Palatka, FL, completing 54+ miles in 12 hours. In October he finished the 50-kilometer race at PALM100, and in March 2018--and again in March, 2019--completed the 51.4-mile race at Badwater Cape Fear on Bald Head Island, N.C.