The Badwater 135, the equivalency of five back-to-back marathons, eschews the trappings of traditional races. There are no cheering crowds. There is no monetary reward. There is little media attention or applause. Often, there is no end in sight. Instead, the runners rely on themselves for motivation, comfort and determination. The only tangible prize, awarded for completing the race in under 48 hours, is a belt buckle, a coveted symbol of achievement among ultra-runners.The body weathers extreme environmental conditions throughout the race. Runners are constantly challenged with temperatures ranging from 38ºF to 125ºF, 50 mph heated head winds, two 5,000-foot climbs, and a finish line located 8,400 feet up Mt. Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. Most competitors will run, walk and crawl for two continuous days and nights to reach the finish line. With every passing mile, runners face increasingly greater risks of dehydration, muscle strain, vomiting, sun stroke and kidney failure. One of the most insidious ailments, though, are the hallucinations. Racers have been plagued by visions of UFO's crashing into the road, giant chasms opening up in the highway, and phantom detour signs.One third of the competitors will fail. But for the most persevering runners, a great personal victory awaits them at the finish line. After 135 miles, the runners have completed a mythic journey, overcoming the obstacles of nature, fellow competitors and, most of all, themselves.
The 13 runners featured in this movie include:
Chris Moon: A 37 year old former British soldier who lost his lower leg while clearing landmines in Mozambique.
Kirk Johnson: A New York Times journalist who runs in tribute to his brother who committed suicide.
Maria DeJesus: She took out a bank loan to compete and lived in a tent in Britain's Jersey Islands while she trained.
Eric Clifton: He wants the course record and has been training 100 miles a week and has not missed a day of running in 5 years. Last year he did not finish, what will happen this year?
Lisa Smith: With three previous finishes and a course record in the past will she complete yet another Badwater 135 in record time?
Daniel Jensen: Now age 50, he lost his lower leg to a landmine in 1971 in Vietnam.
Adam Bookspan: This 33 year old race walker is a trumpet player for the Miami Philharmonic and is raising money for breast cancer.
Jack Denness: Now 64, he has seven prior finishes under his belt. How long can he go?
Nick Palazzo: This 52 year old trained 100 miles a week to prepare for the race.
Gabriel Flores: The 1998 winner with a record time of 28 hours and 9 minutes. Can he beat his own previous mark?
Major Curt Maples: This United States Marine Corps officers' 3rd attempt to complete this race. Will this be his year at last?
Angelika Castaneda: Can this 56 year old expert scuba diver do just as well on land?
Ephraim Romesburg: At 68 this retired nuclear engineer is the oldest entrant this year.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to push yourself to the limits, this film is a must for you to see. Obtain your DVD format production from Amazon.com. There are many pointers you can gain, that will aid any runner who wants to run an ultra-marathon, from training, support services from your crew, as well as foot care and mental strategies. To obtain a host of information, such as results, photos, essays, training tips, and much more, visit the Official Badwater Site. The Badwater 135 is not just a race, and this film is no ordinary motion picture. Other title that feature this race is The Distance of Truth.