AdventureCORPS Presents the
2005 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon

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Second Place: Ferg Hawke in 26:33:13

by Adeline Goss

Ferg had barely hit the finish line before his faithful crew fed him a beer, threw their arms around him, and pushed him over to the interview seat. As he sat there, bright eyed and bright red, cameras in his face, Ferg’s curiosity got the better of him.  He called Scott Jurek over (“Speedy over there”) for a post-race debriefing.

Openly excited about Scott’s record time, and with no visible resentment, Ferg suggested that it was about time we “get that record back in North America where it belongs, not over there in Russia.” Scott and Ferg bantered about being neck and neck long before dawn. “You actually liked it?” Ferg asked Scott. “You have a really strange idea of what fun is.” What was competition seven hours before had turned to camaraderie: “You ran by,” Ferg said, “and I spun around three times.”

Last year, Ferg finished the race as part of the 8 a.m. starting group, then waited to see whether Dean Karnazes, from the 10 a.m. beat his time. This time, Ferg started with the pros, and enjoyed the perspective that it gave him on his competition: “It was more fun because I could watch the race develop around me,” he said. Apparently, he fulfilled the vow he made 27 hours before: “right from the get-go, I ran my own race.”

“But my feet acted up,” he said, and soon unlaced his white, bubbly, toenail-less feet. The cameras zoomed in to share his fascination. After all, post-race ogling of the runners’ damaged bodies is one of the few ways for a crowd to imagine the pain and perseverance these athletes face.

Besides taking second place in 2005, Ferg set a personal record on the course and also posted the fourth fastest time in the history of the event.