Motivation and Desire
by Tracy Fawns
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
All racers have a certain desire to want to finish Badwater. For some it’s an obsession. For others it is curiosity. Not an ultrarunner myself, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want to subject themselves to the 135- mile, 120-degree heat of Badwater.
For Marshall Ulrich, he simply says, “It’s in my blood. Having completed 12 Badwater Ultramarathons previously, he just loves being a part of the race whether as a competitor or volunteer. Again, Marshall had a stellar finish this year and that makes 13 Badwaters on his racing resume.
For Patrick Cande, a production manager from France, he has a goal this year of finishing both Badwater as well as Furnace Creek 508, an AdventureCORPS 508-mile bicycle race that starts in Valencia, California and follows a route through Death Valley via Furnace Creek, Badwater, Baker, and into Twenty-Nine Palms.
Carl Hunt got motivated to do Badwater after crewing for a Badwater finisher. The experience put the enthusiasm in his head to try Badwater himself. He says, “While I may not win it, both my crew and I will be able to celebrate in my personal victory after my successful completion. That will be my win.”
For years, Mimi Anderson, of the UK, has wanted to compete in Badwater. She has the experience needed, having raced in extreme heat and altitude previously. She is using all of her past experiences and training to give her the strength to complete Badwater this year.
In 2003, at not even 40 miles into Badwater, Nathan Oschner had to drop out of the race due to being overheated and unable to urinate, not to mention his blistered feet and a fatigued crew. This year, he is back to redeem his race that he never had a chance to complete.
Flip Jergens, a veterinarian from South Africa, feels that he is blessed with the health and fitness which enables him to do things that most people of his age (48) do not consider. He loves the camaraderie with the other racers and enjoys the memories that ultra events create.
Whatever reasons each racer has for wanting to complete Badwater, there is one similar characteristic with all of the racers: The desire to complete one of the hardest ultrarunning events in the world.