Neil Kapoor: Running Far from Home

By Greg Minter

While Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon always attracts an international field, many locals take for granted the logistical details and expenses required to get not only the runner, but his or her friends, family, crew and pacers from home to the hottest place in the United States.

Consider Neil Kapoor, native of London. Part of Neil's running history includes a seven-day stage race from Paris to London, which he completed with four friends. "That one was for charity. Each one of us ran for a different charity, and we each raised quite a bit of money so that was really, really great." Among the charities that Neil has run for are Down's Syndrome Association, Diabetes UK, and a number of cancer charities in the UK and internationally. "The problem is, there's too many good causes out there. I try and support as many as I can...with a race like this you really raise a reasonable amount of money. So I think if you can spread that out a bit, that's better."

"There's a lot of organization in just getting here. Especially when coming from the UK. It gets quite expensive because you can't bring anything with you. You have to come here, buy everything you need here, then leave it here when you're done. It's a very, very expensive race to do when you're coming from out of the country. But I'm still really looking forward to this race."

His goal? "Yeah, I'd like to do 30 to 35 hours, but just finishing...who knows what's going to happen out there? This is my first race of this kind, in the heat. I've done the distance a number of times before, but we'll have see what the heat does to my body.

His training consists of "not a lot of miles...lots of biking, lots of ironman type events. I spend four hours on the bike a day. I try and save my legs...they're not going to last forever."

He's supported on his quest this year by his girlfriend Claire and friend Mimi, who finished the race in 2005. How's his training been? "Oh, good. He's been spending about an hour a day in the sauna. This year we've also been having quite a warm summer back home."