BADWATER CAPE FEAR on Bald Head Island
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See the map of the route that we had drawn, as depicted below: Click here for a large Pdf.
See the full route on Garmin Connect: Click here.
See the full route - with mileage markers - on RidewithGPS: Click here.
See the full route on Strava: Click here.
See a gallery of 269 images of the entire route: Click here.
See a slideshow video of the entire route (as shown in the top video below): Click here.
See a selection of videos of the race route: Click here.
Download the .gpx file of the race route for use in a GPS or your favorite mapping site: Click here.
Download the route landmarks and mile markers as a Pdf file: Click here.
Support Checkpoints will be located at just three locations, which will be passed a total of six times in the 50km and 10 times in the 51.4-mile:
• CP1: Bald Head Island Conservancy (Race HQ): mile 3, mile 4, mile 12, and mile 32.
• CP2: On the beach approximately mid-way between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher: mile 18, mile 26, mile 37, mile 46.
• CP3: Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Ranger Station (the nothern end of the route): mile 22 and mile 42.
Click the map above to see a large Pdf version of it.
BADWATER CAPE FEAR will take place on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. That is Cape Fear in the foreground. It constantly changes shape an size and its shallow depths offshore have waylaid many a seagoing vessel over the century, hence the name "Cape Fear."
The route features for a twelve-mile warm-up on the car-free, one-lane-wide roads of Bald Head Island, followed by 39 miles of running on the wild and secluded sandy beach between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. The race is held along the Atlantic Seaboard with spectacular views of the Frying Pan Shoals to the east and undeveloped marshlands and Cape Fear River to the west. It is a dramatic, invigorating, inspiring setting to experience Cape Fear at ground level in all its grandeur!
Nearly forty miles of beach trekking against the clock, even in this absolutely gorgeous setting, is no small feat. After those first twelve miles on paved roads and trails, it will be just you and your fellow BADWATER® runners amidst the sand, wind, sun, and ocean. Emphasizing self-sufficiency and minimal distractions, there will be just three aid station locations along the 51-mile route. Other than fishermen, you will see almost no modernity and hear nothing but wind, birds, and waves. This exquisite natural setting is the perfect antidote to the “real world” and also a wonderful counterpart to the desert sands of Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert featured in the two West Coast BADWATER® races.
All runners will run the same initial 12 miles together, back and forth across the island, entering south beach near its western end, and then heading east along south beach to Cape Fear. From Cape Fear, the runners will head north, all the way to Fort Fisher and return south on east beach to the Bald Head Island Conservancy headquarters. Those running the full 50 miles, assuming they meet the time cut-off at the finish of the 50k route, will then run to Fort Fisher and back to BHIC again.
Above: 50km runners will run everything you see in red above, while 51-mile runners will do all of that, plus a second north-sound out-and-back along East Beach to Fort Fisher and back.
Bald Head Island and nearby Southport, NC (featured in the film "Safe Haven") are ideal vacation get-away spots for the entire family, located less than one hour from Wilmington, NC and its major airport with Delta and US Airways service. Once the remarkable beauty and quaint southern charm of this area are experienced once, we anticipate that most BADWATER® CAPE FEAR participants will make this race an annual pilgrimage and that most will incorporate a week-long family vacation as well. It is really that fantastic!
Your faithful race director, Chris Kostman, stands at Cape Fear.
Badwater 135 and Badwater Salton Sea veteran Meredith Dolhare runs the beach between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher.
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