Badwater Ultramarathon Race Rules
(Updated February 9 and June 5, 2013. Additions / changes are noted in red.)
General Race Rules
- There are three starting times for the 2013 Badwater Ultramarathon (6am, 8am, and 10am on July 15, 2013), but all racers in all groups are competing in the same race. Runners may attend only their assigned start time. Runners must check in at the start line, ready to race, 30 minutes prior to their start time. Starting Groups are assigned by the race director and are non-transferable. Split times will be collated throughout the race to maintain overall standings. There are only two divisions: men's and women's. The racer to arrive at the finish line in each division with the lowest overall time, based on their starting time, will be considered the winner.
- The race number must be worn on the front of the body, unmodified, unfolded, and visible at all times during the race. It may not be worn on the head or hat.
- The clock does not stop for any reason until the race course officially closes 48 hours after each designated official start time. All racers must leave the course by the 48th hour beyond their start time: Finishing, or remaining on the race course with the intent to continue, is not allowed after 48 hours.
- All runners must have passed, and be proceeding forward, beyond the following locations within the specified time cut-offs:
• Stovepipe Wells: within 12 hours of their respective start time (STRONGLY ENCOURAGED).
• Panamint Springs Resort: within 28 hours of their respective start time (MANDATORY).
Note: Failure to pass Panamint Springs Resort within the specified 28 hour time cut-off will result in disqualification. Runners MAY NOT continue under human power, officially or unofficially, unless they have continued beyond the Panamint Springs time station within 28 hours of their starting time.
Additionally, beyond Panamint Springs Resort, if it becomes clear that a runner will not be able to finish the race officially within the 48-hour time limit, that runner may be forced to withdraw from the course and the race prior to the actual conclusion of the 48 hours.
- Running must always be single file, on the far left side of the road or off the left side of the road, facing traffic (pacers, too).
- Racers must make their presence known at all Time Stations located along the route. Runner arrival times at Time Station will be recorded and made public.
- The race ends at Mt. Whitney Portal. If any entrant or crew member chooses to hike to the summit, official race logos must not be worn and the appropriate permits must be obtained from the Forest Service.
- Racers, crew, and staff must not litter, mar, or pollute the landscape or environment.
- All racers, crew and staff must display courtesy, good taste, decorum, and sportsmanship at all times. Nudity is specifically not allowed.
Legal and Bureaucratic Issues
- All racers must follow and complete the entire application and entry process, filling out all forms and paying all necessary fees.
- All racers must sign the Entrant Contract.
- All racers and all crew members must sign the Accident Waiver and Release of Liability / Release of Name and Likeness. Each entrant must also bring the properly completed Check-In Form and Medical History Form to Runner Check-In.
- All race vehicles must meet the minimum requirements of property damage and personal injury liability automobile insurance for the State of California. All vehicle drivers must be fully licensed.
- All racers and the designated Crew Chief for each entrant must attend Racer Check-In. Additionally, all racers, their designated Crew Chiefs, and as many crew members as possible must attend the Pre-Race Meeting. Those racers who do not complete the scheduled check-in and attend the Pre-Race Meeting will not be allowed to participate. No exceptions.
- All racers must be willing to submit to a drug urine test before (at any point prior to the race, after being officially confirmed for entry), during (at any time), or after the race (up to 90 days after the conclusion of the race). If any WADA banned substances are detected, the racer will be disqualified from competition, listed as DISQUALIFIED FOR DOPING in the final standings of the race, and banned for life from any AdventureCORPS event. Refusal to submit a urine specimen upon demand will also result in the racer being disqualified from competition, being listed as DISQUALIFIED FOR DOPING in the final standings of the race, and being banned for life from any AdventureCORPS event. Additionally, any Badwater Ultramarathon finisher who fails a drug test within 36 months after competing in any edition of the Badwater Ultramarathon will be retroctively disqualified from any and all previous Badwater Ultramarathon races, removed from all Badwater Ultramarathon race results, as well as banned for life from any AdventureCORPS events.
- All racers and crew must pay the Death Valley National Park Entrance Fee for each of their support vehicle(s). Proof must be brought to Runner Check-In. Runners will not be allowed to check-in for the race without proof of paying the Park Entrance Fee.
- All entrants must bring one U.S. dollar (or more) in a sealed envelope to Racer Check-In. Please write the runner number on the envelope. This envelope will not be returned and the money will be donated to charity.
- During Racer Check-In, all entrants must display a minimum of four satisfactory reflective vests and eight blinking red lights - which will be worn and utilized by the runner and crew during nighttime periods of the race. Runners without satisfactory quality, or quantity, nighttime safety equipment will be required to purchase additional gear at that time, IF any such gear is available.
- During Racer Check-In, all entrants must display four race-legal vehicle identification signs (details below) for each support vehicle which will support them during the race.
- All applicants must be a minimum of 19 years in age when submitting an application to race.
- No TV, film, or video crew, person, producer, director or other broadcast media representative may accompany or cover any racer or the race itself without the specific written permission of AdventureCORPS, Inc. All film crews must sign a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement and, potentially, pay a Rights Fee. Additionally, Death Valley National Park and/or the U.S. Forest Service may also require payment of a filming fee and signature of a filming agreement.
Support Crew and Assistance
- Each racer must be accompanied by a support crew comprised of at least one four-wheeled motor vehicle and two crew members - both of whom are legally licensed to drive and at least one of whom can speak English - at all times. Each racer must have his or her own personal support crew and vehicle; crew and support vehicles may not be shared, except informally in the spirit of the event, i.e., crews may lend assistance to other racers or crews. Race entrants may have no more than two support vehicles and no more than six crew members in total (including "unofficial" and "family cheering squads") at the race. This includes at the finish line: no more than six crew and two vehicles may be present.
- Runners must progress under their own power without drafting, helping, pushing, supporting, or any other type of physical assistance. Runners may not use walking sticks, ski poles, or the like. So-called "cooling vests" or other types of artificial / technological cooling systems may not be worn or utilized by race entrants while making forward progress on the race course. (More info.) Crewmembers may not carry an umbrella or shade cover for a runner.
- Runners may not be accompanied by more than one pacer at any given time while making forward progress on the race course. Additional crew members that are handing off supplies, or otherwise providing aid, to the runner and/or pacer must be off the roadway at all times (i.e. left of the white line on the shoulder) and may not run along with the runner. To be clear: if a runner is moving forward on the race course, NO MORE THAN ONE crew member may also be moving with, or near, the runner at the same time.
- Runners must not run abreast with other runners or with pacers. All running must be single-file. Pacers may not run in front of race entrants at any time.
- Crew members may not use illegal drugs, stimulants, or dope, as well as alcohol of any kind, during the race or at any official race events or activities.
- Runners under the age of 60 may not be accompanied by pacers or moving crew members between Badwater and the Furnace Creek time station.
- Wheeled conveyances (other than a motorized support vehicle), including in-line skates, strollers, and bicycles, are prohibited on the course at all times. Likewise for hovercrafts and helicopters. Runners accompanied by any such conveyance will be disqualified.
- The California Motor Vehicle Code, and all local, county, and/or National Park Service laws, rules, and regulations, must be respected at all times. In particular, support vehicle drivers and crews are reminded that phones must only be operated by the driver with a hands-free device; seat belts must be worn by all vehicle occupants at all times while moving, and it is illegal to drive on a highway while displaying emergency flashers. For further information, consult the DMV Code.
- Support vehicles may not be wider than 78" in width, not counting mirrors, fenders, or bumper which extend beyond the widest part of the actual vehicle body. Small Cars, Minivans, and SUVs are recommended. Oversize SUVs, vans, and trucks, or other types of oversize vehicles are strongly discouraged, even as a secondary support vehicle. Motorhomes, RVs, "SportsMobiles," Sprinter Vans, and all types of Hummers are specifically not allowed.
- Race entrants may have no more than two support vehicles and no more than six crew members in total (including "unofficial" and "family cheering squads") at the race. This includes at the finish line: no more than six crew and two vehicles may be present. Secondary support vehicles, if any, may not "caravan" with the primary support vehicle; secondary support vehicles are to be used for running errands, crew shift changes, and such. For safety reasons, and to make the limited shoulder parking available to all support crews, secondary vehicles may not generally be in the vicinity of the runner and primary support vehicle, except when passing off supplies and/or crew members. Specifically, secondary support vehicles must leapfrog a minimum of five miles when on the race course in the vicinity of their athletes.
- All support vehicles must have their headlights on while driving, 24 hours a day, except as noted in Rule 11 in this section of the rules.
- All race vehicles must have highly visible signage on the back of the vehicle stating "CAUTION RUNNERS ON ROAD," as provided by the race organizers at Runner Check-In.
- All support vehicles, including secondary support vehicles, must have their racer's name and race number easily and clearly visible on all four sides. The race number must be at least 11" (28cm) tall and the racer's name must be at least 6" (15cm) tall. Our suggestion is to order standardized, professionally made signs for this purpose from a specific Los Angeles-based sign shop. It is each race entrant's responsibility to create or pay for their vehicle identification signs. For those who order the signs from the specified LA sign shop, the race organizers will pick up all ordered signs, bring them to Furnace Creek, and deliver them at Racer Check-In. Order form here. Preview of the design here.
- Vehicle windows may not be blocked or obstructed with any signage, paint, or the like. All vehicles will be inspected at the start line at Badwater, and no runner will be allowed to start the race who has any vehicle windows blocked. If a runner support vehicle is found with blocked windows during the race, that runner will be forced to stop and wait while the vehicle's windows are unblocked and signage properly mounted.
- Only one support vehicle is allowed for each racer at the Start Line before the race and then between the Start Line and the Furnace Creek time station during the race.
- Only one support vehicle is allowed to support each runner on the Whitney Portal Road. Any second support vehicle must drive directly from Lone Pine to the finish line, stopping NO MORE THAN ONCE anywhere on the Portal Road, if necessary, to swap crew members or transfer supplies with the active support vehicle.
- Vehicles must "leapfrog" the runner at all times. Attempt to make each "leapfrog" at least one mile or more in length. Racers may not be "shadowed" (driving a vehicle at the runner's speed) and vehicles must not "caravan" (drive together, like a train, at any speed). Driving may never be at the speed of any racer. Driving must be done at the speed of traffic, never slowing down to encourage, talk to, or lend assistance to any racer while moving. All assistance must be provided by pedestrian crew members; handing off of supplies from the vehicle is never allowed.
- Vehicles must be parked completely off the road surface whenever they are stopped (with all four tires right of the white line). Many areas of the route have very little shoulder for parking so care must be taken in choosing stopping places. When stopping/parking, vehicles may not stop on the left side of the road. All stopping/parking must be on the right side of the road, off the roadway. From 700pm to 600am each day (night) of the event, at all times while stopped or parked off the road, support vehicles must have their headlights turned off and emergency flashers turned on.
Safety and Medical Issues
- Remember, at all times and in all situations, safety is the most important issue. This means safety for racers, crew, staff, and the general public. The roads are not closed for this event and are, in fact, quite busy with tourist and local traffic.
- I.V.s (intravenous fluids) are not permitted during the race. If a racer receives an I.V. during the race, for any reason, then that racer is disqualified and must withdraw from the race and the race course.
- From 700pm to 600am each day (night) of the event, while outside on the race course, all racers and all crewmembers/pacers must wear reflective material facing in all four directions, as well as blinking red lights facing front and rear. Racers and crewmembers are encouraged to wear reflective material during the day as well. We highly recommend the products from ZombieRunner.com (click "Nighttime Running" in their store.)
- Racers are responsible for both their own and their crew’s actions; crews are responsible for both their own and their racer’s actions.
- Always look and listen both ways before crossing the highways. Remember that drivers will not expect to encounter a racer or parked vehicle out on the course. Remember we are on public roads. Racers should not cross over the highway more than necessary; crew should cross the highway carefully to bring assistance to their racer.
- All entrants and crew must study "Medical Risks in the Badwater Ultramarathon," "Dangers of Running in the Heat," and "The Dangers of Hot Weather Running".
Leaving the Course or Withdrawing
- Every inch of the course must be traveled by each racer. In the event of a routing error, e.g., wrong turn, the racer may be driven back to the exact original spot where he/she left the course and continue running from that location. There will be no allowance made for lost time or miles run in the wrong direction.
- If a racer needs to leave the course, his/her crew must note the exact location with a numbered stake in the ground. This numbered stake must be visible from the road in both directions. The racer must then resume the race from the same place that he/she left it. The numbered stakes will be provided to all runners at Runner Check-In. Racers may only leave the course for appropriate reasons such as rest or medical attention. Focus must be kept on the speedy completion of the course.
- If a racer withdraws, he/she or his/her crew must contact Race Headquarters or a Time Station immediately. Name, reason for withdrawal, time of withdrawal, and miles completed must be stated. All racers and crew who drop are encouraged - and expected - to come to the finish line and both post-race events to greet and celebrate with their fellow racers and crews.
- All Emergency Evacuation costs for participants or crews will be borne by that person or their heirs. The race organizers are in no way liable or responsible for emergency evacuation.
- All racers who begin the event will receive a Badwater Ultramarathon race t-shirt, hat, Race Magazine, and a goodie bag with other one-of-a-kind Badwater items and products from the race sponsors, as well as entry into the post-race pizza party (for the racer and up to six crew members). All racers who officially complete the event within 48 hours will receive a finisher's t-shirt and commemorative Badwater Ultramarathon buckle.
Rule Enforcement and Penalties
- Race rules are designed to provide a safe and fair experience for everyone involved and to help ensure our ability to produce the race again next year.
- Major rule infractions by racers or their crew, especially those regarding "cheating," will result in immediate disqualification of the racer.
- Other, lesser offenses will result in the following cumulative time penalties:
Time penalties are imposed by stopping at the final Time Station in Lone Pine to serve his/her time. The race and clock will continue while the penalized racer waits out his/her penalty time. A Race Official will be present to oversee this process.
The Race Director has the authority, at any time, to overrule any rule or invent a new rule based on extenuating, unforeseen, and/or unusual circumstances and/or to maintain the integrity and fair play necessary for the successful completion, and continuation, of the race. The Race Director has ultimate authority in regards to all rules, their interpretation, and their enforcement. There is no "appeals committee" nor an "appeals process." All entrants in the race, and their support crews, willingly acknowledge this fact, as well as all other race rules, by attending the race in any capacity.
In all cases and circumstances, it is the intent, and spirit, of the rules which will govern their implementation and enforcement.
- First Penalty: One Hour
- Second Penalty: Disqualification
- Have fun and keep smiling!