BADWATER 135: THE HARDEST ULTRAMARATHON AS SEEN BY MICHAL ČINČIALA
18. 07. 2019
We have become accustomed to the fact that the events that Michal Činčiala finds worth taking part in are no beds of roses. It was the case of at least the 285 km Ultra Milano-Sanaremo ultramarathon or the 400km Gobi Desert ultramarathon. This time was no exception. You can rather say that the difficulty of the races that Michal has recently taken part in is increasing. The latest imaginary step up so far was the 135-mile ultramarathon in Dead Valley, California - Badwater 135!
The Badwater 135 race has a nickname ‘The World's Toughest Foot Race‘. And what makes it so difficult? Numbers speak better than words for this running event. Judge for yourself. Besides the already mentioned 135-mile route stretching through the arid landscape of Death Valley, which is about 217 km, it is definitely the air temperature. This normally reaches 125 °F, which is more than 51 °C. And this is a good portion of the heat, not to mention, that a person is exposed to this temperature for about 40 hours and is supposed to give some physical performance under such conditions. In addition, the track is predominantly on tarmac roads and signs warning against walking in some areas are no exception in certain parts of the track. The road thus literally sticks to the runners' soles.
The track is also specific with its elevation. The race begins under the sea level, namely at -85 m, in a place called Badwater Basin which is concurrently the lowest-lying place in North America. From there, the climbers gradually ascend three peaks, the last one being Mt. Whitney, the highest mountains in the Sierra Nevada, California and the United States (excluding Alaska), rising to 4,421 m.
The cumulative elevation is then 4,450 vertical meters.
For these reasons, Michal Činčiala paid great attention to the preparation. In addition, he changed its character in the last two months before the race. Paradoxically, his training volume decreased. However, Michal had a good feeling about the character of the training and he perceives the change positively.
The whole race started in three waves between 8.00 - 11:30 PM and 95 elite ultra-runners gradually set off on the Badwater 135 journey. Michal did great in the race. For most of the race, he was in the top thirty and showed that he was not takin part in a race of such a type for the first time. After 36 hours 48 minutes and 8 seconds, he crossed the finish line at 37th place! After finishing the race, he commented: “It was an unusual experience spiced up with hallucinations! All the team members who have been here with me have made a huge contribution to the success, and I want to thank them for that.”
Congratulations on a great performance, Michal!Michal Činčiala