The annual Badwater Ultramarathon is touted to be the world’s toughest footrace. Held this year July 12 – 14, the race traverses 135 miles of desert from Death Valley, Calif., to the base of Mt. Whitney. Each year, up to 90 of the hardiest — or insane! — ultra athletes can see temps of 120F or greater and relentless, blazing sun.
Ultra-running champion Pam Reed of Tucson, Ariz., has twice won the Badwater. (This year she took 14th place overall with a time of 32 hours, 23 minutes.) Here are a few tips from Reed. This hot-weather running advice is for Badwater aspirants as well as average runners just trying to stay in shape and deal with the daily blast of summer’s heat. —Stephen Regenold
Ice Sock— Fill a nylon over-the-calf sock with ice. Tie the open end in a knot. Wear it around your neck, tucking its ends into your shirt or sports bra.
Ice Hat — Always wear a hat. Before putting it on, fill it with ice.
Footwear and Socks — Choose high-tech, performance footwear to keep feet comfortable. Pam Reed wears PowerSox with Coolmax socks, a sponsor.
Cotton T — Wear a low-tech, cotton shirt. It will soak through and hold water against your body rather than wicking it away.
Spray Bottle — Spray down [while running or at stops] using a large hardware store weed spray bottle filled with ice water.
Club Soda — Drink cold club soda with sodium along with pure coconut water to keep hydrated.
Follow Reed’s online journal and her quest for another Badwater win at http://www.goldtoemoretz.com/store/pages/Pam-Reed.html