Archive for the ‘runners’ Category

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#26 – Badwater Big Dogs

5 August 2007

The Badwater Ultramarathon, one of the toughest foot races out there, was run last week under exceptionally low temperature of 112 degrees! Usually the competitors who race from Badwater (elevation 280 feet below sea level in Death Valley) to the Mount Whitney Portals (elevation 8360 feet on Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48) face temperatures in excess of 120 degrees in the desert summer. Anyone that can finish this race is a pretty amazing athlete, but I want to focus on two that caught my attention.

David Goggins finished 5th at Badwater in 2006 and this year he placed an impressive 3rd overall! In a feature article on the Badwater website David claims that “I am not a runner” but clearly this guy knows how to make progress on two feet, not to mention on two wheels and in the water – he finished 2nd in the Ultraman Triathlon! David Goggins is an absolute animal for endurance and pain. He works out twice a day, sometimes three times a day, rolling out of bed at 3:45am to get going. His day job? A US Navy SEAL! He competes in endurance events to raise money for children of special operations soldiers who have died in battle. A San Diego paper wrote an article about him and he also gave a speech to the San Diego Tri Club, both of which give further insight into David (unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have his own website). Can anything stop this guy? He started running six months before Badwater and started cycling just weeks before Ultraman. It’s almost unreal. My favorite tidbit about David can be found in the Badwater feature where he explains how he looked for events to run for charity: “I typed in a search for the ’10 hardest things in the world’ and Badwater came up.” No, David Goggins does not lack confidence!

Kira Matukaitis finished just 72nd out of 84 racers in her first Badwater race at more than double the finishing time of David Goggins. Nevertheless she did finish under the 60-hour cutoff and was the youngest woman in this year’s race. What caught my eye about her was the race roster, which listed her occupation as “CEO, Doggy Jog”. Given my love for dogs, I Google’d that name and found Doggy Jog, a dog walking and pet sitting service. How cool would that be? Get paid to go running with dogs – what a great idea! The Badwater feature story about her states that she gets in an extra 6-7 miles a day thanks to her job of running with dogs. There are some very happy (and tired!) dogs in her neck of the woods!

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