Not all people enjoy eating Big Macs and have the body fat to show for it. Some are very lean fighting machine specimens- and very thrill-seeking. Take for example the 80 or so of the toughest athletes on the planet that compete in the annual Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race through Death Valley from July 13 through 15.
It’s so hot the runners keep their running shoes stored in the freezer to prevent them from melting. They train in saunas cranked up to 180 degrees. And for good reason: The temperatures during the race hit 130 degrees, runners traverse three mountain ranges, achieving a 13,000 vertical ascent and 4,700 feet of cumulate descent.
Badwater, managed by AdventureCORPS, offers several extreme heat race opportunities in and around Death Valley. But these races are definitely not for beginners and only the most extreme, heat-tolerant athletes receive an invitation.
Southern Nevada is a great place to live if you’re of the extreme heat adventure persuasion. It’s close enough to Death Valley for weekend training. Valley of Fire, which regularly records summer temperatures in the triple digits, is even closer.
As an option for neophyte death defying runners that are not quite hardcore yet, Sierra Adventure Sports in Phoenix, Arizona offers their summer Extreme Heat races, which have been held for the past three years.