Badwater Salton Sea: The Original Team Ultra
The BADWATER® ultra running experience returns to the Anza-Borrego Desert and Palomar Mountain when the tenth BADWATER SALTON SEA race takes place on April 29-30, 2023.
This remarkable event challenges teams of two or three ultrarunners – running together as duos or trios for the duration, NOT in a relay – to tackle an unimaginable traverse of Southern California deserts and mountains. The route covers 81 miles (130km) from Salton City (elevation 234 feet / 71m below sea level) to Palomar Mountain, the almost tallest mountain in San Diego County (elevation 5500 feet / 1676m.) Eight of the 81 race miles pass through Anza-Borrego State Park on a single track trail from Borrego Springs to Ranchita, creating a race route which is a mix of road and trail. There is a total elevation gain of over 9000 feet (2740m).
The nine previous editions were received with wide acclaim. The tenth edition – with a limit of approximately 115 runners – is scheduled for April 29-30 (Saturday-Sunday), 2023.
Entry is limited to approximately 115 runners and the field will fill quickly.
This is an extremely difficult race held in extreme conditions: Veterans of this event routinely state that it is as hard as any of the toughest 100 milers they have done.
The extreme weather changes - from 100+F / 38C during the day, often with a sand storm, to freezing temperates with very wet fog at night - along with the extreme challenge of the two major mountain ascents - combine to make this an extremely difficult race.
It is critical to train properly for the heat and to train effectively for very steep desert single-track trail section of the race which is done in maximum heat and without the support crew nearby. Additionally, the single track trail is VERY steep and surprises runners every year with both its steepness, rugged terrain, and intense heat. Knowledge of maintaining proper electrolyte balance is also critical. Study the relevant articles at Badwater University closely, as well as race reports from former competitors.
Unique to Badwater® Salton Sea is a “Team Ultra Racing” format: All race entrants must enter and race as teams of two or three runners (all male, all female, or co-ed divisions), remaining together for the duration – NOT in a relay format – and sharing just one support vehicle with at least two crew members.
We encourage each runner to select teammates with compatible running style and pace, and with whom he or she would really like to share this experience!
Divisions are offered for All Male, All Female, and Mixed (for 3x teams, 2 men and 1 woman, or 1 man and 2 women, are considered equal).
Some teams have come together in the past through the wonders of the internet, for example through our Facebook Event Page for each year’s event, or just through personal social media (and real world!) connections!
It is very important to pick good teammates to have an ideal experience at this race, and to have the highest likelihood of the whole team finishing together, intact, which SHOULD BE the goal of every team in the race. Here’s what we suggest:
– Invite runners that you have run with a lot, and find you have compatible speeds, styles (pacing, how much time you spend getting aid, etc.), and temperament (sense of humour, how much you like to talk versus staying quiet or listening to music, etc.). Those could be runners in your club or with whom you train a lot. But that could also be runners who don’t live near you, but you only see at races.
– Think about all the races you do. Aren’t there others who consistently finish right near you in lots of races? Seems like a good place to start with picking a teammate, don’t you think?
– Taking that a step further, why not pick teammates with whom you actually compete directly? Again, you’re likely about the same speed, so why not work together instead of against each other, for a change? Why not “bury the hatchet,” so to speak?
– What about fellow runners that you are mentoring, whether “formally” or just in a friendly way? Why not help another runner have an amazing experience in your company, with you playing the role of “grizzled old veteran” or Jedi of ultra running? There is no Luke Skywalker without Obi-Wan Kenobi, after all.
Anyway, those are a few ideas for not only picking good teammates, but also for having an exemplary experience, something that will really be transcendent, and meaningful, and will resonate far and beyond after the race is over and you’ve – hopefully – gone home with your buckles.
Policies and Entry Qualifications
Local time: 1:42 PM
QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS: Entry may be denied to those without sufficient endurance credentials. All applicants must have completed at least one difficult 50-mile ultramarathon in the previous 12 months prior to application. Proof of this qualification must be included within the entry application OR by email at least 90 days prior to the race. Having recently completed one or more tough 100-milers is highly recommended, as is experience in desert heat racing. Veterans of this event routinely state that it is as hard as any of the toughest 100 milers they have done.
The extreme weather changes - from 100+F / 38C during the day, often with a sand storm, to freezing temperatures with very wet fog at night - along with the extreme challenge of the two major mountain ascents - combine to make this an extremely difficult race.
It is critical to train properly for the heat and to train effectively for very steep desert single-track trail section of the race which is done in maximum heat and without the support crew nearby. Additionally, the single track trail is VERY steep and surprises runners every year with both its steepness, rugged terrain, and intense heat. Knowledge of maintaining proper electrolyte balance is also critical.. Study the relevant articles at Badwater University closely, as well as race reports from former competitors.
REFUND POLICY: Generally speaking, it is our expectation that registered teams will not withdraw from this event. Instead, if one runner has to withdraw from the race, he or she will be replaced with a new teammate, at the discretion of the remaining runner(s) on the team. There are no transfers of registration, nor roll-overs to the next year. Entry fee refunds, less 25%, will be offered until 60 days prior to the event. After that, there are no refunds, nor roll-overs or credits.
ALL TEAMMATES MUST ENTER ON THE SAME WEEK: Please submit all teammates’ registrations and payments on the same day or within a few days. No runner or team is considered fully registered until ALL runners on the team are registered and paid in full. Runners who register, but don’t have a full team registered within two weeks, will be dropped from the roster and will be refunded, less $100. One runner may not “hold a place for the team” in the race by simply registering.
EVENT CANCELLATION: If the event is canceled due to pandemic, hurricane, community disaster, or other force majeure, neither refunds nor credits will be given.
ROUTE APPROVALS: Although we anticipate using the same or nearly the same route each year, the final, exact route is subject to approval from various government agencies and is always subject to change due to various factors beyond our control.