It’s that time of year again. The time when I slack off managing the kiddos and the household, and instead focus exclusively on an incredible test of endurance three time zones away: The Badwater 135 Ultramarathon.
Granted, I have an ulterior motive. Last year, my primary objective was to ascertain that the father of my children was
still alive safe. However, as the hours passed and I logically realized he was functioning at full capacity (since he was crewing the runner, not the race participant himself) my personal motives evolved to witnessing — and promoting — the success of a local running legend and (now) someone I call friend: Mr. Harvey Lewis.
Anyone who followed my Facebook or Twitter feed last July can attest: I was glued to those race updates. For over 24 hours. Really. I’m not sure what my kids had for dinner or who changed the diapers; what I remember most was being riveted to my phone and iPad, truly making use of the mobility of my laptop, and continually delaying and eventually canceling (or, rain-checking?) a previously scheduled play date.*
Folks, consider this your warning: This year, I have permission from said participant/friend to post Facebook updates on his behalf.
My apologies in advance. I will be posting, updating and tagging information about Tri-state runners competing in Badwater 2013 next week — nearly 20 of them, counting racers and crew members. The race begins in Death Valley Monday morning, July 15. (For his loyal local fans, Harvey’s 10 a.m. PDT wave start = 1 p.m. EDT.) I will continue posting through the finish at the Mt. Whitney portal on Tuesday.
I will be doing all of this from the comfort of my air-conditioned home, but there is one small chance we local Cincinnatians might get an even better story. Carrie Cochran, a Gannett photojournalist with The Cincinnati Enquirer, has expressed an interest in attending the race to document the trials, the camaraderie, and some of “what it takes” to get there, and be competitive.
Last Friday, I emailed Carolyn Washburn, editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer a 2,000 word letter citing all the reasons I think our local paper should send Carrie to Death Valley to cover Harvey, Iain Hughes, and Emily and Todd Bello as they compete in the world’s toughest endurance race. In retrospect, I probably should have cut a few
If you agree that our impressive roster of local runners should be highlighted in an upcoming issue of The Cincinnati Enquirer, please politely request that Ms. Washburn send Carrie Cochran to Badwater. If you are an endurance athlete; or, if you are married to, living with or in some other way related to an endurance athlete; or, if you simply found yourself wrapped up and riveted by Harvey’s journey to a hard-fought 4th place finish last year, please let our hometown editor know how much you’d like to see this story covered fully. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @CarolynWashburn #sendcarrietobadwater
If The Enquirer does send Carrie to Badwater, they have a chance of capturing a charismatic, dedicated and delightful athlete accomplish a major and inspiring feat; simultaneously honoring an impressive sport with a strong and talented local following. If they don’t, you can check the Badwater site, Facebook (follow Badwater Ultramarathon and AdventureCORPS, twitter, Tweetdeck (#bw135) Instagram and whatever other social media platforms you find yourself glued to next Monday and Tuesday.
You’ll know where to find me.
* No children were harmed or endangered during Badwater 2012.