We’ve been running plenty of stories about hot weather and beating the heat at the Mail Tribune lately. They’re certainly well-intentioned, but lately, I’ve felt guilty for contributing my own content to the mix.
The reason? There’s an ultramarathon in Death Valley.
I found out about the event, the Badwater Ultramarathon, on Buzzfeed’s website. It takes a full day – yes, 24 hours, an actual day – to win. Not complete. Win.
IT’S A 135-MILE RACE. 100+30+5. MILES. IN SOUL-CRUSHING HEAT.
For God’s sake.
There’s a particularly striking image from the article: an electronic thermometer where the marker has reached 120 degrees while a contestant chugs through the wasteland in the background. Apparently that’s just above the average 116-degree number.
That puts Jackson County to shame. Heck, we’re barely scratching 103 or so this week in the Rogue Valley.
Until I heard about Badwater, I’d been humble bragging about going for runs after work. You know scuttling, like, six or seven miles through what I thought was the SHUDDERING KILN of mid-90s temps on the Bear Creek Greenway. I’ve taken pride in my boss, Ms. Web Editor, telling me I’m nuts, worn her head shakes like badges of honor. They all melted as soon as I heard about this race, stained my shirt and pride.
No one in creation is tougher than these people, and from now on, they, THEY, are the standard. A few years from now, if I have children and they’re whining about how hot it is – ever – they’re getting an earful, potentially grounded. If I ever hear myself complaining about the heat, I expect someone else to do the same.
Because really, in a world where the Badwater Marathon exists, there is no heat to beat in the Rogue Valley.
We’re JV at best. Obviously, be careful, stay hydrated, all that, but at the same time, let’s keep the “Ugh it’s soooo hot” Facebook postings to a minimum. Or just erase them completely.
Because…you guys….there are people out there who will run through Death Valley.
And they probably complain about the heat substantially less than any of us.