Lone Pine, California, July 12. Oswaldo Lopez of Madera, California, runner-up for the past two years, won the Badwater Ultra in come-from-behind fashion. Lopez passed Ryoichi Sekiya of Japan, the world 24-hour champion, in Owens Valley after about 100 miles to take the lead for the first time in the 135-mile race.
Sumie Inagaki of Japan, the world record holder for 48 hours, ran a steady race to take the women’s crown. Amy Palmiero-Winters of Hicksville, New York, a below-the-knee amputee, completed the race in 41:26:42.
The race starts at Badwater, at 282 feet below sea level the lowest spot in the U.S., and finishes at the Mt. Whitney portals, about 8500 feet in elevation. Air temperatures reached about 115F in Stove Pipe Wells, mile 42 on the course, though the apparent temperatures for the runners is much hotter than this due to radiant heat reflecting off the pavement and the lack of shade. In all, 81 of the 94 starters finished the race within the 48-hour time limit.
1. Oswaldo Lopez, 39, Madera, CA, 23:41:40
2. Ryoichi Sekiya, 44, Sagamihara, Japan, 24:49:37
3. Michael Wardian, 39, Arlington, VA, 26:22:01
4. Zach Gingerich, 31, Aurora, IL, 26:45:15
5. Nobumi Iwamoto, 45, Chiyoda, Japan, 27:30:48
1. Sumie Inagaki, 45, Kasugai, Japan, 28:49:27
2. Jennifer Vogel, 30, Duluth, GA, 29:42:12
3. Iris Cooper Imhoff, 52, Toronto, ON, 29:51:23
4. Mimi Anderson, 49, Ashford, England, 34:25:04
5. Florence Gay, 46, Lescar, France, 36:10:40
Complete results can be found at http://dbase.adventurecorps.com/results.php?bw_eid=53&bwr=Go
Above left: Winner Oswaldo Lopez enjoys a cold malted beverage at the finish line (photo courtesy fresnobee.com)