Since I started preparing for Badwater 135, I have focused mostly on 100 miles races or longer. Unfortunately, there isn’t any race during winter with that length, in December there was Winter Trail Malopolska but it had only 140km, 20km less than I needed.
So, to check how my preparation is going for this year Badwater, I did my own race/workout to cover at least 100 miles. I didn’t want to run around home or on easy trails. I found that there is a nice trail, called North Trail which is 137 km and it’s in the mountains so it won’t be boring. To cover the last 23 km to have a full 160km, I decided to run back from the finish line just to run the expected distance.
My initial plan was to beat 30h because I found that many people who did Badwater 135 last year are able to run 100 miles below 30h. All my ultras were in the mountains so they’re different from flat ones. I knew it would be demanding because I would have to go to petrol station or shops to buy food and water during the night but I had to try. During the day I had my aid station with me 🙂
With extra kilometers when I get lost or get to run outside the course to buy supplies, I did 164 km overall but it took me around 33h and 26 min. I’m fine with this result because I know that some parts of the trail aren’t possible to run, they’re so destroyed that it was even difficult to find a path to walk on. Another great thing I discovered, I don’t need to sleep that much as I had to in the past. I was awake for 45 hours with no sleep and I felt I could run forward. This is the biggest improvement and it makes me sure that I’m ready for Badwater 135 2023.
Strava activity: https://www.strava.com/activities/8390813320
Solo race isn’t considered as an official race for Badwater 135 but it was a good test before the application process.
It was my first solo that long race and it made me sure that after I complete Badwater 135, I’m ready to do longer races like GSB which has almost 500km.
Overall, the trail is worth doing, it’s not that long and I think it’s perfect for a few days trekking trip.