Reinforcements for my crew!

The news of the day, just before I leave is that I’ve been fortunate to add a forth crew person specifically to help me with the Whitney Climb.   My regular Badwater crew, Vince, Tom and William, are awesome, but they were somewhat concerned that we don’t have 4 people, like we did last year.  Could I be so unreasonably demanding during the event that it takes FOUR people to keep up with me for two days?    I think not.  Three will suffice I told them.  So we have 3 for the Badwater 135 mile race.

BUT there is also the Whitney Climb to follow.  In honor of those nuts that did this in the beginning, who actually went lowest to highest, I’m going to do the same.   Due to permits and logistics, the formal race stops at the end of the road, 8,400 feet at the Whitney Portals.  But we are going to continue to the highest point in the 48 states, the last 6,000 feet elevation gain and 11 miles up, on trails, to 14,505 feet(then you get have to get back down), higher than I’ve EVER been by quite a large margin, on trails I’ve never seen.  Nor has any of my other three crew done this climb or anything similar.  That makes things very iffy, to be 135 miles and two days into an event and to be attempting a less than one day climb that most backpackers take 2-3 days to do, none of us ever having been in that situation.   Uhhhh, can you say FAILURE WAITING TO HAPPEN?  Maybe not, but a lot would be riding on me to push us hard when I know I will be VERY tired.  Not easy to get to the finish line, and rather than stop and celebrate, know you are going to continue into the mountains for an additional 12-20 hour effort.

 My buddy from Los Angeles, Steve James comes to the rescue, he got a 2 day pass from his wonderful wife Rose(THANKS ROSE!  SUSHI ON ME IN OCTOBER!) to come out on Tuesday and be my guide to the top.  He’s done this climb many times, and knows it well.  He’s also done the Badwater course, and knows what kind of shape I may be in at the finish.  I couldn’t ask for a better situation, to have a fresh mind and body to join me and my crew, take over and shepherd us to the top. 

Badwater is a cruel environment, and as confident as a person thinks they are, that place has shut down the absolute best in the business on many occasions.  None of us is bulletproof there.   I know if I have problems, it certainly will not be because of my crew.  Two of them have been with me through BOTH of my previous Badwaters, they know me VERY well.  Another also was on my crew last year, and is a 100 mile runner and Physician who’s worked many events on Medical teams.  He’s seen me through tough times before and I’ve paced him in his first 100 miler.  And now I’m adding an experienced Badwater veteran and Whitney expert,  coming into the game just as we finish Badwater with the sole purpose to get me to the top of Whitney.  No excuses for me with this crew.  

Here is a photo of Whitney, click to see larger, then click that photo a second time to see it FULL size.  (that’s not really me on top, I commisioned an artist to help me envision success)

Mount Whitney,(that’s not really me on top, but an artist’s rendering, also not to scale)

I absolutely cannot wait to get out there and get this event started, we’ve deemed it the “NO WIMPS TOUR OF BADWATER”   We are going to ROCK out there.

 Race starts at 8:00am (for me) on Monday, July 23.

There are 3 waves of runners, with about 30 runners each, starting at 6:00am, 8:00am, 10:0am.

To keep up with how the race is unfolding,

The official badwater webcast site is

Tamara and/or the Crew will be updating this website(which you can subscribe to above so you get an email if it’s updated), or the photo album is

You can also send Tamara an email at (spyhunter ‘atsymbol’ and tell her you want to know what’s going on and she’ll include you on the list.

Thanks for the well wishes and I’ll talk to you all soon.

4 Responses to “Reinforcements for my crew!”

  1. Kelly Ridgway Says:

    Go Dave!!! I will be watching the webcast and sending good vibes!! You will do awesome!! I love your blog, by the way. I am excited to hear about your race. Keep strong and keep moving FORWARD!!

  2. Deborah Says:

    “Climb every mountain”… at least that’s what I heard on the “Sound of Music” tour when I was in Austria. ~tee hee
    I’m glad to hear you and your crew are doing well out west.
    I hope to hear more of your exciting times upon your return.
    Be well my friend.

  3. Dave Says:

    Thanks Kelly and Deborah. I’m home, nursing very sore feet, but thrilled with how the whole race went. I’m sorting through photos and will be updating things here soon.

  4. Wahoo Says:

    Thank you for sharing!