It was cooler than usual here in Death Valley yesterday– only 102 when we arrived– and we had fun playing unimpressed Texans. “I don’t know, I just thought it would be hotter.” I alternated that with a panicked, “It’s just so HOT. I can’t think!!!” A good time was had by all.
Doug took us on a short tour of some of the course after we checked into our rooms at Furnace Creek. I have to say I was was overwhelmed by an “I don’t even like to drive 100 miles sentiment.” If I ever ran Badwater, I cannot imagine wanting to drive the course beforehand. The endless road was humbling even from inside a car. Mentally crushing really. Our tour ended around 3pm at the race start with pictures around the Badwater sign. It had heated up to about 115 by then and I was impressed by the hot winds. It did feel like the “heat on your face when you open the oven door,” just like they say. I got thirsty just walking around for 10 minutes.
All that said, it was lovely running along the road at 4:30 this morning. Brilliant stars. Coyotes howling. Mountain silhouettes at dawn. I started to think about penciling Badwater onto my race calendar — until I remembered the 90 degree 4:30am temps would be the low.
I’ll write more tomorrow from the crew van.