The Right Stuff

“Every July in Death Valley, 40 selected runners from around the globe attempt the world’s most grueling ultra-marathon — The Badwater 135.”

That is how “Running on The Sun” began.  I watch this video over and over for motivational purposes.  It’s about a 135 mile ultra-marathon that’s held in the middle of the desert when temperatures reach the 120’s.  It was recorded in 1999.  Since that time the number of finishers has increased. 

In 1988, the second year of Badwater there were only 4 finishers and 4 dnf for a total of 8 at the starting line.  By 1994 there were 16 finishers and 7 dnf for a total of 23.  In 1999 there were 33 finishers and 9 dnf with 42 at the start.   By 2006 there were 67 finishers and 19 non-finishers for a total of 86.

By the way, I noticed Dean Karnazes name on the finishers list several times.  

Anyway, the real reason I’m telling you about Running on the Sun and the Badwater race is because I wanted to share a quote from Major Curt Maples of the US Marines.

“One of my favorite books and movies is called The Right Stuff.”  It wasn’t so much about the space program.  It was about this group of men in pursuit of this intangible quality–the right stuff.  They wanted to see if they had it or not.  That’s why people are out there doing the Badwater–not just me–but also the other 39 individuals who are out there [running 135 miles]. They want to see if they have the right stuff.  That’s what it’s about.”

Do you have the “right stuff?”  Why are you out there pounding the pavement?

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