Check out these other troops who conquered Death Valley.
Navy Lt. j.g. Hannah Roberts, age 25
Hiking up Whitney Portal Road, Roberts said that in recent races, she'd gotten caught up in the competitiveness and lost sight of why she started running ultras. Badwater brought that focus back.
"I ran really happy for much of Badwater," she said in an email. "The lows and setbacks we experienced out there I dealt with with so much more character or grace or ‘just roll with it' attitude than I did at Zion [100-miler]. ... I saw myself exhibit a lot more bearing and grace at Badwater, and that's really how I'd rather run. ... I didn't meet my ‘best case scenario' time goal, which I'm completely OK with. It's good that I feel like I have a lot more to accomplish and improve upon."
Finish time: 34:26:35
Charity: http://noimpactproject.org/">No Impact Project
Retired Army Maj. Tim Hardy, age 51
I had a chance to run several miles with Hardy as he neared Lone Pine. He said Badwater was the easiest of the long races he's done so far, attributing his success to focus and good training. He'd wanted this race for years and was soaking it all in.
"It pays to dream and think about big goals, set them and pursue them to the best of your ability," he said in an email a week later. "Badwater turned out to be an even better event than I hoped it would be and I was fortunate enough to have my brothers, Greg and Doug, and good friend Dan Hartley crewing and sharing the experience, and that made it even more special."
Finish time: 36:08:37
Marine Corps Capt. Mosi Smith, age 30
"How often do you get the opportunity to live out a lifelong goal?" Smith said of his positive race experience.
Smith had issues with his Achilles tendon halfway through the race. But with the support of his crew, and a little KT Tape, he was able to finish.
"The sense of kinship is something I view as a commonality between the military society and the tribe of ultrarunners," he said in an email. "Oftentimes, we place ourselves in austere environs with the same objective: to accomplish the mission and reach the finish line. We learn a lot about ourselves along the way. But the most salient sentiment is that we do not achieve anything alone."
Finish time: 37:11:08
Charity: http://www.active.com/donate/SemperFiFund10/Marines1in10">Semper Fi Fund
Army 1st Lt. Claire Heid, age 24 (23 on race day)
Just past the 100-mile mark, Heid was with pacer Army Sgt. 1st Class John Goble, but the rest of her small crew was miles back with its lone vehicle, which wouldn't start. Despite that setback, she finished the race, becoming the youngest female finisher ever.
"When people said that Badwater would change my life, I honestly didn't believe them. But they were right," she said in an email. "Now that it's over, I'm a little sad, because the journey that got me there has been incredible. Even as I was wincing putting on combat boots to go to work the day after finishing the race, I already knew there would be another Badwater in my future. It won't be for a while, with a deployment in my near future, but I know I'll run it again."
Finish time: 41:15:57
Charityhttp://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/claireheid/claireheidsfundraisingpage">: Team Red White & Blue