The indomitable Kerri Kanuga has done it again. She completed her fourth running of the Badwater 135 on Wednesday, cruising into the final checkpoint nearly 38 hours after beginning the gruelling race.
Badwater is an ultra-endurance quest through the inhospitable conditions of California’s Death Valley that bills itself as ‘The World’s Toughest Footrace’. Kanuga, who has done the race four years in a row, improved on last year’s time, which saw her finish the torrid 135 miles in 38:28:05.
Interestingly, Kanuga was just one minute ahead of last year’s pace at the 42.3‑mile mark.
She shaved off 23 minutes during the 31.4‑mile trek to Panamint Springs, logging the distance in eight hours and 17 minutes. She made it to the 90‑mile mark, Darwin, in 23 hours and 35 minutes, and then ran through midnight and into the early morning before making it to the next checkpoint.
The 49‑year-old made it to Lone Pine, 32 miles up the trail from Darwin, in 10 hours and 15 minutes, bringing her total on her feet at that point to 33 hours and 50 minutes.
Then she made it to Portal Road, within four miles of the finish line, in just under three hours.
In the last leg, Kanuga ran the four miles in an hour and 12 minutes, finishing the 135 mile race in 37:58:24, a half-hour quicker than she had run in 2018. She averaged 3.56 miles per hour for the 135 miles and finished 43rd overall. Only eight women clocked a faster time than Kanuga did.