62: The 100-miler: Part 9 (1961-1968) First Death Valley 100 Milers


Manage episode 272410686 series 2396657
על ידי Davy Crockett התגלה על ידי Player FM והקהילה שלנו - זכויות היוצרים שמורות למפרסם, לא ל-Player FM, והשמע מוזרם ישירות מהשרתים שלכם. הירשמו כדי לעקוב אחר עדכונים ב-Player FM, או הדביקו את כתובת העדכונים באפליקציות פודקאסט אחרות.
By Davy Crockett For the first time, Death Valley became a harsh target location for athletes that are now long-forgotten to prove they could overcome suffering and cover 100 miles during intense summer heat. These attempts received national attention and also frustrated Death Valley Monument rangers. But they would lay the foundational idea of what eventually became the Badwater Ultramarathon. During the 1960s, formal 100-mile races took a backseat to the shorter ultrarunning distances that were starting to draw talented runners into the sport from marathon running. The 50-mile distance was on ultrarunning centerstage as London to Brighton emerged as the premier world ultrarunning race along with Comrades Marathon, competed in South Africa. In New York City, Ted Corbitt started to organize ultradistance races with an eye to qualify runners for London to Brighton. In 1967 the first American 50-mile National Championship was held in Poughkeepsie, New York. Ultrarunning was growing again. In America, a 50-mile craze took place by the general public in 1963 due to comments made by President John F. Kennedy (see episode 4) and some bold individuals proved they could do a double: 100 miles. 100-mile races were waiting to the wings to being competed seriously again. However, the 100-mile distance on foot fascinated the general public, especially men in the military. Many people in all walks of life found ways during the 1960s to achieve it. Please help support this podcast. I’ve joined a partnership with Ultrarunning Magazine. I can offer a 25% discount on Ultrarunning Magazine subscriptions and renewals. Visit https://ultrarunning.com/ultrarunning-history/ Subscribe or renew today with this link. The March 2021 issue includes Gary Cantrell's run across America and the top 2020 Fastest Known Time performances. 100 Miles Across Death Valley Missing and forgotten in the famed Badwater Ultramarathon history are the earliest 1960s attempts to go more than 100 miles in Death Valley during the hottest part of the summer. These brutal hikes received intense national attention at the time and certainly planted ideas that progressed to the formal race established two decades later. Death Valley is in eastern California contains the point of lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet below sea level. The Average daily high temperature in July is 116 degrees F. Jean Pierre Marquant’s 1966 Death Valley 100-miler Jean Pierre Marquant was an ex-paratrooper from Nice, France. He went to the United States in early 1965 and hitchhiked around the country. In 1966,Marquant, age 28, set off to walk across Death Valley in the heat of July. Officials thought he was the first person to deliberately attempt a crossing of Death Valley in the summer. Marquant had experience. He earlier spent 103 days hiking over 1,000 miles of Algerian desert. He said, “It was desert country, but of course not nearly as hot and dry as Death Valley.” He spent five days before his start conditioning himself to the heat, taking short walks near the national monument headquarters. Marquant’s extremely difficult route was not along the paved roads. He planned to make a huge circular route that include scaling 9,000-foot Wildrose Peak and 11,000-foot Telescope Peak along the way. He left a map with the rangers outlining his route and gave estimates for arrival at various places in the valley. Officials said, “Because of the extreme heat, a ground search party will not be sent to look for Marquant if he should fail to turn up at a checkpoint. The only help we can offer is to place a call to Edwards or George Air Force bases and request a helicopter fly the area to try to spot him. We admire Marquant’s courage. We have serious doubts he will succeed.” Marquant knew the dangers, “It is a challenge. The sun is so hot it scorches every part of the body. You become dehydrated and your strength is sapped.

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