The National Park Service has announced that it is canceling all cycling and running events for the coming year in Death Valley, pending a safety review.  While I am all for ensuring that all endurance events – especially those as challenging as the races that take place in that extreme environment – are conducted in a safe manner, it seems heavy-handed to simply cancel these historic events as the review process takes place.  While I have never run in the famous Badwater 135-mile ultra, the pubic has clearly been fascinated by the determination and effort required by runners to conquer the course, as evidenced by the many movies, books, and articles that have been produced about it.  I have been privileged to ride in the Death Valley Double Century twice, and those were two of the most memorable days of my racing career.

We can only guess what prompted this sudden decision, since there haven’t been any recent problems involving these events.  In fact – as opposed to many big-city marathons – the Badwater Ultra has yet to suffer a single fatality.

My fear, of course, is that this “safety review” is a first step towards a limitation or ban on such events in Death Valley and other National parks as well.  Let’s remind the NPS – and our congressional representatives – that the parks belong to us, for our shared and safe enjoyment, and not the NPS.

For more information, see–spt.html


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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