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Strong start for Glenn Sutton at Badwater 135

Strong start for Glenn Sutton at Badwater 135

Dunedin ultra endurance athlete Glenn Sutton makes a strong start at Badwater 135 Ultramarathon being staged out of Lone Pine, California, today.

"I'm loving the downhill and enjoy seeing runners ahead and quietly picking them off," explains Sutton during his descent from Horseshoe Meadows at the six-hour mark.

Sutton started in the second wave which left Lone Pine at 7am (2am NZST). The first four miles of the race saw runners spread out solo through a small canyon-like section of trail on their way to Horseshoe Meadows.

Update at 2.45 hours from the support team: "Looking strong up the hill, doing walk-run combo, which is very impressive. As we climb it cools off which is nice. He is 7th or 8th out of his 7am wave, but picking off plenty of 6am starters now."

After approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes Sutton passed checkpoint 1 at Horseshoe Meadows.

"We've turned around and we're heading back down the hill now so the pace has picked up," explains Scott Wilson from the support vehicle on the course. "Glenn has a smile on his face and he keeps looking over his shoulder to enjoy the view."

With the race starting early in the morning and climbing to Horseshoe Meadows the temperature has not yet played its hand.

"As we climbed the temperature dropped," offers Wilson. "But we are now heading down to the valley floor and this is going to be our toughest test until dark falls tonight."

Wilson said there was no cloud cover, but had indications temperatures would not be in the high 40°C zone.

He said Sutton was sitting around the top quarter of his second wave of runners as they made their way through the first wave of competitors.

The 217km course is three out and backs centered around Lone Pine township and then a final leg pushing up to Whitney Portal on the flanks of Mt Whitney.

"Leg one is 44 miles straight up to Horseshoe Meadow and back," explains Scott Wilson from the support team. "Leg two climbs to the ghost town of Cerro Gordo and back, leg three is a flat long out and back to Darwin, with the final leg a 40-mile push to Whitney Portal and the finish."


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