New Zealander Glenn Sutton finishes world's toughest race
Media Release: July 23, 2014
New Zealander Glenn Sutton finishes world's toughest race: the Badwater 135
"It hasn't really sunk in yet – I've had highs, lows, angry times, happy times – every emotion there is," offers Dunedin runner Glenn Sutton from the finish line of the Badwater 135 at Whitney Portal, near Lone Pine, California.
Just minutes ago Sutton completed the 217km endurance race in a time of 36 hours 30 minutes and 28 seconds.
"I had a couple of scary moments in the heat," he offers. "It crept up on me – I pulled through it one time, but one moment knocked the shit out of me – I just didn't recognise the signs, I was dehydrated and overheating."
Just 22km from the finish, on the outskirts of Lone Pine, Sutton suffered his biggest challenge.
"Hitting the wall like that took the gloss of the race," he admits. "Normally I do things under cover – out of the spotlight, but this was right out there. I felt a bit of pressure – I didn't want to let anyone down. I'm glad I pulled the bastard off."
Sutton said the heat and dehydration left him dizzy at stages throughout the course.
"It wasn't as hot as it can get here, but even this heat is just something we don't experience in New Zealand."
With his support crew at the ready, Sutton made frequent use of the ice bath.
"The ice baths were really good. It's very cold, but you just suck it up and you get a release from the heat. Your modesty kind of goes out the window – you just strip down on the side of the road and jump in," he laughs.
"It's a brutal event, but it's staged in such a beautiful area and the Americans are so friendly and helpful. They want to support you and it's the same with all the competitors – it's like a big family of like-minded people all out for a jog."
Sutton said he was happy to have been able to bring his support crew along on such an adventure. Mark Murdoch, his old school friend now living in Australia, said he was a little shocked by the ordeal.
"We're all in shock," he explains. "We can't believe it is over. It's quite an unbelievable experience – the physical endurance alone is extraordinary and then there is the mental side."
In the final reaches up to the finish line at Whitney Portal Sutton said his family helped him stay positive.
"I spoke to my family halfway up the hill – it's a tough climb and I was burnt out and needed that little extra," he adds.
After 36 hours and 30 minutes on the run, Sutton said the finish line was a welcome sight.
"I'm not emotional yet," he offers. "But we've only just finished. I think once things settle down a bit I'll probably be a bit of a sook."
Sutton said he didn't escape unscathed from his journey.
"My left knee is swollen right down to the ankle. I didn't change my socks or the tape on my feet for the whole race so there might be a few bumps and bruises on them," he laughs.
Sutton and his support crew will now return to Lone Pine to begin the recovery process.
He finished the race in 33rd position overall. Twelve people have pulled out of the race so far, with 46 still out on the course.
From Dunedin, NZ
Father of three girls
Goal for Badwater:
"I'd like to enjoy myself and take in the scenery. I hope to complete the race in 30-35 hours."
Glenn's Support Team:
37th Edition in 2014
Entries strictly limited to the best athletes in the world
1 Kiwi in 2014
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