A HUGE congratulations goes out to my friend Jamie Donaldson who just crossed the finish line of the Badwater 135 mile run in first place with a new women's course record!! Her time of 26:51:33 beat the long-standing record of Pam Reed (2002) by 1 hour and 3 minutes, and it was good enough to place her 3rd overall in a super-elite invitation-only field of male and female runners.
Speaking of Pam, she and Jamie were locked in a great back-and-forth battle this year which made for an amazingly exciting race. 90 miles into the race Pam held a 30 minute lead over Jamie, but J's intense training over the past few months really paid off in the subsequent miles - By the next official check point at mile 122, Jamie had not only caught Pam, but pulled ahead by 18 minutes herself. From there she put the hammer down and opened that gap up to a 51 minute lead by the finish line.
This victory is extra special for Jamie since last year she led the women's race for about 100 miles before a nasty case of shin splints slowed her to an excruciating hobble. Like a true champ though, she never gave up as she gutted her way to a 41 hour finishing time. It's great to see all of her hard work and dedication following that frustrating finish a year ago translate into victory today.
Here's to you, Jamie!! Congratulations!!!