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Extreme runners race 135 miles in 120-degree heat

Published On: Jul 17 2013 02:29:00 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 17 2013 10:16:44 AM CDT

96 athletes competed in 36th Annual Badwater 135, which starts in the intensely hot Death Valley. Billed as the toughest footrace in the world, the race starts at Badwater Basin, which is 280 feet below sea level. The race takes place annually in mid-July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 degrees are common, even in the shade.

Athletes begin a 135-mile non-stop run, which equals about five back-to-back marathons, over three mountain ranges in extreme mid-summer desert heat to finish at 8,350 feet above sea level near Mount Whitney in California.

July 10 marked the 100-year anniversary of the all-time hottest world record temperature of 134 degrees, set in Death Valley where the average high in July is 116.

The men's record for the current 135-mile course is 22 hours 51 minutes 29 seconds.

The 2013 winner was Carlos Sá, a Portuguese-born runner who completed the race in 24 hours, 38 minutes and 16 seconds, according to the race's official website.

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  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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