Brazil’s Badwater: The Brazil 135 - Page 3
Kellie, Kevin and I go through the night visiting villages, avoiding dogs that are looking to protect their turf and maybe cash in on a scrap of food while we run/walk our way to daylight. We arrive at Bara around 3:30 a.m., where the local church is serving dinners of rice, beans, egg and beef to runners.
Somewhere between Crisolia and Ouro Fino, my energy levels are at an all-time low. My stomach is not settled and rejecting calories. Worse, I am holding back Kellie and Kevin. After battling this for situation for 12 hours, I’m unable to even walk at a good pace while weaving back and forth, battling my DNF demons. Knowing what lies ahead on the course, I announce I’m going to call it quits at mile 72.5.
Liana loads me into our van and tells me to lie down and sleep while Kevin and Kellie eye me with a sad but understanding look as they pack their supplies and hit the path. Two hours later, I wake up and Alex takes me through a pasture to get cleaned up in a stream with a waterfall (of which there are many along the course!) Once the cold water hits me, I feel rejuvenated and come back to van with determination to start running again and make it to next town.
Inconfidentes at kilometer 115 has a beautiful plaza with a wonderful “Padaria” or bread store. I order fresh-squeezed orange juice, a café com leite (coffee with milk) and a ham-and-cheese sandwich pressed on freshly baked rolls. The sun is out—it is going to be a great day two on the Caminho da Fe!
The next three villages come and go when we hit Estiva at kilometer 175 and get our daily rain dump, except this one has hail—not fun when you don’t have a poncho packed! Note to self for next year …
Into the night we go again. As I leave Estiva for Cosolacao—the second-to-last town at kilometer 195—I know I may catch up to Kellie if I continue strong and steady. As I come over the mountain, I see two figures walking ahead of me—one in flip-flops. It’s Billy and Kellie, who’ve been walking together again for over 22 kilometers. As I rejoin them, our spirits are flying. We walk into Consolacao and find a whole town out for a Saturday night of fun, music playing, everyone dressed up on the dirt roads and runners feeding off the energy as they come through.
The final leg of the race to Paraisópolis is 22 km or roughly a half-marathon. For most runners, it is all a blur, dragging their tired bodies over the top and then down a steep, hard descent into the town. But, at this point, everyone has only one focus—finish the freaking race!
Kellie and I cross the line at 6:30 a.m., 46 hours and 30 minutes into the race and meet Kevin there who had finish in 40 hours and 40 minutes. Our reunion is emotional. Mission accomplished—friends and family who not only survived, but also built a lifetime of memories over the two days we journeyed through the Brazilian landscape.
At the finish line party, Mario interviews the winner, Oraldo Romualdo. Romualdo sums up the beauty of the race by saying, “We are racing against ourselves and a clock, never against anyone else here. That makes this a family who wants everyone to win.”
David Green is a founder of 110%, the company known for revolutionizing compression and ice products and dedicated to providing athletes with the tools to play harder. David is also an avid endurance athlete having competed in numerous ultra events including Badwater and 16x Ironman competitions. David is thrilled to have just turned 50 so he can age up!