Badlands Ultra Next Test for Bradley

by | Jul 1, 2004 | News Articles

July, 2004 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Badlands Ultra Next Test for Bradley

Sometimes the question “Why?” simply cannot be answered logically. For runners who enter the Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon, this situation certainly applies.

After all, why would someone want to try a 135-mile endurance run that starts in Death Valley, California, 282 feet below sea level, and finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals, which is at an elevation of 8,360 feet? Who would want to put themselves through temperatures that have been known to reach as high as 130 degrees while trying to traverse a course that covers three mountain ranges and contains a total of 13,000 feet of vertical ascent and 4,700 feet of descent?

Well, Marv Bradley for one. The seemingly indestructible 65-year-old Cañon City endurance phenom is always looking for a new challenge, but even he can’t explain why he’s accepted this one.

“A lot of this is mental,” said Bradley, who is one of 76 runners from 18 states and 14 countries who are scheduled to begin the ultramarathon on Monday. “You don’t question; you feel and think that you can do it.”

Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go: Bradley was made for long-distance running. The Badlands run will be his 93rd marathon or ultramarathon, and he’s already done five 100-milers, including the Centennial Ultra in South Dakota, where he endured more than 12 hours of solid rain on the course.

In the last month alone he’s completed marathons in Wyoming and Taos, NM. But 135 miles in a run that could continue for more than two days might be considered a bit much.

To acclimate himself to heat, Bradley has been wearing extra clothing on recent 20- and 30-mile training runs, has avoided using the air conditioning in his car and has spent time sitting in a sauna.

Because of the ultra’s distance, it has no aid stations. Runners must rely on their own crew members to help them stay fueled and hydrated during the race, and helping him will be Cheryl Cook-McCoy of Salida, Donna Nicholas-Griesel of Coaldale and Mark and Lynn Prebble of Westcliffe.

Bradley will be relying mostly on liquids, including electrolyte and whey protein mixtures. His crew will also supply him with edible items such as Power Bars, dried fruit and pretzels.

Fremont National Bank is a corporate sponsor for Bradley, but he is covering most of his own expenses. Additional sponsors who would like to help defray expenses for him and his crew can call him at 275-1855.


Michael Barris of Pueblo West and Rich Hadley of Florence placed among the leading masters runners in their respective divisions of the Firecracker 5K/10K Trail Run held last Saturday in the Briargate area of north Colorado Springs. Barris, 40, placed third among masters, second in his age division and eleventh overall in the 5K field with a 19:55 time. Hadley, 48, was the second masters runner, first in his age division and ninth overall in the 10K field with a 40:03 time. The Firecracker races are part of the Grand Prix of Running series.

A race exclusively for women will again take place on Saturday when the annual Women’s Distance Festival, a 5K run and walk, will be held at City Park. Despite offering the normal competition, the event aims to encourage women of all ages and abilities to run or walk to enhance their physical fitness. Race times are 7:30 a.m. for the walk and 7:45 a.m. for the run, and there is race-day registration.


Cañon City’s Vicki Meier had an outstanding race at the Grandma’s Marathon held June 19 in Duluth, Minn. Meier sped to a 3:27 time to place twelfth out of 410 women in the 35-39 age division. Meier will now turn to her attention to several events, including the Barr Trail Mountain Race this month, the Muddy Budd in August and the Imogene Pass run in September.


Pueblo’s Michael Orendorff continues to have a banner triathlon season. The 52-year-old recently won his age division by more than 10 minutes in the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon that included a 1,500-meter swim, 29.5-mile bike and 10-kilometer run. Orendorff’s overall time of 2:27:10 placed him 27th overall in the field of 521 finishers. His next test will be in the Boulder Peak Triathlon on Aug. 7.

Upcoming Area Races

  • Saturday – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K run/walk, 7:30 a.m., City Park (561-3343).
  • July 17 – Pioneer Run, 5K run/walk, 7 a.m., Colorado City (676-3353).
  • July 31 – Moonlight Madness Run (Prediction Series race) 5M, 8 p.m., 3685 Verde Rd. (561-3343).
  • Aug. 7 – Belmont Butt Buster (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m., 1318 Horseshoe Drive (542-5148).
  • Aug. 21 – Watermelon Day Run, 10K, 7 a.m., Rocky Ford (719-254-7723).
  • Aug. 28 – Tunnel Drive Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m., Cañon City (784-6514).

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