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Zach Gingerich, Class of 1997, Wins 135 Mile Race

by Bill Tilton - News-Herald

July 14, 2010

  Zach Gingerich began running when he was 14, but never thought the distances in junior high or high school were challenging enough.  As he has gotten older, the 1997 Berkshire Graduate has had no problem finding longer and more challenging distance races.

  On Tuesday, he conquered one of the most challenging of all.

  The 30-year-old Aurora, Ill., resident won the Badwater Ultramarathon - a 135 -mile footrace that runs through Death Valley and ends at Mount Whitney in California.  He clocked a time of 24:44:48, which is his best time on the course.  In 2009, Gingerich took third in the race in a time of 25:06:12.

  Covering 135 miles non-stop, the Badwater Ultramarathon is commonly referred to as the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.  The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280 feet below sea level.  The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700 feet of cumulative descent..



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