Vegan ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek has won the grueling Badwater Ultramarathon for the second year in a row. Known as the toughest footrace on earth, this 135-mile race takes runners from Death Valley, where temperatures often soar to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, to the trailhead of Mt. Whitney in California. The runners cross three mountain ranges with a combined vertical ascent and descent of over 17,000 feet. Jurek won his first Badwater Ultramarathon in 2005, setting a course record of 24 hours, 36 minutes. Most runners take two days to finish the race.
Both this year and last, Jurek won the race at Badwater just two weeks after winning the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which he has won seven consecutive times. In 1999, at age 25, Jurek became the youngest male runner to win the Western States race, and in 2004, he set a record of 15 hours, 36 minutes.
Jurek, who has been following a vegan diet since 1999, credits his wins to his healthy diet, which allows for faster recovery to restore his body to a higher level of conditioning. Jurek was named Runner’s World Hero of 2005 and UltraRunning magazine’s Ultrarunner of the Year in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2003, he was awarded UltraRunning magazine’s Performance of the Year: http://www.pcrm.org/magazine/gm06autumn/marathon.html.