Friday, July 6, 2012

My 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon Crew

Describing the importance of a runner’s crew at the Badwater Ultramarathon is often thought of as impossible, yet, it is so very simple – without a functioning, dedicated crew, no runner can successfully complete the grueling task that is the Badwater Ultramarathon, and we are not talking about the fact that, pursuant to the Badwater Ultramarathon race rules, no runner can even participate in the race without being “accompanied by a support crew comprised of at least one four-wheeled motor vehicle and two crew members.”  Most participants in the race say that without a crew, there can be no runner, and in conditions as extreme as those that exist during the event, nothing can be more true.

Since my first Badwater crossing in 2009 I have been blessed to have some amazing and highly talented individuals serve as crewmembers.  Five of those crewmembers have gone on to complete their own Badwater Ultramarathon journey:

·       Jennifer Vogel (2011 finisher in and insane 29:42:12; 2nd Female; 8th Overall)
·       Brian Krogmann (2010 finisher in 31:49:00; 12th Overall)
·       Chris Roman (2011 finisher in 32:27:19; 16th Overall)
·       Lane Vogel (2010 finisher in 41:27:06)
·       Meredith Murphy (2011 finisher in 46:45:51)
2012 is very similar in several respects.  For starters, we will again go with a 3-person full-time crew (with the wife and girls serving as the “crew to the crew” with primary responsibility for replenishing dwindling supplies).  Most important, it is crew made up of highly experienced ultra endurance athletes, which has a tremendous benefit when attempting a feat as difficult as the Badwater Ultramarathon.  So, without further delay, these are the 3 brave souls that will be burning the midnight oil with me “out there” for our attempt to make it 4 Badwater finishes in a row!

Jason “OB” Overbaugh (Crew Chief)


Jason returns to Badwater for his second straight year as a crewmember, his first as “Crew Chief.”  As the Crew Chief, Jason will be the primary organizer and the person with “ultimate decision-making responsibility” during the race.

This dude is one hell of a tough guy, and not simply because he is a Marine Corps veteran and current S.W.A.T. Team member.  In 2011 he finished the Epicman Challenge in Hawaii in 49:10:00.  Forget the time itself.  This race consisted of a 7.2-mile swim (2:54:50), 336-mile bike ride (23:38:06) and 78.6-mile run (22:08:53)!!!!!   ABSOLUTELY INSANE!  Oh, and then there was this little 12.5-mile circumnavigation open water swim around Key West, Florida that he finished in 4 hours and 55 minutes.

On the “lighter” side, Jason is a 3-time 100-mile finisher (all in 2011):

·       GRR 100 (21:41:47; 2nd Place Overall);
·       Umstead 100 (18:29:05; 15th Place Overall); and
·       Keys 100 (27:17:42)

Jason resides in Atlanta, Georgia were, when he isn’t immersed 24/7 into making every aspect of his body and performance a picture of perfection, he can be found chasing criminals (well, alleged criminals) through the City’s dangerously, viscous streets.  In fact, Jason is so popular with the Atlanta law enforcement community that he, and his handsomely good looks, will be making their way to the bright lights of your very own television screen, as he will be taking names and fighting crime on the hit television series, COPS.  Oh yeah baby, I’m getting my ringtone right now…”Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do?  Watcha gonna do when OB comes for you?”

He has twice suffered as my pacer at the Bartram 100 (2010 & 2011), enduring the freezing cold pouring rain of 2010.

Is this the real OB?

Danielle Grabol (Crew Chief’s Leading Lady)


Tough? This girl is one hell of a rugged endurance athlete.  Dani (the endearing term that those who fear she will break them in half call her – and she can break you in half) recently set the women’s Cross-Florida Cycling Record by cycling 420 miles in 27 hours and 54 minutes.  Talk about saddle sores.  Due to the graphic nature of those photos, they will NOT be posted here.  However, for a price, they will be made available for private in-home viewing.

Not wanting to be upstaged by her “epic” knight in shining armor, this accomplished triathlete didn’t stop at being an Ironman.  No, that was just too simple – she’s completed a Double Ironman!  That’s right boys, double the swim (4.8 miles), double the bike (224 miles), and double the run (52.4 miles).

Dani has performed pacing duties for me before – at the 2011 Bartram 100.  She, like her equally maniacal significant other reference above, hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  Dani loves to, “play Wii Bowling with old people.”  In her spare time she is the Wellness Director for a large independent living facility for older adults, where she encourages the residents and staff to engage in a healthy lifestyle, and develops and implements wellness programs.  As a result, she is often caught playing Wii with 90 year olds, claiming, as her defense, that it is a form of exercise for the elderly.  She currently holds the over-90 Wii Bowling record at this so-called “elder care facility” that she works at, as well as the record for most consecutive hours playing Wii with a person or people over the age of 90.

Wayne Bates (No Personal or Physical Involvement With Crew Chief Whatsoever)


Also known as Wayne Gates and William Bates (but only went entered in the Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k), Wayne served as crewmember for the first Badwater finish in 2009.  We are still doing research to determine what other aliases this guy might go by.  He is also a well accomplished endurance athlete, with four 100-mile finishes to his credit:

·       2011 Vermont 100 (29:45:12)
·       2009 Umstead 100 (23:12:49)
·       2009 Rocky Raccoon 100 (25:20:12)
·       2008 Vermont 100 (27:12:39)


From the little Village of Brewster, New York, Wayne is top dog at the Bates Airport and Limousine Service.  Here’s a fun fact…He has been seen lying lateral decubitus amidst children’s toys at aid stations in Vermont.

Another Sleeper On The Crew??

1 comment:

  1. Good luck Anthony!! Good luck to the crew too (been there done that!)

    The Triumphs

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