I hope you are having a great day and that life is treating you well.
I have frequently been asked and was asked today what race is harder the MDS or Badwater 135.
My answer is:
In my opinion you can't in anyway compare the races. The only similar features these races have is that they are both in a desert and they are both hot!
MDS is a stage race where you carry all your own supplies for 7 days. You are given 9 liters of water each day at various check points. The distance is close to 150 miles over several different types of terrain, such as sands dunes, dried up river beds,rocks and gravel. There is little if any road running. This race you sleep out in the middle of the Sahara desert under the most amazing star filled sky with amazing people from all over the world, all with a story to tell! The bounding that goes on during this race between perfect strangers is like nothing I have ever experienced before and will last you a lifetime.
MDS is a journey of self and not one you are able to explain to someone unless you experience it first hand. The real test of MDS comes in your ability to make sure you have all the "right stuff" in your back pack. You can't have someone run off to the store to pick you up anything you must have it with you. Your ability to recover from day to day is also a very large part of this race. People think its only hot in the Sahara, it is very cool at night this is why you must have a very warm sleeping bag with you. You can visit our web site to learn more about the MDS.
Badwater: is 135 on the road. The race is straight through, you only sleep if you wish. You have a crew to give you all the supplies you will need along the way. You need to enjoy running on the road to really love this race. The course is beautiful in so many ways, it is forever changing with each passing mile. The RD had 3 different starts for the race which makes it fun. The course is very difficult with the heat you experience. It always seems so hot due to the heat coming off the black top road. Badwater is a real test of survival with how your mind, body and spirit will hold up for 135 miles in a furnace that you can't get out of! This race is one of my favorite because of the course, the event itself and what you learn about yourself as a person along the way. I have completed BW 7 times and will be back this year. Each time I run the race I learn so much more about the deepness of my being that I have yet to explore. I always tell people that at BW the race does not start until 100 miles!
Why do I go back to both races: I have done many races that I never have the desire to go back to again. These 2 races have a place on my heart that I just cant explain to you.
The love for the heat, the desert, the ultimate challenge, the bonding with people and the universe. My thought it that you find a way to try both of these events yourself sometime in your life. If not to race them, you can be part of these events in other ways. Volunteer or be on someone's crew.
Both races are equal in the awesome experience but very different in most ways.
Have a great day