It has been brought to my attention more than a few times now to read a letter sent to the editor of Runners World, May issue.
The letter says this:
I enjoyed Christopher McDougall's story about Lisa Smith-Batchen, but I believe that I was the first person to complete the "Badwater Grand Slam," in 2000. It's ironic that I also dealt with depression after completing this event.
When I set out to do the Grand Slam of Ultra running and Badwater in the same season a few of us did some research to see if anyone else had done it before. The races that were looked at were the races that I was going to do in my Grand Slam. These are the races I did and my race results.
Western States 100 on 6-29/30-03 Time:26:30:54
Vermont Trail 100 on 7-19/20-03 Time:24:15:15
Badwater 135 on 7-22/24-03 Time:52:11:39
Leadville Trail 100 on 8-16/17-03 Time:29:05:22
Wasatch Front 100 on 9-6/7-03 Time:30:39:43 TOTAL TIME: 161 HOURS @ 105 MIN.
These are the races that Joe Decker did for his Grand Slam and Badwater were:
Old Dominion 100 on 6-3/4-2000 Time:26:07:36
Western States 100 on 6-24/25-2000 Time:27:49:37
Badwater 135 on 7-27/29-2000 Time:45:12:25
Leadville Trail 100 on 8-19/20-2000 Time:29:43:11
Wasatch Front 100 on 9-9/10-2000 Time:34:14:41 TOTAL TIME: 161 HOURS @ 125 MIN.
So you can see that I did Vermont 100 and Joe did Old Dominion 100, so we did not do the "same Grand Slam and Badwater". The same to me would mean doing the same races during the same time period. The races we checked into were the races that were going to be on the Grand Slam I was running, we did not even look at Old Dominion. Perhaps this was a mistake but hey we both did it!:)
Sorry Joe, it was never meant to over look your amazing accomplishment or take anything away from what you did. You were the first to do it your way and I was the first to do it my way. To be honest the real challenge for me was to finish Vermont 100, then drive 5 hours to an airport, sleep on the plane and then go to the race meeting for the Badwater race and be standing at the starting line the next morning. The money we raised for the kids was the purpose of the journey, not to be the first or only one to do this. I'm sure there will be many more who will join us on the Grand Slam/Badwater journey.