Photos: Follow the Runners on a Grueling 135-Mile Race Through California’s Sweltering Death Valley

As much of California sweltered in 90-degree heat this week, runners competed in a 135-mile race across Death Valley. The STYR Labs Badwater 135 course isn't just long. It has a vertical ascent of 14,600 feet, dishing out waves of challenging climbs over long stretches of road that disappear into a distant horizon.

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Runners compete July 11, 2017 in a 135-mile run through California's sweltering Death Valley.
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Oswaldo Lopez (right) stands for the National Anthem before the start of the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan is followed up a hill by Marco Bonfiglio of Italy during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California. Wataru went on to win the race with a time of 24 hours, 56 minutes and 19 seconds. Bonfiglio finished in second place with a time of 25:44:18.
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Marco Bonfiglio of Italy competes in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley. Bonfiglio finished in second place with a time of 25:44:18.
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Oswaldo Lopez walks with members of his support team, Carlos Vasquez and Ulises Sanchez, during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California. Lopez, a past champion, was unable to finish this year's race and dropped out just past the 100-mile mark. The 135-mile race starts at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280 feet below sea level. The race finishes at Whitney Portal at 8,360 feet. Whitney Portal marks the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney Summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. The course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600 feet of cumulative vertical ascent. The hottest temperature in the world was recorded in Death Valley at 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.6 degrees Celsius).
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Iino Wataru of Japan competes in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru (right) of Japan runs with a member of his support team during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan competes in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan dumps water on his head during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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A relaxed and smiling Iino Wataru (front) of Japan runs with a member of his support team during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Oswaldo Lopez walks with a member of his support team, Carlos Vasquez, during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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An athlete runs past the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Marco Bonfiglio of Italy crosses a lonely strip of Death Valley road during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Marco Bonfiglio of Italy is spritzed with water by a member of his support team during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Marco Bonfiglio of Italy competes in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Lisa Smith-Batchen gives a kiss to Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, a member of her support team, during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Juan Sanchez (right) runs to the Whitney Portal with a member of his support crew during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan his helped by members of his support team during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan is followed by Pete Kostelnick of the USA during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California. Wataru went on to win the race with a time of 24:56:19. Kostelnick finished in fifth place with a time of 28:18:07.
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Oswaldo Lopez sits in his car surrounded by his support team after he had to pull out of the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Neil Smith (right) runs to the Whitney Portal with a member of his support crew during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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David Jones covers himself with water during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California. T
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Szilvia Lubics of Hungary is sprayed by a member of her support crew during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Nelva Valladares runs at night during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Ed Ettinghausen runs at night during the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Oswaldo Lopez weighs in before the start of the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California. Lopez, a past champion, was unable to finish this year's race and dropped out just past the 100-mile mark.
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Michelle Payne hugs her support crew after finishing the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Iino Wataru of Japan (second from right) crosses the finish line with his support team to win the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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A thrilled Iino Wataru of Japan is hugged by a member of his support team after winning the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 11, 2017 in Death Valley, California.
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Shannon Farar-Griefer crosses the finish line with her support crew in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 on July 12, 2017 in Death Valley, California. Farar-Griefer was the last person to finish the race with a time of 46 hours 10 minutes 46 seconds.
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