Madera runner Oswaldo Lopez finished eighth in the STYR Labs Badwater 135 early Wednesday, crossing the finish line at Whitney Portal with a time of 27 hours, 59 minutes, 8 seconds.
Pete Kostelnick of Lincoln, Neb., defended his title in the ultramarathon by shattering the course record by almost an hour with a time of 21:56:32.
Lopez, the 2011 champ competing in the race for an eighth straight year, and the other elite runners started at Badwater Basin at 11 p.m. Monday. By the 41-mile checkpoint, Lopez trailed leader Kostelnick by 10 minutes.
Kostelnick finished his dominating run before runner-up Harvey Lewis of Cincinnati, had reached the final checkpoint before the finish at the 131-mile mark. Lewis finished in 23:40:52.
In addition to his victory five years ago, Lopez is a four-time race runner-up (2009, ’10, ’12, ’15) with one third (’13). He did not finish in ’14 due to stomach problems.
Valmir Nunez of Brazil held the former race record of 22:51:29, set in 2007.
Billed as “the most demanding and extreme running race on the planet,” the race covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100 feet of cumulative descent.