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Madera’s Oswaldo Lopez finishes eighth at Badwater Ultramarathon

Oswaldo Lopez of Madera finished eighth in the Badwater Ultramarathon on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
Oswaldo Lopez of Madera finished eighth in the Badwater Ultramarathon on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

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.

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