Marathon runners race in the desert

The Badwater Ultramarathon, a sporting event involving running and walking longer than the traditional marathon length, is commonly referred to as the world’s toughest footrace.

Held every July, Badwater is a 135-mile trek spanning the heart of Death Valley, Calif., where temperatures can fluctuate between 110 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months.

Although unknown to the general public and thought to be a test of craziness, the Badwater Ultramarathon is actuality a sought-after race within the “ultramarathoning” community.

It is considered to be the “Holy Grail” by the sport’s most brave and daring.

The ultramarathon is meant only for those who strive to test the true limits of their bodies, minds and spirits.

In order to be considered, applicants must demonstrate their experience as an ultra-marathon runner by providing proof of races they’ve competed in, along with the results from those races.

Of the thousands of people who annually apply, no more than 100 are chosen to compete in July.

Those lucky — or unlucky — enough to be chosen must then select a crew to accompany them throughout the race.

The crew will ride in a van alongside the runner during the race carrying various necessities, such as ice water, food, first-aid kits and extra footwear.

The racers’ shoes often melt on more than 200-degree Fahrenheit pavement.

Though it is beyond grueling for those that compete, doing so solidifies such competitors not only as certifiably insane, but as Badwater conquerors.