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Darren's Badwater 135 Ultra: Supporting Gilda's Club Madison

Donations as of August 29, 2015:

$1,890.00 Raised Offline
$11,316.97 Raised Online
$13,206.97 Total Raised

Darren's Badwater 135 Ultra: Supporting Gilda's Club Madison

Friends, Family, and Supporters-


Not only did we meet our aggressive $10,000 goal, but we surpassed it!   It is people like you who helped push us over the top, people who know and understand the importance of supporting the emotional and social side of a cancer diagnosis.

Badwater is just a few days off.  My training has gone well and I am happy to report I am injury free! 

Below are a few links to help you track me and my crew during our journey from July 11-13:

Race Day(s) Blog:

My crew will be uploading pics and commentary about my progress directly from the crew vehicle. The majority of the course has zero internet availability and data transmission can be spotty. If you don’t see an update for a while, no worries. I am either climbing one of three steep mountains, a bit slow due to intense heat, and/or data transmission is slow/unavailable. Remember, I will not quit and I do not DNF (did not finish) so be patient and don’t worry (=:

Badwater Website:

There will likely be a live link somewhere on this site where you can get video, pics, and official updated time/splits of ALL the runners. The majority of the course has zero internet availability and data transmission can be spotty. Again, if you don’t see an update for a while, no worries. I am either climbing one of three steep mountains, a bit slow due to intense heat, and/or data transmission is slow/unavailable. Remember, I will not quit and I do not DNF (did not finish) so be patient and don’t worry (=:

Please pray for a safe passage through the desert for ALL runners and their crew members....


Thank you for visiting my fundraising page for GILDAS CLUB MADISON WISCONSIN, INC.!  I'm training to run the 34th Badwater Ultramarathon, July 11-13, 2011.   Recognized globally as "the world's toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world's toughest athletes-runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers-against one another and the elements. 

Covering 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.  The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ below sea level. The race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8360'. The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ of cumulative descent.

I ran it in 2009, finishing in the top 1/3 of the field.  I am excited to go back and improve on that finish, while at the same time supporting a cause that I'm passionate about.

To get the feel of the Badwater, click on the video on this page and you'll see that to run a race of this magnitude, I need all the supportI can get. But I would feel the most encouragement knowing other people are supporting those in our community who are touched by cancer.  As a cancer survivor of 24 years, I know that the type of support Gilda’s Club provides is absolutely critical.

 Gilda’s Club Madison is an organization located here in Madison (but serving folks throughout southcentral Wisconsin) that is quietly changing lives, one by one.  It provides practical and emotional support to men, women and children with a cancer diagnosis and their loved ones, day in and day out. It is a unique place, where those whose lives have been upended by cancer can seek a listening ear. Where all who are touched by cancer don’t have to be strong, or optimistic, or brave – they only need be themselves, with whatever emotions that may be on their plate. It’s a place where cancer patients can join a support group, attend a yoga class, or hear a comedy show to tap into the healing power of laughter. It’s a place where a spouse or partner can get much-needed emotional respite. A place where kids affected by cancer can meet each other to share, learn, and find support. And every service Gilda’s Club offers is free.

The staff at Gilda’s Club is outstanding – I’ve worked on fundraising efforts with them for years. But, like many nonprofits, they can’t do it alone. To continue their work, they need our support.

As a cancer survivor, I know first hand the importance of having a place to go where you can find support from others that undestand exactly what you're feeling. That is why I am such a huge fan of Gilda's Club Madison and want to use the world-wide exposure of the Badwater race to raise awareness and financial support for this incredible organization.

Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.  Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!  

Thanks so much for your support,

Darren Fortney





Comment Donation
Pam You are amazing Darren -- great job.
Friends of Trek Bicycle - west store Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Darren. Amazing presentation.
Paul & Barb Ducasse Friends of Ginny & John
Gary White
Harold & Suzanne McGaugh
Diesel Injection Service
Anonymous Nice work!
Caring House Project From Your Friends Who Support Badwater Athlete's Causes
The Feller Family You are our Hero!
Chuck Herrmann Way to go!
Adrian #99 #42 you did great!! Congrats!
Claudia Tashi Deley!
Sarah Carlson In honor of Connor Bourke
George Thom Darren, you're an inspiration!
Dick Lange Best of luck
Marsha You.are.just.amazing!
Ann McCredie So proud of you! Thank you.
Colette H You are an inspiration - Good Luck!
Pam C Good luck!
Alperen Ozalp Good Luck Darren!
Debi Peak You are AWESOME...Best of Luck!!!
Jerry Lourigan Good Luck!!!
Jim Hanson Good luck - hope you can enjoy the run
Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. In support of Darren and Gilda's Club-Madison
John and Barb Benstead Keep climbing, Darren!
Jeff S
Mark Opitz Don't forget the sunscreen! Best of luck!
Anonymous Good Luck
Larry B Tip that support crew early and often!!!!!!
Mark and Lisa Baird You are inspiring Darren!
Tracie and Carl Happel For Darren, Grandpa, Grandpa and Grandma...
Katherine Nelson Good luck
Anonymous Good luck!
Barbara Griffin Looking forward ti seeing you at Badwater!
Friends of All Season Runner Thank you for sharing Badwater with us!
Manami Terrien Go Darren!
Anonymous Good luck Darren
Kitty Cole You inspire me to reach further in all I do!
Tammy Cordray Give it all you've got!
Ed Peirick As a fellow cancer survivor, you inspire me Darren
Kris Meicher Good Luck Darren!
Sean Klett Good Luck Darren!
Cassandra Even though I don't know you, good luck!
Pat Fisher Your spirit reminds me of my twin who had cancer.
Gopal K. Adhikary Outstanding will power, Darren. Wish you the best!
Glenn and Mary Spaay Don't drink the water!
Michael Hoelker
Les & Liz Fafard Thanks for doing this Darren.
Mark Gehring & Petra Kilian-Gehring Very inspiring Darren!
Jeanie Good Luck and many blessings along the way!

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