The Badwater Ultramarathon course is a grueling 135-mile trek from Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney. Temperatures often exceed 120 degrees on the route, which features about 13,500 feet of climbing. Seymour Rifkind, a Riverwood resident, author and businessman completed that seemingly impossible task July 28-30, recording a time of 56 hours, 29 minutes despite training for only 135 days.
Rifkind’s primary motivation was not pushing his limits, but rather supporting underprivileged kids in the Chicago area. He hopes to raise $135,000 for two organizations, Lake County PADS and the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, that work toward this goal. “I hope my few days of suffering will help ease the suffering for a lot of kids in Chicago,” Rifkind said.
For more information, check out Rifkind’s Web site at
Running and family always have been intertwined for Katie Hauser. The 26-year-old former cross country and track runner at Southern Illinois University started running with her father when she was nine. While at SIU, she met teammate Ryan Hauser, who became her husband. The couple now has two sons, ages two and five.
After giving birth to her second child, Katie returned to competitive running last summer and the sport has continued to be a family affair. Ryan often competes in the same races, while their sons often take part in the kids races.
This summer, Hauser placed second at the Run for Freedom in Antioch on July 4 and finished third at the Bastille Day 5k the next weekend. Her time of 17:48 was close to the personal record of 17:33 she set at SIU, and she thinks she can keep improving. “It will be fun to see where I can go with this and if I can get faster than I was in college,” she says.