YEP... if you're thinking you've heard the term "Badwater" before, you have. It's a gorgeous and alien place in Death Valley, of course, where a summertime run, in a three-digit swelter, has challenged some of the top runners on the planet. The Salton Sea event isn't quite so middle-of-the-summer-y, but trust: legging it over 81 miles in two days is nothing to sniff at. The race begins in Salton City, which is 125 feet below sea level, and ends at Palomar Mountain, "almost the tallest mountain in San Diego County" (the finish line checks in at 5500 feet above sea level).
LOVE A GOOD RUNNING CHALLENGE? The Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge sends runners straight up, or nearly, for 3.7 miles of San Jacinto each autumn. That doesn't sound too hard, but picture climbing some 2000 feet in elevation. Yep. It's major.