March 2016 - The summer of 2015 was an exception - if you look below you will see we accepted "Night Starts" because we did not want to change these guidelines in the middle of the season with no advanced warning, and because we did not want to complicate things at the time, because certain people already made plans.
We want to keep to the initial, the true and one meaning of Badwater146 ( and not dilute the meaning of the name). We are not comparing how "hard it is the night time versus day time versus January / winter crossing" . We just try to have one meaning for Badwater 146, so when somebody says "I did Badwater" that does not mean " it was 85F in Death Valley because i was there at night.
================ BELOW IS THE 2015
There was a lot of discussion about the night start in the last 2 years especially after people found out that the 135mi race will have a night start.
You can read thru that discussion on Facebook or HERE
This year, in 2015, we had more discussions about this
One question being, if one starts a Double Badwater, and on the return they go thru Stovepipe between (for example) 6am and 11am , and they go non stop thru death valley during the daytime temperatures, would that qualify as a "day start"? Short answer No
Or what if a person starts at Badwater at 10:59 am, then runs 10 steps, drives to Furnace Creek, then drives back at night and starts at night. They would sacrifice the time from 11am till the night start, but would that qualify as a "day start"? Short answer No
The general consensus, which could be changed if a lot of people come up with good arguments is to keep things as they are, specifically
to not complicate things too much
changing the Guidelines should be done well before people start to train , so many many months in advance
changing the guidelines now should not have affected people that did Badwater146 in the past ( for example changing the rules for Badwater Double would have affected other people that did Badwater Double in previous years. Or a wild example , changing the 6am-11am window to 3am-11am, that would have affected people that did Badwater in the past)
like other people said last year, adding a notation of "night time" should be a little more explicit like "started at night and did not go thru daytime heat in Death Valley"
the "night start" has been grandfathered since it has been there many years ago. So we are not changing anything re the Night Start, or PM start
we did not talk what "night time/start" means . One could say it is anything outside the 6am to 11am window. Another can say it is what used to be many years ago. Yet another can claim that night start it is what the 135 mi race is doing nowadays.
for a "day start" Double or Quad you need to start between 6am and 11am and follow the other existing guidelines. Because for example one could argue that going thru Death Valley on the return, it makes it easier to do the first 146 miles, and makes it easier to go up the mountain.
And here are some relevant quotes
"I think it is complicating things too much, just a notation of am or pm start if it’s a double or a quad (or even a solo)…people will draw their own conclusions as to if it was harder or easier"
"I wanted to do something different last year and so did [...] but we followed what had been set in place for some time"
"I guess if you do a night start it makes for a different situation all together"
"I wanted to start on July 1st at midnight and after much deliberation I followed what was in place..start between 6-11 am"