Grey Mist Lifting

A Weekly Blog About Lives Changed Through Eye Care

Brian Foster, Executive Director

Two weeks until Badwater!

Norma has been preparing physically and mentally for the Badwater 135, “the world’s toughest foot race.”

Norma has been preparing physically and mentally for the Badwater® 135, “the world’s toughest foot race.”

Two weeks from today, our friend Norma Bastidas will officially start the most extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet – the Badwater® 135. She’ll run 135 miles (not kilometers!) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, California through extreme heat and intense elevation changes, all in support of Operation Eyesight.

We checked in with Norma to see how her training was going and how she was feeling leading up to the event. Here’s what she had to say:

“Have you ever wanted something so much that you try not to think about it, but it’s all you can think about? It’s been a long road to Badwater®. It’s the one race that started my love for ultra-running, after reading Pam Reed’s book, “The Extra Mile.” I came close to running Badwater® a couple times in the past, but it just didn’t happen – and now here we are, two weeks away.

“I just finished the last hard week of training. It’s going well, but it has been an emotional road. My body hadn’t fully recovered from last year’s world record triathlon and I felt I couldn’t ask my family to make any more accommodations so I could concentrate on my training. Instead, I just focused on what I could do and didn’t stress about the rest. It’s not easy considering it’s a high-profile race and I’m friends with several other racers. Have you noticed how, from afar, everybody else seems to be having an amazing year?

“I had some injury setbacks, but instead of panicking, I simply cross-trained and rested until my body healed. Since it was hard to put in the long training weeks I’m used to, I signed up for the entire Badwater® Ultra Cup, starting with a 51-mile race on March 19 in North Carolina, followed by an 81-mile race on May 1 in San Diego. Both races were very tough, worthy of the Badwater® name. I’m now in California, acclimatizing and ready to go.

“Ultramarathons are symbolic of how you tackle something that seems impossible, like eliminating avoidable blindness. You keep going until it is done.”

We’re all rooting for Norma! You can show your support by using the hashtag #GoNorma on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

We’re all rooting for Norma! You can show your support by using the hashtag #GoNorma on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thank you for your phenomenal commitment to eliminating avoidable blindness, Norma. And thank you to everyone who has donated to her run so far. We know your support means the world to Norma. It also means the world to those we are able to help because of you.

We hope you will continue to support Norma on this incredible journey. There are many ways to do so:

  • Make a donation online here. Every little bit helps. A $20 donation can provide three children with prescription eyeglasses. A $50 donation covers the cost of a cataract surgery.




  • You can also learn more about Norma’s story on our blog here.


Norma’s vision is for all the world to see. With your help, her vision can come true. Thank you!

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