Hardest Race on Earth The last place I would want to run is in Death Valley. The average temperature is 116 degrees and it gets up to 130 degrees. Today it was 122 degrees! Every year, athletes around the world enter an ultramarathon that takes place in Death Valley. This 135 mile race begins 200 feet below sea level and the climbs to 9,000 feet above sea level. This year's race starts on July 16th. The runners have only 48 hours to complete the race. I can't even imagine how people can possibly do this! I guess I should stop complaining about this summer heat in Washington, DC.