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Darren Fortney said he wanted to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon in California, widely regarded as the world's most difficult endurance race, in under 36 hours.

He was oh, so close to pulling it off.

The 41-year-old transportation consultant from Middleton, who was profiled in Sunday's 77 Square, covered the 135-mile race from Death Valley to the foothills of Mount Whitney in 36 hours, 28 minutes, 2 seconds.

Fortney, who raised more than $1,500 for Gilda's Club of Madison by participating in Badwater, finished up Wednesday before a raging forest fire forced race officials to move the finish line and shorten the race by four miles for the latecomers.

Fortney placed 31st, just off the upper one-third of the pack goal he had set for himself. Of the 87 entrants, 75 were able to complete the race within the 60-hour time limit.

Marcos Farinazzo, 40, of Brazil won Badwater in a time of 23:39:18. The top female finisher was Jamie Donaldson of Littleton, Colo., who was fifth overall in 27:20:18.

Click the play button below to view Badwater's official 2009 race recap video: http://77square.com/sweat/story_458688

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