The North Face Heats Up With Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon

The North Face today announced sponsorship of the 2006 Kiehl’s Badwater 135-Mile Ultramarathon.
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SAN LEANDRO, California—July 20, 2006— The North Face, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative, and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment, and footwear, today announced sponsorship of the 2006 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon. The 135-mile race, known to be the most demanding and extreme running race in the world, takes the toughest endurance athletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers non-stop from Death Valley, California, to Mount Whitney, California, with temperatures projected to reach up to 135 degrees.

The 2006 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon marks The North Face's first year as a sponsor of the event. Earlier this year, The North Face unveiled its first-ever endurance athlete team and its endurance-inspired collection of fast-and-light technical apparel and footwear which will hit stores this September.

“The North Face is committed to endurance,” says Joe Flannery, Vice President of Marketing. “We're proud to be a premier sponsor of the Badwater Ultramarathon, the ultimate race for ultramarathoners who are testing the limits of human endurance.”

The North Face Endurance team athlete Dean Karnazes won the 2004 Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon race and this year marks his sixth time competing in the event. Karnazes, no stranger to ultramarathons, has run 350 continuous miles, through three sleepless nights, and on seven separate occasions, has run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. He is running Badwater—plus several ultramarathons nationwide—in advance of his ultimate expedition, The North Face Endurance 50–an adventure in which he will run 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days.

“An event like Badwater pushes the body to its limit—you're out there in 125-degree heat, running on a white line so your shoes won't melt. It's incredible in every sense of the word,” Karnazes says. “This is a truly exciting year–running the Western States 100, winning the Vermont 100, now back to Badwater, to the Leadville Trail 100 and looking toward The North Face Endurance 50— it's something I've always dreamed of doing.”

The Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon takes place July 24-26, 2006. The starting line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280 feet below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at 8,360 feet. The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700 feet of cumulative descent. The Portals are the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. For more on the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon," challenge of the champions," please visit www.badwater.com.

Karnazes will begin The North Face Endurance 50 countdown with the Lewis & Clark Marathon in St.Charles, Missouri, on September 17th with his 50th and final run in the New York City Marathon on November 5. For more information, check out www.endurance50.com.

About The North Face®
The North Face, a subsidiary of VF Corporation, was founded in 1966. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains. Additional information about The North Face® can be found on the company's website, www.thenorthface.com.

Press Contacts:
Pamela Bennett
510.618.3654
pam_bennett@vfc.com

Amy Goldhammer
510.618.2815
amy_goldhammer@vfc.com

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