World Record Holder to Run Badwater Ultramarathon for Calgary Eyesight Charity


(Calgary, Alta) (On July 28th), world-class competitive runner Norma Bastidas will compete in the Badwater® 135 ultramarathon in Death Valley in support of Calgary-based Operation Eyesight. Bastidas is running to raise awareness and support for Operation Eyesight’s work to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries.

Once she crosses the finish line, Bastidas will become the only Canadian to complete the 2015 Badwater® Ultra Cup, a three-event series comprising the 51-mile Badwater® Cape Fear in March, the 81-mile Badwater® Salton Sea in May and the Badwater® 135 in July.

“The Badwater® 135 is one of the most challenging races on the planet,” says Bastidas. “But when I finish the race, my suffering stops. The suffering of those living with avoidable blindness won’t end until we do something about it.”

Bastidas became an ambassador for the world’s blind and visually impaired after her oldest son was diagnosed with a blinding eye condition with no cure. In 2009, she ran the “777 Run for Sight,” becoming the fastest woman in history to run seven ultramarathons on seven continents in seven months. She also broke the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest triathlon last year.

“We’d like to thank Norma and her supporters for their incredible commitment to our work,” says executive director Brian Foster. “We’re all excited for Norma and we know she’s going to have a great run next week. Go Norma go!”

Rob Ohlson, chair of Operation Eyesight’s Board of Directors and president of Calgary’s Maillot Homes, will join Bastidas in Death Valley as a support crew member. The Badwater® 135 covers 135 miles (217 km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, California.

Operation Eyesight is a Canada-based international development organization dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness in developing countries. It was founded in Calgary in 1963.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit