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Ploskonka starts, finishes world's toughest footrace

David Ploskonka almost did himself in with an impatient early pace but recovered to finish what is billed as the world's toughest footrace for the second time.

Ploskonka, who first competed in running at John Carroll School, finished the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon the second time, on July 10-11 in Death Valley, Calif., in 38 hours and 18 minutes, enduring cooler-than-normal temperatures as high as 115 degrees.

The 29-year-old engineer was one of 94 runners from 25 states and 14 countries who ran from Death Valley to Mount Whitney under the unblinking scrutiny of AdventureCorp film crews.

He ran in second place early in the race, covering his first 26 miles in just...