Leon Draxler Obituary, Death – Leon J. Draxler, a native of Lake Tapps, Washington, was an avid supporter of the Badwater 135 and finished the race three times. He also participated in the event. It is with great sadness that we must inform you of his passing. After completing Badwater 135 in 2000, 2001, and 2002, Leon made the decision to spend the rest of his life helping other people achieve their own personal Badwater ambitions.
Beginning in 2003 and continuing up until this year, 2022, he volunteered his time to perform the data entry for the timing system at both Furnace Creek and Panamint Springs at each and every Badwater 135 that he participated in. Every year, he made the journey all the way down from Seattle by himself and worked in total silence the entire time he was there. Everyone liked how he was able to always keep a pleasant and calm manner in any given situation.
It was impossible to catch him without a grin on his face. It was both a great honor and a great pleasure to always have him serving on our race crew. Having him there was a treat. (And it was just last year when the race director Chris Kostman said to Leon that it appeared that he had never aged in the 22 years that he had been going to Badwater 135). Leon’s age ranged from 58 to 60 years old when he completed the marathon, and he just passed away while on vacation with friends in Cuba at the age of 80 years old. His sister told us that he was having a great time and was looking forward to checking out the classic cars that were there. (Please refer to the photo that is provided.)
The support system for the Badwater 135 race is comprised of the volunteers that participate in the event. They bring it to the level of excellence found in the world’s best. Leon was a shining light in a group of truly great people that helped make this ambition come true, and they helped make the dream a reality for all of the runners and crews each year. We are going to mourn his passing deeply and cling to the memory of him for the rest of our lives. In addition to this, we are going to memorialize him at the Badwater 135 that will take place from July 4 to July 6, 2023.