Kiwi Glenn Sutton finishes his third 217km ultra marathon in searing heat of USA's Death Valley

Dunedin ultra-marathon runner Glenn Sutton has become the first Kiwi to finish three gruelling Badwater 135 races in Death Valley, USA.

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Glenn has the blisters to show after his 39-hour, 217km effort. Source: Supplied

Sutton, whose efforts to train for the event included a homemade heat box, finished the 217-kilometre race in a time of 39 hours and 54 minutes, which was within half an hour of his best time.

Conditions ranged from a searing 51 degrees during the day, down to 13 degrees overnight.

A total of 100 people entered the race this year, with 14 of those not finishing and five of them not even starting.

"I'm lucky enough that I've finsihed three Badwater 135s - first Kiwi to do so," he said.

"She was a pretty brutal race, so just coming away with finishing is sufficient to me."

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Glenn Sutton is headed for the California desert to try and complete the feat in less than 48 hours. Source: 1 NEWS

Sutton said he was happy, overall, with his result, and that the temperatures were maybe a little cooler than expected, which was good for someone "from a cold climate".

He said he was extremely thankful to his four support crew members, to his family who were behind him all the way, and to his sponsors.

"This type of event requires a lot of sacrifices that I had to make, and my wife Julie has picked up all the loose ends and helped out while I haven't been there, as I've been training or whatever," Sutton said.

"Maybe running the race is the easy bit."

Sutton he had thought about what he would say as he raced, but ended up just being a "blubbering mess".

"All my emotions got in the way and it was kind of overwhelming," he said.

Next up, he'll be treating the numerous blisters on his feet, before putting some serious thought into whether or not he tries for a fourth race.

Death Valley holds the title of being one of the world's hottest places, with a temperature of 56 degrees measured in 1913.