Spartan racing has officially arrived. NBC Sports Ventures, the NBC Sports Group arm that acquires and develops athletic events for television, announced today that it has partnered with Reebok and Spartan Race on a multiyear alliance giving NBC exclusive media rights to the grueling challenge series.
NBC begins its mainstream validation of adventure racing on July 22 with coverage of the first of five Reebok Spartan Races leading up to the World Championship in November. Each telecast will give viewers close looks at barbed-wire crawls, fire jumps, spear throws, and the rest of founder Joe De Sena’s punishing gauntlet, in addition to profiles of individual athletes.
“By amplifying the level of visibility for the sport of obstacle racing, we’re taking a huge step towards our mission to pull people off the couch and get them living fit,” De Sena said in a press release. “Our alliance with NBC Sports moves us firmly towards our goals.”
Inspired viewers can watch the races away from the cushy comfort of their living rooms. Each event will be livestreamed across NBC’s desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms through NBC Sports Live Extra.
Interested in keeping up with the rise of athletic masochism (or, dare we suggest, signing up to compete)? Here are the television air dates and locations for prominent Spartan races, which can be seen on NBC Sports Network. In a seriously exciting move, the championship will air on NBC’s main channel.
July 22: Tuxedo, New York
August 19: Palmerton, Pennsylvania
September 13: Washougal, Washington
September 23: Amesbury, Massachusetts
October 25: Wintergreen, Virginia
November 16: Killington, Vermont
Increasing numbers of people, especially young ones, are finding that their bodies are rejecting technology. To be specific, they're having allergic reactions to a material found in many of our gadgets—nickel. A recent study on this allergy, published in Pediatrics, coincided with an 11-year-old boy's trip to the hospital after daily iPad use had him breaking out in a very uncomfortable rash.
Don't panic right away. It's unclear whether all Apple products actually contain nickel (though the company hasn't yet commented on this issue), but nickel can be found in a range of electronic devices such as laptops and cellphones. That's unfortunate, because it's one of the most common allergies out there. Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at the hospital that treated the 11-year-old, told the Huffington Post that about a quarter of kids tested have a nickel allergy. If you have this allergy, prolonged exposure to nickel-containing gadgets ups your risk of breaking out. How's that for an excuse to unplug as much as possible?
The Mayo Clinic recommends calamine lotion, wet compresses, or antihistamines, among other solutions, if you're suffering from the technology rash. The 11-year-old boy's long-term solution is groan inducing in its simplicity: Use a case. If you have a nickel allergy but can't give up your wired lifestyle, try these apocalypse-proof (and apparently rash-preventing) picks.
The Tinkoff-Saxo cyclist crashed in advance of the the Col du Platzerwasel, the third of six climbs in the Bastille Day stage. He received treatment from race doctors and got back in the saddle, but the injury put him four minutes behind the Vincenzo Nibali–led peloton and nine minutes behind the breakaway.
Contador began the race today in ninth place but dropped out with just shy of 50 miles left in the 100.4-mile stage. Contador's exit marks the second upset of prerace favorites, following defending champion Chris Froome's set of crashes on stage five that forced him to leave the race—the third big surprise, if you count Mark Cavendish crashing out of the race on day one.