On January 22, the increasingly popular relay running series, Ragnar, announced that it is partnering with Salomon to launch the world’s first overnight trail running series. "For years we have dreamed of taking Ragnar to the trails and now it’s a reality," says Tanner Bell, who founded Ragnar Events a decade ago with a 200-mile team road race in Utah. Since then, the series has grown to 15 events in the U.S. and Canada, with nearly 100,000 racers competing last year.
The new two-day trail series will feature 120-mile courses and teams of four to eight runners. Unlike the road series, in which teammates who aren’t running drive by van to meet up with their runners at pre-determined transition points, Ragnar’s trail relays will consist of three loops run out of a central base camp à la traditional 24-hour mountain bike races. Not only does this alleviate the discomfort of cramping muscles during long car rides, but it also caters to parent runners who want to bring their kids to check out the action. Simply pitch a tent, set up a few chairs, and voila—front row seats to the race. (Kids must be at least 12 to enter.)
On Monday, January 21, ThoseCrazyTexans uploaded a 19-second clip of aerial stunt pilot Jason Newburg flying a plane at roughly 200 miles per hour just a few feet above the ground and a few feet to the side of a mini four-wheeler. The clip went viral, and has received more than 150,000 plays over the past four days. Unfortunately for Newburg, at least one of those plays came courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration. The government agency is now investigating whether Newburg's stunt unnecessarily put people in harm's way.
Last week I was at Canyons Resort in Utah on official Outside business, and for the first time in months, I had to leave my children behind. Solo traveling has its pros and cons. On one hand, without little bodies pattering into my bedroom at 3 a.m. or hollering “Rise and Shine!” while it’s still black as night outside, the assignment was surprisingly relaxing. I actually came home more rested than when I’d left. On the other, it’s a kind of strange to find yourself at the epicenter of family adventure without, well, your own family.
Then again, because I wasn’t spending every free second bundling little ones into snowsuits and wrangling their gear, I had time to dial in the details on a sweet family ski trip.
Once a year, from 1975 to 1978, skateboarders in pursuit of speed and recognition gathered in Signal Hill, California, to race down a roughly 30-degree slope. Actually, after the first couple of years, contestants in the annual Signal Hill Speed Run weren't so much skateboarders as speed junkies in small-wheeled crafts of variable designs bombing down a road surrounded by thousands of spectators. The event began after a producer for The Guinness Book of World Records television show called the head of the U.S. Skateboard Association and asked for a competition fit for television. As one can imagine, a large number of unqualified contestants pushing the boundaries of design and speed in proximity to a large crowd led to plenty of record runs, a wild party, and a whole lot of accidents.