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Kilian Jornet Smashes Hardrock 100 Record

It stood for six years, and many thought it unbeatable, but this morning while most of Silverton slept, Kilian Jornet smashed the Hardrock 100 record, in a time of 22:41:35.

When 24-year-old Kyle Skaggs ran a 23:23 in 2008, no one knew he'd set a bar that would prove unreachable for some of the most accomplished ultrarunners of the decade.

Hal Koerner ran a mostly shirtless 24:50, at the time the third fastest run of the notoriously brutal course. Sebastien Chaigneau ran a 24:24 on the arguably more difficult backwards course (the route alternates directions every year). But Jornet was able to pull ahead from the leaders and add a new record to his growing list on the same course that Skaggs ran his sub 24 time.

"It feels good to sit down," he said to iRunFar and the small crowd who'd gathered near the Silverton high school as soon as their Twitter feeds alerted them to his finish. But when asked about his future 100 mile plans, he told gathered reporters, "Hardrock was the last race on the list."

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How the Olympics Are Rigged

The Slovenian Ski Association announced today that four ski officials face four-year suspensions for allegedly falsifying race results to help violin phenom Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn, 35, qualify for the Sochi Olympics, where she finished dead last in the giant slalom.

"The starting list included a person who did not even compete; a racer who fell was registered as finishing high in the standings," association president Jurij Zurej said in an interview with the Associated Press. "In addition, the dates of the competitions did not match the actual state when the races were held." The officials' reports stated that two of the four qualifying Slovenian runs took place on January 17, when they in fact took place the following day. 

Vanakorn's camp hasn't commented on the matter, but she has long recognized she's not as gifted in skiing as in music. 

"To just share the same snow, to be able to slide down the same snow that the elite skiers carve down, is just an honor and a privilege," Vanakorn said after her Olympic runs. She finished the giant slalom in 3 minutes, 26.97 seconds—50.1 seconds slower than Slovenian gold medalist Tina Maze.

AP writers pointed out that the investigation puts International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in a tight spot. Bach, who was photographed with Vanakorn in Sochi, recently added her to an IOC working group on culture policy.

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Hollywood Is Turning "Wild" into a Movie

Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild, take note: A trailer for the movie of the same name was released Thursday. 

Reese Witherspoon plays Strayed in the movie, which was adapted from the New York Times bestseller about a woman who turns to the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself.

And Witherspoon—who won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line—looks the part. Bare-faced and gritty, with a monster pack strapped to her back, her character trudges along 1,100 miles of the PCT, trying to cope with the recent death of her mother and the remnants of a destroyed marriage.  

The film, set to release in theaters December 5, also stars Gaby Hoffman and Laura Dern. Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed Dallas Buyers Club, is directing the film. 

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Amazon Drones: Coming Soon to Seattle?

When Amazon said it wanted to deploy drones for speedier (and cooler) deliveries, it was serious. The company has just asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to test drones outdoors in Seattle, near its headquarters.

A stamp of approval from the FAA would help put Amazon on track to make delivery drones a reality as soon as possible simply because doing research and development close to home is a lot easier. Currently, the company can test its drones only indoors or in other countries.

Amazon promises it'll be careful when it takes the drones outside. Its small unmanned aircraft would undergo testing with the help of experts like "world-renowned roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut." Plus, the company will put up safeguards like a "geofence," a virtual barrier that would deactivate any drone that passes through it. No word yet from the FAA, but if it means deliveries in less than 30 minutes, we're all for it.

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Cat Got Your Jeans?

We've all heard the saying "give a lion a pair of jeans to chew on and they'll sell at auction for thousands of dollars." Well, not until now.

A group of volunteers has collaborated with the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan, to auction off "the only jeans on earth designed by dangerous animals" to promote the zoo and conservation. So far, the fundraiser seems to be working. As of Friday, 15 bids had been placed for a pair of men's size 32 jeans. The current bid? $1,194.

Making the jeans is a simple process. A video on the group's site shows volunteers wrapping car tires in sheets of blue denim, setting them inside enclosures, and letting the animals at them for a few hours. Later, the group takes the pieces of "distressed" fabric and sews them into jeans.

Thus far, lions, tigers, and even bears at the zoo have helped create the one-of-a-kind designs.

"We were looking for ways to promote the zoo and wildlife conservation without spending too much," Zoo Jeans project member Takuya Miyamoto said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "We also wanted to attract a new, younger generation to take an interest in zoos. That's how we came up with the idea of zoo jeans."

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