The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Dec 2011

A Course Record, Covered in Blood

By guest blogger Meaghen Brown

Montana’s Mike Wolfe won the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile on December 3rd in 6:19:04, beating what some called the best ultrarunning field assembled in 2011. Both Wolfe and 21-year-old  Dakota Jones broke the old course record—Wolfe by 15 minutes—after running together for much of the race. Wolfe's win comes after second-place finishes at the prestigious Western States Endurance Run and the Miwok 100K, plus a win at the Way Too Cool 50K. Meaghen Brown caught up with Wolfe, 34, to find out why he crossed the finish line covered in blood and his plans to quit his day job and run full time.

Photo courtesy of The North Face

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The Best Gifts for Women

Wondering what to get the favorite women in your life for the holidays? We’ve honed in on the best holiday gifts for your better half, whether she's a shredder, cyclist, or simply likes to stay warm.


Nobis Farrah hat: If you're going to get her a warm hat, get her a really nice one. Nobis makes some of the coolest hats around. $60,



Timberland Earthkeepers Shoreham Tall Fold-Down Boot: Are you shopping for an enviro-conscious woman who can rock skinny jeans and short skirts, but still wants traction when she’s walking around town? The suede Shoreham has a recycled fuzzy teddy fleece lining, visible when you roll down the top, eco-rated leather, and a high traction sole that’s partly recycled rubber. $130,

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The Season Begins: Liquigas Cannondale Training Camp

GrouprideOut for a two-hour group ride on the time trial bikes. Basso at right.

For most of us, these winter months are for "cross-training," which means lots of powder skiing, a helping of holiday gluttony, and squeezing in time on the rollers. Not so for pro cyclists, who are well into targeted training in their preparation for the 2012 season. Liquigas Cannondale cycling team is in the middle of its first major training camp of the season, on the Italian island of Sardinia, where they're laying down lots of base miles, working strength in the gym, and getting focused on the first races of the season. I had the opportunity to ride along for a couple of days, and I spoke with the team's two young American recruits, 29-year-old Timmy Duggan of Boulder, Colorado, and 28-year-old Ted King of Stratham, New Hampshire, to get a snapshot of a pro cyclist training camp.

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Kevin Pearce Gets Back on His Snowboard

In 2009, while training for the 2010 Winter Olympics, snowboarder Kevin Pearce hit his head on the lip of a halfpipe and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Doctors were not sure he'd wake up from a coma, much less walk or talk again.

Almost two years after that accident, Kevin Pearce hopped back on his board in Breckenridge and blew down the slopes between a mass of cameramen and his friends, yelled back at fans who cheered him on, and grabbed some air. We're posting news of this again because a video has been released (above) showing his ride. 

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The Best Gifts for the Guy Who Has Everything

Struggling to find a gift for the guy who has everything? Or perhaps you've been an exceptionally good boy this year, and you'd like to reward yourself. Either way, we rounded up a few of our favorite things, price be damned. A word of caution: while the list starts out on a (somewhat) practical note (vacuum sealer, custom-fit ski boots), it gets more absurd and starry-eyed the farther down you get (handmade wooden canoe, personal landing pad, Airstream, private plane). But what can we say—we love gear, and we've got big dreams.

JanSport Fort Hayes 

JanSport Skip Yowell Collection Fort Hayes: Made for road trips and big living, this waxed cotton and leather bag holds gear in a hinge-top main compartment with two interior organizer pockets, including one just for shoes. Stash smaller items in front, quick-access zippered pockets or in dual roll-top side compartments. Throw it over your shoulder with an adjustable seat belt webbing strap. $300,


OlisioOlisio Pro VS97A Vacuum Sealer: Along with the bag above, this is the only, truly practical gift on this list. When you’ve reeled in your own Alaskan salmon or felled your own deer, you don’t want your steaks to taste like freezer burn when you pull them out in six months. Olisio supersucks the air from its reusable zip top bags to keep food as fresh as the day you stored it. $200,


Wagner Custom Skis: Hand-built in Telluride, Colorado, Wagner skis take a scientific approach to creating a ski to perfectly meet your preferences. Owner Pete Wagner has cataloged the properties of every pair of boards on the market for the past ten years. He completes a full survey of your skis style and habits, as well as what you liked and didn't like about past planks, to build you a set of boards that will be your new best friend. $1750,

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