The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Jul 2010

British Olympian to Race 3,600 Miles Across America Solo

JamesCracknell OnThursday, British rower and two-time Olympic gold medalist, James Cracknell, willbegin an attempt to swim, bike, row and run 3,600 miles across America—in 18days.

"I'm lucky to have the chance to do this," 38-year old Cracknell said. "Ihave a family, so if I'm going to be away for a few weeks, I must make the mostof it!"

He'll start at the Santa Monica Pier at 10 am PST on Thursday.("Because it is the finish point of historic Route 66.") From there,he'll ride 263 miles to Death Valley, where he will run 80-miles in 130-degreetemperatures ("I wanted to come in July when Death Valley was reallyhot.") Then he'll continue cycling along Route 66 through California,Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, then straight on through Indiana with the goal ofcovering 250 miles per day. ("There are still some pieces to put togetheras I'm going across. I don't know how long it's going to take.") Thenhe'll row 300 miles across Lake Erie, bike500 miles through New York, and finish it all off with a 15 mile swim to the Statue ofLiberty.

"A lot of it is going to be mental," said Cracknell. When it getshard, he'll tell himself to "stop moping about it. I get to see thescenery--there are a huge number of towns we know the name of but don't knowanything about." He's excited to see them on a more personal level thanfrom behind a windshield.

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Montana Man Struck by Falling Log

Gary Wiens, a 59-year-old Montana man, is recovering in Seattle's Harborview hospital after being struck by a falling log while hiking in Washington's Snoqualmie National Forest, the Bellingham (Washington) Herald reports.

Wiens was hiking with two other men when a log fell off a cliff 250 feet above them. Wiens tried to take cover but was still hit by the log, which broke into three pieces when it landed.  Wiens suffered multiple broken ribs, pelvic fractures, and a collapsed lung.

One of Wiens's companions went for help and found Ben Lehman, a backcountry ranger and medic working for the U.S. Forest Service. Lehman treated Wiens until he could be airlifted by Navy helicopter to Seattle.

It is unclear what caused the log to fall.

For more on how to treat injuries when traveling, hiking, and backpacking, check out the article Adventure Medic, from our April 2004 issue.

--Michael Webster

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Headbutting Leads to Expulsion from Tour de France

Mark Cavendish took Stage 11 of the Tour de France as teammate Mark Renshaw was kicked out of the race for headbutting Julian Dean repeatedly. Italy's Alessandro Petacchi took over the green jersey and Andy Schleck kept the overall lead.

For more videos on today's stage, go to versus.com.

--Joe Spring
@joespring

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Skier Lindsey Vonn Wins Two ESPY Awards

Lindsey Vonn from U.S. Ski Team on Flickr
Lindsey Vonn took home two awards at last night's ESPY Awards, the athletic version of the Grammys, according to Ski Magazine.

Vonn took home the award for Best Female Athlete and Best Olympic Athlete after a successful year on skiing's World Cup circuit and at the Vancouver Olympics, where she won gold in Downhill and bronze in Super-G.Also nominated for Best Female Athlete were tennis star Serena William and basketball player Diana Taurasi.

In an award ceremony typically represented by mainstream sports stars, the winter sports world was well represented with freeskiers Bobby Brown and Jen Hudak being nominated for best male and female action sports athletes, respectively.  Snowboarder Shaun White won the Best Male Action Sports award, and Australian snowboarder Torah Bright received the Best Female Action Sports award.

If you still aren't able to pick Vonn out of a crowd, here are nine tips from our November 2008 issue.

--Michael Webster

photo from U.S. Ski Team on Flickr

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