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Dispatches : Celebrities

The Top 10 Adventure Athletes on Instagram

InstagramScreenshots from Instagram

A few weeks ago, the Internet started humming over the news that Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion—it was a great investment for such a talented tech team, it was a sign of the social media bubble, etc. What happens with Instagram remains to be seen, but for now, it's a great place to go inside the lives of some of the top adventurers in the world. (And to see Outside magazine's latest photos from Everest.)

Kelly Slater shares photos from inside a barrel. Scott Jurek snaps his latest meals and links to the corresponding recipes. Jimmy Chin takes a picture of his latest climb while on a break from the editing cave. Here's our preliminary list of the best adventure athletes on Instagram.

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Taylor Phinney Delivers A Historic Giro d'Italia Win

Phinney, in pink, works the crowds before Stage 2Phinney in pink before Stage 2. Photo courtesy of BMC Racing Team

Ever since Taylor Phinney won the Junior World Time Trial Championship in 2007, pundits have been saying that the Boulder, Colorado, native would eventually be one of the next big names in American cycling. Someday came sooner than expected yesterday, when, less than two years after turning pro, the 21-year-old won the Giro d'Italia's opening prologue and roared into the race lead.

Phinney blasted the technical, wind-strafed 8.7-kilometer time trial in 10 minutes and 26 seconds, beating his nearest competition by nine seconds. That might not sound like a lot, but in a discipline where wins and losses are often measured in tenths of seconds, it's an immense margin and speaks to Phinney's talent and promise. The son of cycling Olympic medalists Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter, the precocious American was no stranger to the upper echelons of cycling even before the win. By donning the maglia rosa, the pink jersey worn by the leader of the race, Phinney joins some rarefied company: He's the youngest rider to lead the Giro since Tour de France champ Laurent Fignon (1982), one of eight Americans to win a Giro stage (Greg Lemond and Tyler Hamilton among them), and only the third American to ever wear pink, after Andy Hampsten (1988) and Christian Vande Velde (2008).

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Dean Potter Walks a Slackline Across China's Enshi Grand Canyon

American Dean Potter walked 130 feet across a slackline placed roughly 6,000 feet above the floor of Enshi Grand Canyon without a safety net, harness, or BASE rig for back up this past Sunday. The video above shows the walk best, with Potter's focused breathing and gusts of wind audible in between Chinese commentary.

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Getting Inside the Heads of Chris Sharma, Steph Davis, and Dean Potter

Meet Mark Coleman, Prana's mindfulness ambassador. The Indian-sitting, mono-talking, easy-smiling, poetry-writing, meditating, Englishman-moved-to-the-United States-who-then-discovered-he's-a-nature-lover is the clothing company's zen adviser to athletes and employees. He sits down with everyone at Prana, from the rock climbers to the sales team, to unlock their potential by opening them up to mindful living, or, being in the present. Coleman is a Buddhist teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the founder of The Mindfulness Institute, and the owner of the website Awake in the Wild. His core belief goes something like this:

My passion is leading meditation workshops and retreats deep in the heart of nature. My aim is to help others discover the depth of what is possible when we go into the natural world with a contemplative spirit –- in silence, receptivity and a curious spirit. For the past 20 years I have been exploring what it means to be awake, to meditate with presence in nature. It has been the richest journey of my life and continues to nourish me as well as bring renewal, purpose and a deep love of the earth and all its sublime teachings. I look forward to meeting you on this journey.

Right about now you may be questioning why an American clothing company would hire a mindful living instructor. Prana's core message will give you the answer you seek: "prAna, an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, has helped guide our actions and lift our aspirations since day one."

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Remembering Ultrarunner Micah True

In the days after ultrarunner Micah True's death, remembrances of his life sprang up all over the Web. Ultrarunners offered their condolences to the friends and family of the man known as Caballo Blanco, runners inspired by the description of Micah True in Born to Run thanked him for his message, and a new group of people were exposed to that message and inspired.

Outside published a story, "On the Trail of the White Horse," by Christopher McDougall, about the search for True's body in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. It has remained the number one article on the site for a week now. Beneath it, comments poured in like this one from Mandy:

Thank you for your beautiful words. May you all carry him with you in all of your days as friends. May we all learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of by having the story of Caballo with us to share with each generation that comes. Thank you Chris for your words, for sharing Caballo's passion with your readers, and for reminding us all that we were Born to Run!

A group called the Mas Locos set up a website for remembrances, upcoming memorial runs, photo tributes, and videos—like one by ultrarunner Scott Jurek. Jurek, who ran the Copper Canyon marathon after an invite from True, left this quote:

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