June 24, 2011
A boulderer climbs Central Park's Rat Rock

A boulderer climbs Central Park's Rat Rock     Photo: Jambo Ardalan Jalayer/Flickr

Rock Climbing Comes to Central Park

Competition is pro tour's first time in NYC

Central Park may seem like a strange place to host a rock climbing competition, but that's exactly where the UBC Pro Tour Eastern Mountain Sports Pro finals will be tomorrow. The event is the second on U.S. climbing's pro tour schedule and the first major climbing competition ever held in Manhattan. With no dedicated  climbing gyms on the island, organizers at NE2C Productions had to construct the walls for the finals from scratch, trucking in four tractor trailers' worth of wood panels and steel beams and assembling them onsite. "This is competition climbing in the most important city in America, and it will stand on its own two feet," NE2C Managing Partner Pete Ward wrote in a blog post. The contest kicked off on Thursday with preliminary rounds at The Cliffs in suburban Valhalla, NY. East Coast athletes dominated the early action, with New England-based climbers Vasya Vorotnikov and Francesca Metcalf taking first for the men and women, respectively. Several favorites are missing from the otherwise strong field: regular contenders Daniel Woods, Alex Johnson, and Alex Puccio are in Europe competing on the Bouldering World Cup circuit. Saturday's finals will be webcast live, beginning at 2 P.M. EST.

Read more at Climbing Narc


SD Card

SD Card     Photo: Razor512/Flickr

Memory Card Survives 4 Years at Sea

California man sends pictures to Texas family

Thanks to a California man, a digital memory card found its way home four years after a young girl dropped it into the ocean off a pier in Santa Cruz. Peter Govaars found the shattered, corroded remains of a digital camera in Aptos, California after it washed onto Hidden Beach following a March storm. Govaars pried out a still-intact memory card, rubbed it down with alcohol, repaired it, and realized that his computer could still read its images. “I was excited that these lost photos were viewable, and immediately started to wonder about the people in the pictures,” he told the Freeborn Times. The last photo on the card, a sideways shot of a sea lion, provided a clue. On June 15, Govaars posted some of the images to Flickr under the handle “DoYouKnowUs,” and enlisted the online community to help find the owners. Inside Edition and other media outlets got involved. Within a few days, the camera's owners, who wished to remain anonymous, were found.

Read more at the Daily Mail


Shalane Flanagan

Shalane Flanagan     Photo: Courtenay Redis/Wikimedai

Rivals Battle at Track Championships

Distance running camps vie for U.S. supremacy

Increasingly, distance running in the United States is dominated by two rival coaches, Alberto Salazar and Jerry Schumacher, and on Thursday night it was their runners who made headlines at the U.S. track championships. Shalane Flanagan (pictured left), who runs for Schumacher, beat Kara Goucher by 16 seconds in the women's 10,000. Goucher, also a top marathoner, runs for Salazar, a three-time New York City Marathon champion in the 1980s. Salazar originally recruited Schumacher to Portland in 2008 to set up a sister training camps on the Nike campus. But the pair parted ways earlier this year, and there has been no love lost between either the coaches or their athletes. After Flanagan's dominant 30:59 win over Goucher, Salazar's group got a measure of revenge: Galen Rupp, wearing a strange black face mask, outkicked Schumacher runner Matt Tegenkamp to win the men's 10,000 in 28:38. The groups will face off again this evening as Rupp doubles back in the 5,000, taking on Schumacher runner Chris Solinsky (plus American record holder Bernard Lagat.)

Read more at Letsrun.com


Triathlon start

White Lake Half Ironman Triathlon Swim Start 056     Photo: cygnus921/Flickr

Triathlete Can't Feel His Legs

"Walking quadriplegic" enters Ironman

In 2009, an SUV hit triathlete John Carson from behind while he was out on a training ride. When Carson awoke in intensive care, doctors told him that he had badly damaged his cervical spine and was a quadripeligic. “When I was a younger guy, to me the thought of being paralyzed, I was the first person to say I’d rather be dead," Carson says. But within a week, much to the surprise of his doctors, Carson began moving his hands. Eventually, after continued rehabilitation, he began to walk. Carson, now 30, is what his spinal surgeon calls a “walking quadriplegic": He has no sensation in his extremities, and has to think carefully with each step. “Looking at my spinal cord and looking at the images, nothing I’m doing now should be possible,” Mr. Carson told the New York Times. “They can’t say for certain why I recovered versus a person with the exact same injury who is still in a wheelchair.” Carson returned to competition in 2010, finishing the Lake Placid Ironman in 14 hours, 56 minutes. (His previous best was 10 hours, 32 minutes.) This weekend, he'll be using his regained ability to raise money for spinal cord research. His goal is $10,000. You can follow Carson's progress Sunday at IronmanLive.com. His racer number is 1294.

Read more at The New York Times


World Heli Challenge

World Heli Challenge     Photo: Lululemon Athletica

Wanna Ski with The Pros?

New Zealand freeskiing event open to amateurs

The World Heli Challenge plans to open a select number of slots to non-pro athletes, event founder Tony Harrington announced yesterday. Held in Wanaka, New Zealand, the Challenge runs July 27 through August 11, and hosts top skiers and snowboarders. "It wasn't created just for the pros. We realize that there are a lot of great skiers and snowboarders out there who aren't sponsored and are not necessarily on the competition ciruit," Harrington said. "Participants run the gamut from undiscovered and emerging talent to top ranked athletes and legends and that's how we like it." The remaining 53 slots will fill on a first-come, first-serve basis. The primary events of the World Heli Challenge consist of two helicopter accessed ski and snowboard competitions, each on its own day. The 10-day window of time allows the selection of the best weather for the four helicopters to shuttle athletes to the mountain. And it's not just non-pros new to the Heli's athlete mix. A pair of 12-year-olds who won the first World Heli Challenge Young Guns Competition will also compete as the competition's first-ever youth entrants.

Read more at Transworld Snowboarding