March 4, 2015

John Lackey covered 350 miles by fat bike faster than any man or dog ever has.     Photo: Iditarod Trail Invitational/Facebook

Fat Bike Cyclist Smashes Iditarod Record

350-mile race winds through Alaska Range

Thirty-six-year-old Anchorage cyclist John Lackey, riding a fat bike, blew through the 2015 Iditarod Trail Invitational human-powered ultra-distance race that began Sunday, breaking two records, reports the Alaska Dispatch News.

The 350-mile race winds through the Alaska Range, from the Cook Inlet to the community of McGrath in the Interior, along the same trail the Iditarod follows. Lackey finished Tuesday in 1 day, 18 hours, 32 minutes, obliterating the previous record by 10 hours and the best finish by Iditarod dogs by eight hours.

“I thought it was going to be a fast year,” Lackey told the Alaska Dispatch News. “But I didn’t think it was going to be that fast.”

A few are attributing the record to lack of snow, which has been a problem for the Iditarod in recent years. The trail this year was mostly brown and only peppered with snow. “How long does it take to ride a 300-mile sidewalk?” said five-time invitational winner Peter Basinger, who didn’t race due to an injury, to Alaska Dispatch News.


A police officer was kidnapped and two people were executed near Urique, where the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon is headquartered.     Photo: Eli Duke/Flickr

Caballo Blanco Race Canceled for Drug Violence

Police officers nearby killed, kidnapped

The Ultramaraton Caballo Blanco—a 50-mile trail run through Mexico’s Copper Canyons founded by late ultrarunner Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco) to benefit the indigenous Tarahumara people—was canceled due to drug-related violence near the town of Urique, where the race is headquartered. The ultra was slated to happen on Sunday, but organizers called it off Saturday evening.

According to Blue Ridge Outdoors and Trail Runner, Mexican authorities reported that a municipal police commander was allegedly kidnapped and two officers were executed outside Urique last week. About 100 participants showed up for the 13th edition of the race, made famous by Outside contributor Chris McDougall’s 2009 book, Born to Run. The book is currently being adapted into a film, in which Matthew McConaughey will play Caballa Blanco.

Race co-director Josue Stephens told Trail Runner that the Mexican military arrived on Saturday to offer protection for runners along the racecourse, but the organizers called it off due to safety concerns, as announced on the race’s Facebook page. Most runners left on Sunday, but some—mostly Mexican nationals, Urique locals, and Tarahumara runners, according to Trail Runner—ran a shorter, modified course.


The Winter Park Express route will run between Denver and the Winter Park ski area.     Photo: Loco Steve/Flickr

Amtrak Revives Winter Ski Train in Colorado

Historic locomotive in action for one day

On March 14 and 15, Amtrak will revive its historic Winter Park Express route, which runs between Denver and the Winter Park ski area, to commemorate the ski park’s 75th anniversary, the Denver Post reports.

The train ran from 1940 to 2009 and many credit the route for helping to establish Winter Park as one of Colorado’s most popular ski areas. If you’re one of the up to 400 passengers on the locomotive, you’ll bypass traffic on I-70 and U.S.-40 on the 56-mile route.

The Winter Park Express train will load passengers at 7 a.m. at Denver Union Station and arrive at the resort two hours later. It will then make the trip back to Denver at 4:15 p.m. The price is $75 for the round trip and includes a $15 voucher to use at restaurants and stores at Winter Park. Winter Park restaurants and stores. Kids between the ages of two and 12 ride for half price. Tickets for March 14 have already sold out.