Starting line at the 2021 Diagonale des Fous; (photo/Grand Raind Reunion)
Starting line at the 2021 Diagonale des Fous; (photo/Grand Raind Reunion)

2 Runners Win ‘Fools’ Race Arm in Arm, Shiffrin Wins 70th World Title, and More Stories to Start Your Week

From the inspiring to the tragic, ‘Adventure News of the Week’ presents a wrap-up of top news in the world of exploration and adventure. Here’s what you missed this weekend and a few things to look forward to.

Storied Reunion Island ultramarathon Diagonale des Fous (“diagonal of fools”) has not one but two first-place finishers. Daniel Jung (ITA) and Ludovic Pommeret (FRA) crossed the finish line arm in arm with 23:02:21 on the clock.

“Jung, who took the lead between the 40k and 50k marks of the race and never looked back, eventually found himself running alongside Pommeret,” reported iRunFar. Island local Emilie Maroteaux claimed first in women’s with a time of 29:54:59, 2.5 hours ahead of the next woman, Amandine Ginouves (FRA).

The notoriously rugged race that spans 104.4 miles, gaining 31,532 vertical feet along the way, took off Thursday night and ran through Sunday. Following brutal ascents and a trivial number of descents, the Diagonale des Fous course also features the burly traverse of Cirque du Mafate, a high-altitude volcanic crater that is unreachable except by foot.

Tragic news last week when triathlete Courtney Waltimyer was killed in a hit-and-run while on a bike ride in Florida. A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Courtney’s family with funeral, travel, and any unforeseen expenses related to her untimely passing.

American skiing savant Mikaela Shiffrin claimed her 70th World Cup title on Saturday. She’s the third skier in FIS World Cup history to hit the 70-win mark. And the decorated Olympian’s giant slalom (GS) performance at the FIS Alpine Ski competition in Soelden, Austria, left little room for doubt. Her two almost-flawless runs on one of the circuit’s toughest hills unseated standing GS champ, Lara Gut-Behrami. First-timer winner Marco Odermatt (SUI) took gold in the men’s division.

It was a fierce season-opener of a weekend for snowsports; FIS also delivered the Snowboard Big Air World Cup to Chur, Switzerland. Jonas Boesiger (SUI) and Murase Kokomo (JAP) claimed top posts for men’s and women’s divisions, respectively. For the full results, head to fis-ski.cc.

And there’s a new world record for the women’s half marathon. Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) ran a 4:48-mile pace throughout the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday, completing the race in 1:02:52. That time is 70 seconds ahead of the previous speed record and means that the 23-year-old is the first woman to break the 63- and 64-minute barriers for the distance.

Every autumn, gravel and MTB riders from around the world flock to the legendary Ozark highlands. This weekend was no exception, thanks to Life Time’s Big Sugar Gravel Race (107 miles) and Lil Sugar (50 miles). Cyclist Adam Robarge claimed the overall win with 4:59:10 on the clock, 5 minutes ahead of the pack. Moriah Wilson was the first woman across the finish line at 5:30:29.

Rural Arkansas is something of a backcountry cyclist mecca, offering world-class terrain, thorough elevation gains, and exceedingly scenic views. And this year, Big Sugar coincided with the Bentonville Outer Bike Festival and demo.

State Bicycle Co. released its latest collab line just in time for spooky season: SBC X Ozzy Osbourne. No, we’re serious. For the limited run, State and the Prince of Darkness are wheeling a fleece-lined winter jersey, two all-road jerseys, a handlebar bag, and an “Ozzy Osbourne” logoed stem cap.

The direct-to-buyer cyclery has a hard-earned rep for pulling some off some pretty unique partnerships, but this collaboration may take the cake (or the head off a bat). Gear/metalheads rejoice!

 

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Authorities have identified the cyclist who perished in August’s Leadville Trail 100 as Christoper Wood. The 47-year-old was on track to complete the race in an elite time of 9 hours before he crashed on a downclimb just a few miles from the finish line. Wood was a husband, father, and former Navy intelligence specialist who “always wanted others to join in on the excitement of his next outdoor adventure, especially his recent passion for mountain biking,” reported the Colorado Sun.

There’s a new formula for tennis, and it’s called Bassline. The fresh, tiebreak-meets-big-beats format premiered in Vienna on Friday. Described by Red Bull as a best-of-three “one-off, eight-player event,” Bassline tennis pits competitors against one another in 10- to 25-minute mini rounds amid a live MC and DJ.

Only one player reigns supreme and on Friday evening, that player was Carlos Alcaraz (SPA). In the final round, Alcaraz defeated the format’s innovator and world tennis pro, Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE), 7-4 and 7-5. Watch the full replay at RedBull.com.

Colorful Colorado will soon have a new state park. Just 3 hours west of Denver in the Flat Tops mountain range, Sweetwater Lake will become the state’s 43rd park and was recently identified by federal officials as a top-10 conservation priority. The new designation rescues 488 acres from falling to resort developers, imparting protections for wildlife and conservation practices instead.

Flat Tops Wilderness will soon harbor Colorado's 43rd state park; (photo/Colophotos, Shutterstock)
The Flat Tops Wilderness will soon harbor Colorado’s 43rd state park; (photo/Colophotos, Shutterstock)

 

Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.