gravel cyclists riding in the Leadville Race Series 5-mile Silver Rush MTB

11 Ultras in 11 Days: Runner Sets Guinness Record & 5 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.

An American runner just set a Guinness World Record for the greatest number of ultramarathons run in a row. Katie Spotz ran 11 50Ks in 11 days — that’s a pretty impressive feat, up there with fellow American ultrarunner Alyssa Clark’s 95 marathons in 95 days.

To complete the feat, Spotz ran across the state of Ohio in 11 days, according to Canadian Running. Interestingly, it’s not Spotz’s first across-state run, as she has already completed a run across the state of Maine.

Keep an eye on Spotz, who raises funds for clean-water initiatives through her athletic endeavors. She’s eyeing a bike ride across Maine, and then possibly a ride from North America to South America, soon.

In other news over the weekend, cyclist Lachlan Morton, who is riding the entire route of the Tour de France unsupported, is on track to beat the peloton to Paris. Track his progress here.

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The Leadville Silver Rush 50 MTB race wrapped up this weekend. Here are the top winners. For the men, Jimmy Smith, 27, placed first with a finish time of 3:46:45. Brian Elander, 20, placed second with a finish time of 3:51:24, and Ryan Petry, 30, placed third with a time of 3:53:41. All three men on the podium are Colorado locals.

For the women’s 50-mile, Kate McLaughlin, 33, placed first with a finish time of 4:41:25. Tracy Paradise, 47, placed second with a time of 5:03:32, and Nicole Martin, 33, placed third, finishing in 5:08:13. Itching to compete? Find more races and events here. 

Billionaire Richard Branson successfully launched into space this weekend, aboard his space tourism company Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity. The flight and crew reached a peak altitude of about 86 km above Earth, and the mission lasted about 4 minutes.

This year has been a particularly hard year in terms of wildfires. The American Wildfire Experience just granted 12 microgrants to various wildland fire firefighters, content creators, and photographers. Check out this year’s grant winners’ bios and projects. 

The iconic Hardrock 100 ultra returns this month. Check out an exclusive preview of what to look for at the race.

Finally, learn how to celebrate National Forest Week, July 12-18. Organized by the National Forest Foundation, National Forest Week is about getting outside and supporting your local outdoor spaces. Get ideas on how to celebrate.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.