From the inspiring to the tragic, ‘This Week in Adventure’ presents the top news in the world of exploration and adventure this week.
Ryan Smith, Magdalena Boulet Win Leadville 100
Leadville crowned two new winners this weekend. Boulder, Colorado’s Ryan Smith, 40, broke the tape at 16:33:24. And 46-year-old Magdalena Boulet of Berkeley, California, took the overall women’s title with a time of 20:18:06. While Boulet tore off the start line with the lead and never looked back, Smith battled both physical setbacks and stiff competition.
— LeadvilleRaceSeries (@LTRaceSeries) August 18, 2019
GearJunkie Adventure Grant Winner Sets FKT on Wind River High Route
Not since Andrew Skurka did it in 2015 has anyone blitzed Wyoming’s Wind River High Route faster — until this weekend. Sara Ann Aranda, 30, and Emma Mure, 24, tore across the alpine crest of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, traversing 112 miles, summiting two 13ers, and navigating nine alpine passes. The pair completed the route in 3 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes, shaving 9 hours off Skurka’s fastest known time.
“Sara dreamed up the idea that we could go for the route’s FKT. We both knew it would be hard, but it was both more complicated and strenuous than we had ever imagined,” Mure said. “It was a long, hard mountain obstacle course — world-class through and through. We got a little bit of everything (glaciers, river crossings, snow couloirs, talus fields, wind-blown peaks and passes). It was a big team effort.”
Aranda won GearJunkie’s Adventure Grant this spring and we’re very proud she was able to complete her incredible and demanding adventure!
First Ascent of Link Sar in the Central Karakoram
At least nine expeditions have tried, and failed, to conquer the formidable 23,100-foot (7,041m) Link Sar peak in Pakistan’s Karakoram. But on August 8, Americans Steve Swenson, Mark Richey, Chris Wright, and Graham Zimmerman made the first ascent of Link Sar via the newly minted route, the Southeast Face.
The team embarked on July 31 and took 9 days to cover the route, which Swenson called “one of the most complex and difficult routes I have ever climbed.” The team also pledged to offset the expedition’s entire carbon footprint with the help of Protect Our Winters. Check out details of the climb in Rock and Ice.
71-Year-Old Runs Record-Breaking Half Marathon
Mentor, Ohio’s Jeannie Rice is stupid fast. On August 10, she crushed the Children’s Hospital Akron Half Marathon in 1:37:07. And while that puts her well ahead of most people, it also marks a world record for her age group — Rice is 71.
She bested the previous record (Lavinia Petrie’s 1:37:38) by more than 30 seconds. Further cementing her legacy, in her age group, Rice also holds the world record in the full marathon, 3:27:50 at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, and the American record for the mile, 6:37. Read more about Rice’s record-breaking tear at Women’s Running.
70-Year-Old Wins Mongol Derby
The news for American septuagenarians didn’t stop there. On August 14, 70-year-old Bob Long became the oldest person to ever win the Mongol Derby — the world’s longest horse race.
“My horse just won the Mongol Derby,” Long said after finishing. “It’s nothing, you just ride 650 miles on a death march. There’s nothing to it.”
The Mongolian Derby pits riders against 1,000 km of harsh terrain, freezing temperatures, burning sun, and torrential rain. And that’s just the conditions. Long and his competitors made the grueling trek atop “semi-wild” horses that don’t always take kindly to riders.
prAna Offers $100K ‘Dream Job Promotion’
Looking to embark on your own adventure? Apparel brand prAna will award one lucky winner $100,000 to quit their day job and set off on their dream adventure. The brand’s Day Job to Dream Job Promotion seeks “one courageous person willing to quit their current job to pursue their lifelong passion.” The winner will receive four quarterly installments of $25,000. And there’s no stipulation on how it’s used other than to move you toward your lifelong dream (and share updates along the way).
To enter, go to the Day Job to Dream Job Promotion entry page, enter before September 16, and send in a 1- to 3-minute video that demonstrates your passion. Good luck!
World Dog Surfing Championships
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Finally, the fourth annual Dog Surfing Championships wrapped up earlier this month, because why not? The “competition” takes place along the Northern California coast and awards prizes for the top three dogs in each category — small, medium, and large — as well as tandem dog and human/dog surfing, beach fashion, and more. Best of all, the event raises money for dog rescues.
Among this year’s winners were Carson, Cherie, Rothstein, Prince Dudeman, and more.