With outfits ranging from skimpy to salacious, some 30 bleary-eyed runners completed the first-ever Burning Man Ultramarathon, proving that arid weather and late-night parties weren’t enough to derail even the most dedicated Burner athletes from slogging 30 miles through sand, sun and dust.
After months of planning, organizer Cherie Yanek and 36 other competitors kicked off the race at 5 am on September 1. Temperatures hovered around 50 degrees and onlookers included party-goers who hadn’t yet called it a night. There were no dust storms — a frequent concern during the annual gathering at Black Rock City — though temperatures did climb roughly 40 degrees by the time the final runner crossed the finish line shortly after 12:30 pm.
Commercial/music video director Wiland Pinsdorf’s SAMPARKOUR is “a short that reveals the city of São Paulo (Brazil) under the look of Parkour. Where people see obstacles, Zico Corrêa visualizes new possibilities.”
Shot in HD with a 35mm lens adapter, the short is simultaneously dizzying and becalming, presenting Corrêa’s death-defying feats in a breathtaking rush of carefully framed shots and well-paced edits. Today –perhaps more than most days– it is deeply satisfying to witness a collaboration (between filmmaker and athlete, city and gravity) so vital, immediate, and perfectly alive.
“Parahawking is a unique activity combining paragliding with elements of falconry. Birds of prey are trained to fly with paragliders, guiding them to thermals for in-flight rewards and performing aerobatic manoeuvres.
Parahawking was developed by British falconer Scott Mason in 2001. Mason began a round-the-world trip in Pokhara, Nepal, where many birds of prey – such as the griffon vulture, steppe eagle and black kite – can be found. While taking a tandem paragliding flight with British paraglider Adam Hill, he had the opportunity to see raptors in flight, and realized that combining the sport of paragliding with his skills as a falconer could offer others the same experience. He has been based in Pokhara ever since, training and flying birds during the dry season between September and March.
The team started by training two black kites, but have since added an Egyptian vulture and a Mountain hawk-eagle to the team. Only rescued birds are used – none of the birds has been taken from the wild.”
“A voyage to fabled Timbuktu in a flying car may sound like a magical childhood fantasy. But this week a British adventurer will set off from London on an incredible journey through Europe and Africa in a souped-up sand buggy, travelling by road – and air.
With the help of a parachute and a giant fan-motor, Neil Laughton plans to soar over the Pyrenees near Andorra, before taking to the skies again to hop across the 14-km (nine-mile) Straits of Gibraltar. The ex-SAS officer then aims to fly over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, above stretches of the Sahara desert and, well, wherever else the road runs out. But forget Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – this flying machine is based on proven technology.”
“It’s a summer night in Oz Park and Michael Zernow, whom everyone here knows as “Frosti,” is undressed for action. Wearing nothing but black shorts, yellow sneakers, and a black skullcap, he stands on a two-inch-wide plank and prepares to run a precarious route on, over, and around the play lot equipment he’s using as an obstacle course.
Frosti takes a flying leap from the top crossbar of a wooden play set to a ledge on another playset several yards away that looks like a castle rampart. His feet land with perfect precision. He then winds in and out of the structure’s various openings like a centipede. After crawling along the exterior of the play set, he takes another flying leap, about four feet down to the ground. His landing makes barely a sound. His bare torso—inscribed with a tattoo that says change yourself, inspire the people, save the world—is glistening with sweat.
The discipline he has just demonstrated is called parkour, which in France, where it originated, means “obstacle course” and is also known as “the art of displacement.” Parkour is based on finding ways to get from point A to point B in the quickest manner possible. Typically, that means jumping over, climbing on, or flipping off of any obstacle in your path. Frosti’s version of parkour also incorporates elements of “freerunning,” a variation that emphasizes stunts more than speed. If you saw the 2006 Bond movie Casino Royale, you saw Daniel Craig chase the creator of freerunning, Sebastian Foucan, up, down, and around a construction site, including the cranes.”
“Three Canadian adventurers have broken the world record for the fastest unassisted journey to the South Pole. Ray Zahab of Chelsea, Richard Weber of Cantley and Kevin Vallely of Vancouver reached their destination yesterday morning. They travelled across Antarctica from Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole in 33 days, breaking the previous record of 39 days set earlier this winter. Mr. Zahab travelled on foot and on snowshoes, while Mr. Weber and Mr. Vallely skied the more than 1,130-kilometre distance.
The trio filed regular updates via satellite phone to their website, www. southpolequest.com, which was tracked by about 3,000 schoolchildren in Canada and the U.S. “So the great news is we have arrived in world-record time at the geographic South Pole, in 33 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes,” Mr. Zahab wrote in a blog. “We are here, guys, and in the coming next 24-48 hours you’ll get a lot of photos.” They survived altitude sickness, enormous blisters, countless frozen snowdrifts, known as sastrugi, and blinding whiteouts.”
“Todd Carmichael has officially set a new solo and unsupported world speed record to the South Pole. His time of 39 days, 7 hours, and 33 minutes bested former world record holder Hannah McKeand’s time of 39 days, 9 hours, and 33 minutes set back in 2006. This is an official time coming from Todd’s tracking equipment and being reported by ExplorersWeb. How close was it? The difference between Todd and Hannah is 1 hour and 44 minutes – or less than 0.2% of the time on the ice. If the same difference was applied to a 100 meter dash, it would equal less than 0.02 seconds – just barely measurable with modern time keeping.
Along with gaining the new official solo and unsupported world speed record, Todd Carmichael has also become the first American to go solo and unsupported to the South Pole. It is still undecided if Todd will gain the record for going the longest distance on foot. When I first interviewed Todd before this journey, becoming the first American to go solo and unsupported was his biggest priority. A week before he set foot on the ice, I got an email that nonchalently stated “I might as well go for the world speed record while I’m at it. What do you think?” Todd felt that his conditioning and preparation for this journey were miles ahead of where he was with his unsuccessful South Pole expedition last year. Obviously, we can now see how far ahead Todd was.”
“Recently it was discovered that the tallest building in the world – the Burj Dubai – had been the scene for a world record (and highly illegal) BASE jump. 1 British man attempted the jump and was successful, while a second man, a Frenchman, was caught before he could jump. They were both arrested and held in Dubai.
What is not known to either the authorities or the world in general, is that 2 men had already succeeded in climbing the tower and base jumping from it without being caught: another Brit and the same Frenchman who was later caught attempting a second jump. They were the first and have gone down as legends in their sport, for claiming the latest jewel in the crown of the sport. This is the story of that jump.”
“A daredevil teenager has become the first person ever to perform a backflip in a wheelchair. Aaron Fotheringham, 16, who is known to friends as ‘Wheels’, finally landed the official world record after learning the amazing acrobatic stunt two years ago. Aaron, who was born with spina bifida and has been in a chair since he was three, said: ‘It feels awesome to have the record.’
The American teenager is also credited with creating the sport of ‘hardcore sitting’ where daring stunts adapted from skateboarding and BMX are performed in a wheelchair. ‘It’s wonderful,’ said his mother, Kaylene Fotheringham after he was accepted by the World Records Accademy last month. ‘We always thought he was the first one to do it but today we know he has the world record.’ He began doing stunts at the age of nine when his elder brother Brian took him to their local skate-park in Las Vegas.Brian encouraged him to go down a ramp and the obsession was born.
Now Aaron gets flown all over the world to perform stunts and spends at least three hours a day practicing.‘I love being in a wheelchair,’ said Aaron. ‘Everyone thinks “Oh you’re disabled that’s such a terrible thing” but I think it’s positive.‘It’s like being able to carry your skateboard everywhere with you. People don’t realise how much can be done in a chair.’”
(via The Daily Mail. There’s a better video of his backflip and his struggles to get it right, here.)