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Category Archives: Athletes

How Strava Fame Became a Burden for Molly Seidel

Back in January 2018, the fitness app Strava got some unwanted publicity when its heatmap feature allegedly revealed the locations of covert military bases. Although there was no evidence that the safety of military personnel had been compromised, the media coverage at the time was damning. A Guardian article noted that the platform was potentially […]

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The Big Sur Waterfall Project Is Top Secret

I first learned about Leor Pantilat the way one learns about lots of things these days: while sitting on my couch and scrolling through Instagram. As an avid hiker and backpacker with decades of mileage in the wilds of California, I recognized the general features of the images he posted—the scoured granite of the Sierra […]

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Mount Hood Has Two New Speed Records. The Guy Who Set Them Wore Short Shorts.

On April 24, Jack Kuenzle, 26, summited and descended Oregon’s 11,254-foot Mount Hood in record time: 1 hour 31 minutes 31 seconds. The route’s 5,254 feet of elevation gain included an extended technical section involving a narrow ridge and a steep chute. He beat the existing fastest known time (FKT) by 13 minutes. His ascent alone—1 […]

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By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Gone

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free from anywhere in the United States at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at […]

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How Super Shoes are Upending Running’s Sponsorship Model

Last week’s Boston Marathon sparked yet another debate about shoe tech in professional running. This time, the question wasn’t whether super shoes were undermining cherished notions of competitive fairness, but whether pro runners are being forced to choose between getting the best possible sponsorship deal and maximizing their chances of success by retaining the freedom […]

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Grace Staberg on the Eating Disorder That Derailed Her Skimo Season

In January, the night before the third Ski Mountaineering World Cup race, I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, hands crossed neatly over my stomach. I’m familiar with prerace nerves, but this was different: I wasn’t thinking about my strategy to get to the front on the climbs, nor was I visualizing how I might minimize […]

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The Unnecessary Fallout from Shelby Houlihan’s Doping Ban

Last June, when the public was first informed that Shelby Houlihan had tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone and would serve a four-year suspension for doping violations, nobody was more vocal about the apparent injustice of the decision than Houlihan’s coach, Jerry Schumacher. (Houlihan’s team blamed her positive test on a pork burrito that […]

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Tart Cherry Juice: Recovery Drink or Snake Oil?

I’ve been ignoring cherry juice for well over a decade now. The studies keep showing up in my dragnet of potentially interesting research, suggesting that tart cherries accelerate post-exercise recovery, funded more often than not by the Cherry Marketing Institute. But other studies find no benefit. And more generally, my approach to supplement research is […]

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Professional Climber Alex Megos Is Housing 15 Ukrainian Refugees

German climber Alex Megos is perhaps best known for putting down one of the hardest routes in the world, Bibliographie (initially thought to be 5.15d, a grade climbed only once before, but eventually determined to be 5.15c), in Céüse, France, in 2020. The 28-year-old is also a regular on the competitive climbing circuit and one […]

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