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I get lost so you don’t have to

My slogan as a guidebook writer: I get lost so you don’t have to. Yet in the case of London Bald, there’s no guarantee that even my most meticulous directions, derived from wandering 20 miles in less than 24 hours with GPS and maps in hand, will spare you from a similar bushwhacking fate in the rugged Nantahala National Forest. For London Bald, like the 26-mile Appletree Camp trail network…

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Are ultra’s bad for your heart? Maybe, maybe not

Ultra-endurance events can be bad for your heart. Or maybe not. That undefinitive statement comes courtesy of contradictory studies both reported Aug. 31 on the Science Daily site. We’ll start with the up(heart)beat report. The Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences studied 15 athletes (12 males, three females) at the Adventure Racing World Championships. The event covered 800 kilometers in the disciplines of mountain biking,…

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Winners … and winners, at The Magnificent Mile

Well, the iPhone 3G wimped on me again and I was unable to continue Tweeting from yesterday’s Magnificent Mile in downtown Raleigh. In short: I didn’t win; that honor went for the second straight year to Raleigh’s Bobby Mac, who, again for the second straight year, came in at 4:10. I didn’t win, but my wife did. During the awards/prizes presentation, my wife and daughter had to run back to…

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Magnificent predictions for a fast mile

Last week I ran into my old Fit-tastic coach, Tim Clark. Tim helped me in my return to running last year, coaxing and pushing me through the Monster Dash 5K. We chatted, I mentioned that I was doing today’s Magnificent Mile in downtown Raleigh. “Got a time in mind?” he asked. “Well … ” I began, drawing the word out in a tell-tale hedge, “I’m not a short distance person”…

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Chapel Hill, Durham make Bike Friendly list

Congratulations to the cyclists of Chapel Hill and Durham, who now live in Bike Friendly Communities. That’s according to the League of American Bicyclists, which bestows its BFC honor on communities that have made an effort to make cycling safe, not suicidal. Chapel Hill and Durham made the list for the first time this fall, earning Bronze status (out of a possible Silver, Gold, and the coveted Platinum, of which…

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Weekend plans? Let a boll weevil spur you to action

Was that a hint of fall we’ve felt early every morning this week? It’s the perfect time to get out and about. Here are three events to get you doing just that. (Events are free unless otherwise indicated.) Coast Enjoy exploring the coast’s wild areas? You have the Sierra Club to thank, in part, for those wild places remaining wild. Thanks to their efforts to protect and preserve the coast’s…

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Workouts go outside

The following story, which I wrote, first appeared in The News & Observer on Sept. 14 (a similar version ran the same date in the Charlotte Observer). It appears here with links. It’s hard to imagine a better yoga studio: as the hourlong class goes on, the temperature drops, the light dims and the obligatory relaxation music is as soothing as an eventide symphony on the front porch. And when…

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Walk, ride: They make a difference no matter who you are

Sunday, I returned from Colorado where I noticed more people riding bikes, more people hiking and walking than they do here in North Carolina. I also noticed that there was a whole let less of the people there than there is of the folks here. Hmm, I wondered. Is there a connection? Why, yes, it turns out. There is. It may be no-duh research, but it demands repeating because so…

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Cool! Time to start hiking

About 12:30 I stepped outside for a quick run and — Wow! I thought I was back in Colorado, from where I had returned the evening before with the itch to hike. There, the overnight lows were already dipping into the upper 40s, the daytime highs in the 70s. Coupled with the state’s trademark dry weather it was perfect hiking weather — much like what I felt when I stepped…

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When mellow beats medal

Yesterday, I went for mellow instead of a medal. Originally, during my quick visit to Colorado, my plan was to climb two of Colorado’s 52 14ers, 14,264-foot Mt. Evans and its little brother, 14,060-foot Mt. Bierstadt. A 10-mile loop connects the two from a trailhead at Guanella Pass. With a minimal total elevation gain of 3,900 feet (albeit all above 11,000 feet) it seemed a doable accomplishment for a flat…

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