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Mt. Everest, Beer & Fitness, and Best Books for Runners

Minute 1: Even Mt. Everest is closed for coronavirus

The entire sports world has ground to a halt as the human race attempts to contain the coronavirus, and yes, that even includes all Mount Everest expeditions. Nepal and China have effectively cancelled the entire climbing season. Shutting the mountain down is not unprecedented, as the same thing happened in 2015 after a massive earthquake struck Nepal. This is disappointing news for climbers hoping to reach the summit, but shutting down could also have a devastating effect on the Nepalese economy. The country generates a large portion of its GDP through tourism and hundreds of Sherpa will now be out of work. 

“The money that comes in is not just from the climbers, but from the trekkers who go during the Everest season supports the entire year for every family I know in the Khumbu and many people in Kathmandu. The loss of that income is going to be really, really difficult for the locals here,” said Adrian Ballinger, who hopes to pay the 23 Sherpas he had already hired for an expedition. Bad news for the Nepali economy may be good news for rentals of recent climbing flicks like Meru and Free Solo. Both are nail biters and are among our all-time favorites. #Kathmandon’t

Minute 2: What a rap star can teach us about training and nutrition

Losing his father to kidney disease caused rapper A$AP Ferg to change his tune. Life on the road had caused the star to neglect diet and exercise, but his father’s death forced Ferg to get serious about what he puts in his body. He eliminated almost all carbs and sweets, turning to lean meats like turkey, chicken and salmon. The transformation has also turned the rapper into a runner, and he’s turned to the roads to stay in shape. Ferg has been running with Adidas Runners NYC with the hope of running a marathon. No word yet on which marathon the rapper will run, but it seems like a safe bet that the Harlem native will attempt to follow in the steps of fellow NYC rap legend Diddy and take on the New York City Marathon. Time to beat – 4:14:54. #NewTracks

Minute 3: Beer and fitness

For years, Michelob Ultra has marketed itself as the official beer of people who give a damn about fitness. Commercial after commercial for Mich Ultra shows a happy group of attractive young exercisers getting sweaty and then unwinding with a cold can of water, hops and barley. Here’s the catch. According to Beer Advocate rankings, Mich Ultra merits a score of 47/100 and an “awful” rating. (Oops – there goes our advertising deal.) Mercifully for those of us who fall into the center of the Venn diagram of runners and beer drinkers, there is a growing trend among craft brewers to produce higher end offerings. Barley pops from the likes of Dogfish Head, New Holland, Sufferfest and Deschutes have cracked the code of making a light, sessionable IPA that checks in under 100 calories. Outside magazine describes the trend and offers its ”6 Favorite Lighter Beer Offerings.” Spartan Race tapped into the subject and came up with a list of the 5 Best Summer Beers for Athletes. #TheOriginalCorona

Minute 4: Beating Covid 19 one book (or movie) at a time

With public life grinding to a halt, plenty of us will be spending extra time cooped up indoors. Instead of smashing that play button on Netflix or Hulu, why not pick up a book? There are dozens of great running books, but these are our top 6 books for runners. Our picks include Born to Run by Christopher MsDougall, an epic story of the Tarahumara tribe whose lives revolve around running 100+ miles without stopping. Or check out Running The Rift by Naomi Benaron, an inspiring story of an athlete who used running to escape the terrors of the Rwandan Genocide. And if you do cave into the couch, you may want to check out Rolling Stone’s 30 Best Sports Movies of All Time or IMDB’s 100 Best Sports Movies. While endurance classics like Chariots of Fire and McFarland USA are included, we’re a little disappointed that cycling classic Breaking Away didn’t make either list. #Cutters #Campagnolo

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • Admiral William McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL, became a YouTube sensation for his 2014 UT Austin commencement speech urging graduates to begin changing the world by making their bed every morning. His latest riff on that theme was published in a Washington Post op-ed he just wrote. He tells fellow Americans that “the only thing more contagious than a virus is hope.”

  • And speaking of the U.S. military, registration is now open for the Marine Corps Marathon lottery. This is a bucket list race that finishes at the Iwo Jima memorial adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery. 

  • One way to beat the Covid Quarantine is to take part in the #pushupchallenge that is sweeping social media. Celebs like Baker Mayfield is ripping out some old-fashioned push-ups and then challenging other folks to follow suit. Kinda like the ice bucket challenge.

  • Amidst some cautious skepticism, a company based in Austin, Texas today opened up the first home testing kit for COVID-19. Everlywell will ship you a swab to collect samples from the back of your nose and throat and then you ship the swab back to their labs. Your results are posted within 48 hours in a secure portal, according to the company. Time magazine provides details here.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

If your faith in the healing power of sports has been shaken this month, we have an instant refresher. Grab the Kleenex box and tune into the story of 13-year-old Joey Belles from Texas. After complaining of headaches, Joey received dreaded news -- he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery, chemotherapy and extended hospital stays severely weakened the teenager’s body. Joey’s doctors, nurses and physical therapists developed a low-impact walking program to help rebuild his body, starting him with short laps around his hospital unit. Joey surprised everyone with his perseverance, blowing past his program’s target of 10 miles. On his final day of chemo, Joey eclipsed 26.2 miles, with hospital staff setting up a finish line tape on his victory lap. 


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