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  3. The Barkley Marathons:

    Since 1986, elite ultramarathon runners have met in the hills of Frozen Head State Park to have a go at one of the world’s most difficult races. Cantrell handpicks the field according to his own whims and applicants’ essays on why they should be allowed to run the Barkley. Marathoners have 60 hours to complete five 20-mile loops through the park. Each loop contains over 10,000 feet of vertical climb, and if any loop takes more than 12 hours, the runner is disqualified. The runners trudge along through brambles, unmarked trails, and occasionally both snow and blistering heat during the same race.

    Don’t think that 100 miles in 60 hours sounds so tough? Since the race’s inception over 500 elite runners have tried to finish the 100-mile trek. Seven have successfully finished the race. Cantrell’s not a total sadist, though; he also offers a companion “fun run” to go along with his monstrous trail run. Fun runners only have to finish 60 miles of the course in 40 hours. Sounds like a lot of fun, right?

    5 races that make marathons look wimpy

     

  4. According to science, a chocolate milk shower might be better for the team.

    How does chocolate milk stack up as a sports drink?

     

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  6. The moment Armstrong lays blame on his sponsors (for tacitly knowing about it, and even funding his habit) or on the cycling world, or on anything else is the moment where you might want to just turn off the television, because you’ll know that he really isn’t very sorry for anything. He’s just sorry that the proof of his doping became too overwhelming for his own ego to continue to deny.
    — Marc Ambinder says Lance Armstrong deserves nothing
     

  7. Was the number one junior tennis champ benched for being “too fat”? 

    Sixteen-year-old tennis prodigy Taylor Townsend is the world’s No. 1 junior girls player, with several titles — including Australian Open junior singles champion and Wimbledon junior doubles champion — already under her belt. What she isn’t is thin. Despite her mastery of the court, Townsend has been benched from further tournament appearances by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), with which she is part of a four-year development program, until she improves her “overall fitness.”

    Though the USTA cites Taylor’s health as their top concern, critics have called the decision discriminatory, and cited the success of curvier players like Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport as proof that women of all body types can compete on an international level.

    Keep reading…

     

  8. Top: Leaving his prosthetic leg behind, Poland’s Lukasz Mamczarz starts his run up during the men’s high jump F42 final on Sept. 3. PHOTO: REUTERS/Andrew Winning

    Left: Brazil’s Terezinha Guihermina doesn’t yet know that she’s just won the gold in the women’s 100m T11 final, but her guide, Guilherme Soares, sure does. PHOTO: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

    Right: Natalia Partyka of Poland, who was born without a right hand and forearm, serves during the table tennis women’s singles C10 classification match against Turkey on Aug. 30. PHOTO: REUTERS/Toby Melville

    13 amazing photos from the 2012 Paralympics

     

  9. Top: Captured in a multiple-exposure photo, America’s Danell Leyva performs his horizontal bar routine in the men’s gymnastics event final Aug. 7. 

    Left: Italy’s Giulia Lapi and Mariangela Perrupato appear to be walking on the surface of a rippling pool in this underwater shot taken during their synchronized swimming technical routine qualification round Aug. 5. 

    Right: Turkey’s Merve Aydin cries after coming in last in her women’s 800m round 1 Aug. 8.

     

  10. Can’t. Stop. Watching. The maker of Tide and Pampers essentially “dares you not to cry” with its commercial, “Best Job,” says UPI's Kate Stanton. A reworking of its successful 2010 Olympics ad campaign, says Meg Carter at Fast Company, “P&G pushes raw emotion to the tear-jerking nth degree with its depiction of mothers worldwide raising children to become champions and sharing their triumph.

    Check out our list of the best (and worst) ads to come out of the London Olympics.

     


  11. I’ve seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty.
    — Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, estimates that 70 to 75 percent of Olympians are hooking up in the Olympic Village.