From the inspiring to the tragic, this is GearJunkie’s weekly wrap-up of top news in the world of exploration and adventure. Here’s what you missed this week and a few things to look forward to.
On Sunday, two women toppled the marathon and half-marathon records for American women at the Houston Marathon.
In the half-marathon, running legend Sara Hall (38) crossed the finish line at 1:07:15. With that time, the world-class runner shaved 10 seconds off the previous U.S. women’s record for the distance, which Molly Huddle set in 2018.
Then, Keira D’Amato (37) ran the fastest marathon of any female in U.S. history. The mom of two finished with just 2:19:12 on the clock, 24 seconds faster than the record set by Deena Kastor way back in 2006.
According to LetsRun, D’Amato stepped away from competitive running to build a career and family for almost a decade. She returned in 2017 via the Shamrock Marathon, where she clocked 3:14:54 — nearly an hour slower than her 2022 Houston race time. By the end of 2020, D’Amato had placed 15th at the U.S. Olympic Trials and became America’s eighth-fastest female marathoner at the Marathon Project race.
“The thought I keep coming back to is how proud I am that I found the courage to give running a shot again and attempt to tackle all this ‘unfinished business,’” D’Amato wrote following her historic bid.
A NEW AMERICAN RECORD! 2:19:12 for Keira D’Amato!! pic.twitter.com/FCI5CK7RXz
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) January 16, 2022
And the inimitable Mikaela Shiffrin slotted her 47th World Cup slalom title on Tuesday. The achievement isn’t just another win — it sets the mark for most World Cup wins by a competitor in a single discipline. Despite a back injury and bout of COVID, the 26-year-old American is having a banner run-up to the Olympic Winter Games.
Earlier this season, Shiffrin tied the score for most overall World Cup titles when she claimed her 70th win at the giant slalom comp in Soelden.
This one’s hard to report — on Saturday, a 5-year-old girl died after a skier accidentally collided with her during a children’s class at the Flaine ski resort in the French Alps. Authorities have detained the skier involved, a 40-year-old man from the area, on suspicion of manslaughter. Investigators will determine whether he was skiing too quickly.
Reportedly, the man in question is a volunteer firefighter and administered first aid to the girl until emergency responders arrived. Sources state that he appeared “devastated” and in a state of shock. The child perished while being airlifted to a nearby hospital.
An angler from Bend, Oreg. may have just reeled in the world record for biggest whitefish. Alex Dietz, who typically practices catch-and-release fishing, caught the 5-pound, 12-ounce whitefish last month.
On Jan. 7, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed it as the new state record-holder. Now certification for the all-tackle world record is underway. According to The Oregonian, the current world record whitefish weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces — 4 ounces shy of Dietz’s catch.
In celebration of MLK Day, U.S. national parks will waive all entrance fees for Monday, January 17. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is one of five free entrance days slated for 2022. The NPS will also waive fees on April 16, August 4, September 24, and November 11. For additional information, head to nps.gov.