Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times

The Running Decathlon: Helping others walk again

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Kelly Hayes, a spotter on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, is attempting to do something that no one has ever done before.

Over the next year, he plans to complete “The Running Decathlon,” which consists of the ten most widely-run track events. His goal is to run each “half as fast,” or in twice the time, of the current world record in each event. And he will attempt to run these races in the footsteps of those who set the records on the very tracks, and in the very stadiums where the records were set.

Think of it as CrossFit for runners on a global scale. Oh, and Kelly is 60 years old this year.

His attempt to complete this “quest” serves as a platform to raise funds to purchase a $90,000 exoskeleton Bionic Suit, which allows those with critical spinal injuries to rise from their wheelchairs and actually take assisted walks. Think Tony Stark from Ironman. He is relying on donations to the Bridging Bionics Foundation to make this a reality.

In this space, you can find information on each of the races, as well as a video that describes both “The Running Decathlon” and the exoskeleton Bionic Suits.

You can also follow Kelly on his journey, which begins in Rome on July 7, 2016, here, on Facebook, Twitter and at race2walk2016.com, where you can make a 100 percent tax-deductible contribution towards the purchase of an exoskeleton Bionic Suit for the Bridging Bionics Foundation.

One hundred percent of your donations will go towards the purchase of these suits.

Please turn Kelly’s steps into dollars. And we will turn dollars into steps for those who want to walk again.

The Running Decathlon

1500m in the Stadio Olimpico

Chasing El Gerrouj in the mile

Homage to Hicham

Track Town: The Netherlands

Lindsey Vonn takes third in final career race

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Lindsey Vonn finished third in the final race of her historic career, the women’s downhill at the skiing world championships in Are, Sweden.

The short course was thought to be a plus for Vonn’s curtain call. In Are, Vonn has been know to run into trouble in the upper section of the downhill.

Skiing third, Vonn stood in the gate, her right leg twitching with adrenaline. Leading up to her final race, Vonn had stated she would come out with “guns blazing,” and she did.

Vonn picked up time on the leader throughout her run, starting off .23 seconds back at the first split, but by the time she crossed the finish line Vonn had taken the lead by .33 seconds.

“I laid it all on the line and that’s all I wanted to do today. I have to admit I was a bit nervous,” Vonn said after the race. “Probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. I wanted to finish strong so badly and I had a really hard time controlling my nerves and I never have a hard time with that.

“I’m just happy I made it to the finish and I came down in the lead, which is nice for my last race and I’m also safe. I made it down safely. My boyfriend and my family are happy.”

Fittingly, Vonn was able to sit in the leader’s chair on her final day of racing. Vonn held the top spot through five skiers, then Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, the reigning downhill world champion, dropped in for her run, crossing the finish line .49 seconds faster than Vonn.

Vonn clung to second place for ten more skiers, then Switzerland’s Corinne Suter posted the second fastest time of the day, bumping Vonn to third, where she would stay to win the bronze.

Read more on OlympicTalk.

New Jersey sports betting market closing in on $1B mark

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — New Jersey’s sports betting market is closing in on the $1 billion dollar mark after less than six months of operation.

Figures released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show New Jersey’s casino and racetrack-based sports books took in over $330 million worth of bets in November.

Gamblers in the state have plunked down $928 million on sports events since sports betting began in mid-June.

The $21.2 million that sports books kept from that money, along with another strong month of internet gambling, helped Atlantic City’s casinos post an increase of nearly 25 percent in gambling revenue in November, compared with a year ago.

The casinos won $257 million from gamblers in November.

There are two more casinos operating this November than there were a year ago.