Outside Edge: 06/06/10

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The Independent Online

It's hardly a bespoke event for him but Kris Holm is about to take part in the notoriously tough, week-long mountain bike race, the BC Bike Ride from Vancouver to Whistler in Canada.

The only thing is he will be doing it on one wheel, for he's a unicyclist. The 36-year-old Canadian's past feats include riding along the Great Wall of China and cycling to the summit of Mount Orizaba in Mexico. Meanwhile Jamie Baulch, the 37-year-old former 400m gold medallist, will not have the benefit of a saddle when he races against a horse, Peopleton Brook, at Kempton Park on 30 June. He will run 100m while the horse, ridden by Fergus Sweeney, will have a 20m handicap. He must have nagging doubts.


Number of pubs in the 'Good Beer Guide' visited by Stuart Ashby, i.e. all of them. The 60-year-old has sunk a pint in 16,912 pubs since 1984, covering some 25,000 miles on foot. "I do a lot of walking," he said. Luckily, he can't drive.

Old-timers of the week

Marathons become rather less gruelling if you jump over a fence and lop 10 miles off the 26.2-mile distance. That's what Anthony Gaskell, 69, did in London in April, running off with the prize for the over-65s. He beat Colin Rathbone, 66, to the line by 38 seconds, recording the fastest-ever time by a pensioner. Rather belatedly he has admitted taking the short cut due to injury. In the long run you will get found out. Thirty of the top 100 in China's Xiamen race were disqualified in January, many for using cars; Sergio Motsoeneng ran with his twin in South Africa in 1999; and Rosie Ruiz won in Boston in 1980 by taking the Tube and running the last mile. That's an underground movement.

Good week for

Lewis Gordon Pugh, British environmental campaigner becomes the first person to swim 1km across Pumori Lake, 17,000ft up Mount Everest... Christie Glissmeyer sets world waterfall kayaking record by paddling 82ft down Metlako Falls in Oregon... and Cooper's Hill cheese-rolling, an unofficial version of which was held after the event was called off over health and safety concerns.

Bad week for

Armando Galaggara, Detroit Tigers pitcher denied "perfect game" (27 consecutive dismissals without a batter reaching first base) against Cleveland Indians after umpire Jim Joyce made an incorrect call... Laura Robson, apologised after describing other girl tennis players as "sluts" in 'Vogue' magazine... and Sussex cheerleaders, told to cover up more by the ECB after sporting shorts that were "a little too short" in the T20 against Somerset.

Knee-jerk reactions of the week

It's surely one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the sporting calendar, but luckily none of Fabio Capello's squad was taking part – although Rio Ferdinand and Emile Heskey might as well have been. The British Shin-Kicking Championships are the main event of Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpiks in Chipping Campden, which are being held for the 398th time this weekend. You wear shepherd's smocks and hold each other by the lapels. Competitors stuff as much straw down their trousers as they like but kicks must be below the knee. That rule may derive from a Lancashire version in which miners wrestled naked except for their clogs. You're really shafted if you forget the boots.