The Yukon River Trail Marathon doesn’t have much sympathy for those afraid of bears.

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Talk about winning, just bearly.

Denise McHale was running second in the Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse, Canada — trailing by as much as 15 minutes — when she encountered race leader Brendan Morphet running back toward her. Two menacing grizzlies had blocked his path, he explained, but she decided to press on. The bears had vanished, so she won the race.

“Well, it’s a wilderness race. There are bears. We’ve had bears before,” race director Ken Sylvestre told CBC News. “We want to be as clear as we can that there are bears out there and individual runners have to be comfortable dealing with that.”

Watch your backs

Semiretired Chris Berman could return to ESPN in a reduced role on “SportsCenter” and NFL-related programming, the New York Post reported.

In other words, Berman might be … nah, too easy.

Clean sweep asked roughly two dozen college football coaches to name their peer who runs the cleanest program, and Washington’s Chris Petersen and Stanford’s David Shaw shared top honors at 17 percent each.

In other words, that 300-year-old cannon that divers just discovered off the Florida coast has a better chance of getting fired first.

Not so fast there

The Mariners, once 11 games ahead of Oakland in the race for the second AL wild card, suddenly find themselves trailing the A’s.

No truth to the rumor that the M’s plan to replace the nightly hydroplane races on their videoboard with the tortoise and the hare.

Sports quiz

Chapel Hill (N.C.) High School abruptly announced it can’t field a varsity football team this season because:

a) not enough upperclassmen turned out.

b) the players on the local college team sold all their shoes.

Left out

Aug. 13 was International Cat Day as well as Left-Handers Day.

The Tigers’ lefty-hitting left fielder apparently didn’t get the memo: Mike Gerber struck out in all three plate appearances.

Hold that line

Election officials in Michigan are trying to ban straight-ticket voting.

Critics say the tactic inevitably leads to a lazy electorate — or even worse, 22 Detroit Lions starting in the Pro Bowl.

Read the fine print

NYU announced it will cover the tuition for current and future medical students.

Hey, it’s no different from what any other college offers — just as long as you can run a 4.4 carrying a football.

Talking the talk

• Peter Maher, former Calgary Flames radio play-by-play announcer, on now-retired forward Jarome Iginla’s 60-plus fights in the NHL: “I think he won them all. At least he did on the radio.”

• Comedian Argus Hamilton, after $2 million worth of Red Bull was stolen in Belgium: “How do these thieves sleep at night?”

Single Digits Dept.

Seahawks rookie RB Rashaad Penny flew to Philadelphia to have his broken index finger repaired.

Surgeons had no trouble pegging him as an out-of-towner: It wasn’t a middle finger.

Bore us with the details

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company wants to drill a tunnel from a subway station in East Hollywood to Dodger Stadium that would reduce an hourlong car trip to under four minutes via electric vehicle.

It’s believed to be the first speed-up proposal in MLB history that might actually work.

Down, down, down

Which begs the question: How far down would you have to drill before you hit the Baltimore Orioles?

Pay Hike Dept.

CEOs now make 312 times the average worker’s salary, according to a new report.

Or to put it in NFL terms: star quarterbacks, compared to rookies.

He shoots, he scores

Kobe Bryant, it appears, is still a money player.

The retired Laker’s $6 million investment in the sports drink BodyArmor over the past 4½ years, sources told ESPN, is now worth about $200 million.

Blood & Guts Dept.

Volha Mazuronak of Belarus ignored a horrendous nose bleed that splattered her face and singlet 30 minutes into the race to win the European Championship women’s marathon in Berlin.

Mazuronak didn’t hit the proverbial runner’s wall; it just looked like it.

Cold-case file

Bud Light is placing chained-shut “victory fridges” filled with beer in Cleveland bars, with Browns fans getting a free brewski when the team breaks its long losing skid.

Here’s hoping the beer isn’t as old as the Browns’ last victory: Dec. 24, 2016.

Stroke of bad luck

Batting out of order can be costly in baseball. Swimming, too.

The United States men lost their gold medal — and a meet-record time — in the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo when they got DQ’d for swimming the second and third legs in reverse order of their submitted lineup card.

4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …

The first four Mariners to face Astros ace Justin Verlander in the first inning Aug. 9 were Mitch Haniger (home run), Denard Span (triple), Jean Segura (double) and Nelson Cruz (single).


Quote marks

• Runner Brendan Morphet, to CBC News, on his grizzly-bear encounter in the Yukon River Trail Marathon: “They say never run from a bear, but based on the adrenaline that I had, that bear was never going to get me. I was gone.”

• RJ Currie of, on Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh saying he doesn’t eat chicken because it’s a nervous bird: “Shame it didn’t stop his Wolverines from laying an egg last year.”

• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, yearning for more sabermetrics: “Why can’t we get a stat on which umpires are the most/least accurate at calling balls and strikes? So fans can boo intelligently.”

• Jim Barach of, on a study saying that having a weak grip might signal health problems, even in children: “The good news there: Just try to get an iPad out of the grip of any 10-year-old.”

• Comedy writer Eric Stangel, on Twitter, on Johnny Manziel’s four-interception CFL debut: “Are there any football leagues north of Canada?”

• Janice Hough of, when power was finally restored after an outage at National Airport: “Now can someone do the same for the Washington Nationals?”

• Comedy writer Brad Dickson, via Twitter, with an important clarification: “While it may seem like every head football coach in the Big Ten is on administrative leave, it’s actually less than half.”