As if running a 100.5-mile ultramarathon in a thunderstorm through the mountains of Colorado wasn't challenging enough, one competitor in the recent Hardrock 100 had an added challenge to overcome.

Adam Campbell, 35, and his pacer were at the highest point of the course (14,058-foot Handies Peak) when rain started pouring down on them. They had recently passed an aid station and couldn't go back, so they decided to forge through the elements.

"There's nothing up there, no place to hide, no rocks, no trees, nothing," Campbell, who works as an attorney in Canada, told Competitor. "We really didn't have much of a choice. We wanted to get over the peak as soon as we could and get out of there."

Once lightning struck the two immediately ducked for cover, and Campbell says the jolt fried his headlamp. His pacer says he felt a burst of electricity hit the back of his head. When the duo realized they were essentially unscathed, they continued running.

Campbell finished third in the race with a time of 25 hours, 56 minutes and 36 seconds. That's not bad considering the first-place finisher set a course record and the fact that Campbell was struck by lightning during the race.

Here's a video of Campbell finishing the race.

"My headlamp blew up," Campbell says at the 1:30 mark of the video.

As Jon Gugala of Deadspin notes, getting hit by lightning is actually covered in the race's waiver:

"I have also been advised that I may be exposed to physical injury from a number of natural factors, including snow on the course, lack of water, high water, lightning, mountain lions and bears, and to the hazards of vehicular traffic, and to those other hazards attendant upon running across or along roadways during the day or night including, among other things, the fact that I may become injured or incapacitated in a location where it is difficult or impossible for the event's management to get required medical aid to me in time to avoid physical injury or even death."

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During Argentina's 1-0 victory over Belgium in the quarterfinals, midfielder Angel Di Maria suffered a thigh injury in the 33rd minute. The Real Madrid star, who scored Argentina's lone goal in a 1-0 Round of 16 victory over Switzerland, has been ruled out for the semifinal match versus the Netherlands.

Di Maria's injury shifts a load on former Real Madrid teammate Gonzalo Higuain to help Lionel Messi create offense. As a bright spot for Argentina, Higuain may be getting hot at the right time.

The Napoli striker scored the only goal against Belgium -- his first tally in five World Cup matches. In the Group Stage, Argentina relied heavily on Lionel Messi to produce goal-scoring opportunities. The three-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner and one-time FIFA World Player of the Year Winner scored four of Argentina's six goals in Argentina's first three games (one of the other two was an own goal).

The Belgium match was the Argentina's first this World Cup that Messi did not have a goal or an assist credited to him. It was Higuain who became the playmaker.

Higuain notched four goals in the 2010 World Cup, so it may have only been a matter of time before he hit his stride. In South Africa, Higuain had a group stage hat trick in a 4-1 win over South Korea. He has 21 goals and 11 assists in 41 career international appearances.

The 2014 Argentina team has drawn numerous comparisons to the 1986 World Cup championship team. Messi is compared to Diego Maradona, who led the 1986 team with five goals and five assists. Higuain is compared to Maradona's right-hand man Jorge Valdano. Valdano scored four goals for Argentina in 1986. However, he failed to become a regular international contributor after the World Cup.

Higuain has battled an ankle injury over the last month, which contributed to struggles at the end of Napoli’s season in Italy's Serie A. Despite the health issues, he remains optimistic.

“I had faith in my qualities, I’m already thinking about the semifinal. We have two matches left to make history," Higuain says.

"I wasn't getting desperate about scoring because I knew I was going to get a goal sooner or later," Higuain told Sky Sports about his first goal.

Argentina’s next match is against the vaunted attack of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is looking to reach back-to-back World Cup Finals. Argentina has reached its first semifinal since 1990.

Of course, Argentina has not won the World Cup since 1986 when Maradona and Valdano led "The White and Blue Sky." Along with Messi, Higuain will need to turn up his game in the final two matches.

If Higuain plays at his peak, Argentina may have a third World Cup title.

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By all accounts, Saturday could have been much more profitable for Eugenie Bouchard.

The 20-year-old Canadian lost in straight sets in her first Grand Slam final to Petra Kvitova, missing out on the $3 million Wimbledon winner's check as well as the seven-figure endorsement deals that would have come with it.

Still, Bouchard's star rose to new heights thanks to her stellar performance at the tournament, and the player who was once tagged as the "golden girl of tennis" may be ready to assume her position as the heir to super-marketer Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova is the highest-earning female athlete in the world, thanks in part to her on-court success and marketing savvy. Although Bouchard has a long way to go before she reaches Sharapova in either of those respects, she has been compared to the 27-year-old Russian because of her extraordinary potential.

Bouchard, who currently has sponsorship deals with Nike, Babolat and Coca-Cola, among other companies, has several things working in her favor, according to sports marketing expert Jean Gosselin.

"She's very talented, she's pretty, she has charisma, and she is fully bilingual," Gosselin told the Toronto Sun of the Montreal native. "She's also very good at handling social media."

During her run to the semifinals of the Australian Open, Bouchard nearly doubled her Facebook following (adding 100,000 likes for a total of 243,000) while finishing with a total of 107,000 Twitter followers. Now, just half a year later, she's got more than 700,000 Facebook likes and is nearing 300,000 Twitter followers. She's constantly posting videos and messages, often with a touch of humor.



After being on the cusp of several megadeals, the loss to Kvitova is expected to set Bouchard back in terms of marketing.


But with the way she's been playing recently, it might not be long before Bouchard becomes the next face of the women's game.

“Champions (project) hard work, humility, perseverance, and those are all qualities and attributes other brands like to associate with,” Vijay Setlur, who teaches sports marketing at York University, told The Star. "Once that potential is realized, then more brands will present offers or partnerships because you’re dealing now with an athlete that’s proven."

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Eric Reid is a force on the field. As a rookie last season, tthe 22-year-old free safety earned Pro Bowl honors after recording four interceptions and 77 tackles.

Now Reid is tackling something different with Gatorade's "Beat The Heat" program, which teaches young athletes, parents and coaches the importance of hydrating while exercising. Now in its 10th year, the program has partnerships with the NFL, NBA, MLS and MLB.

"The main mission is to educate athletes on the importance of rehydration, especially during the summer," Reid said. "Now, that may not be the biggest issue in the mildly tempered (areas), but in Louisiana, where I'm from, it's a huge priority."

Reid had a run-in with dehydration in middle school, and now, as a professional athlete, knows exactly how to avoid it.

"Just from a rule of thumb that I've learned over the years, if you're thirsty, it's probably too late," Reid said. "If your body has to tell you that you need to hydrate, it's too late. You need to be proactive, not reactive."

Hydration is extremely important in all forms of athletics, especially during the summer. Illnesses due to heat include heat cramps, muscle spasms and heat exhaustion, which can cause lightheadedness and low blood pressure. Heat strokes can result in convulsion and death. All of these can be avoided by simply hydrating.

But research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute found that as many as 70 percent of high school football players practice without proper hydration. The "Beat The Heat" program, with the help of professional sports leagues, is trying to decrease that number.

"Athletes often don't understand the amount of fluid they lose from sweating and how important it is to replace those lost fluids during workouts, practices and games," said Asker Jeukendrup, Gatorade Sports Science Institute's global senior director. "The Beat the Heat program gives us and these great partner organizations an opportunity to educate athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of proper hydration and safety measures while practicing and competing in the heat."

Just drinking water is a start, but it is important to replenish the electrolytes that leave an athletes body. Drinks, like Gatorade, that contain electrolytes help replenish the body of sodium. Drinks that contain sodium help maintain the desire to rehydrate.

"Athletes and coaches on all levels need to pay close attention to the warning signs of heat-related illnesses because safety should not be risked in the name of competition," Roberta Anding, sports dietitian for the Houston Texans, said. "Drinks that contain electrolytes to help retain and regulate fluids are very important."

A health safety kit, which contains tips on how to properly get hydrated, lists the dangers of an athlete that is not properly hydrated, and ways to tell if you are properly hydrated, is available at Gatorade.com.

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Canada has not qualified for the Olympics since 2000. Vancouver lost the Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001. The Toronto Raptors, the nation's only NBA franchise, have reached the playoffs just three times since 2003.

Yet, on Thursday night, three Canadians were selected within the first 18 picks of the NBA draft. For the second straight draft, the first overall pick was a Canadian with UNLV's Anthony Bennett last year and Kansas guard/forward Andrew Wiggins this year, both going to the Cavaliers.

"It opens doors for all the youth and everyone in Canada," Wiggins says of the Canadian influx of NBA prospects. "It gives them hope, you know, because coming up when I was in Canada, I wasn't ranked or nothing. I wasn't known. I didn't have no offers or anything like that."

Wiggins was born in Toronto on Feb. 23, 1995. His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins won silver medals in the 4x100 and 4x400 track relays for Canada at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. His father, Mitchell Wiggins, is a former American NBA player. But Wiggins has only represented Canada in international competitions.

He spent most of his childhood in Vaughan, Ontario, including two high school seasons at Vaughan Secondary School before transferring to Huntington Prep School in West Virginia. Wiggins played one year at Kansas before bouncing for the NBA.

"I just kept my head straight and kept working on my game and look where I am today," Wiggins says. "I just think it gives everyone in Canada hope that they can accomplish what I do because it's possible if they work hard.

Within an hour of Wiggins' selection, Nik Stauskas went No. 8 to the Sacramento Kings. Stauskas played two years at Michigan, coming into his own as a versatile guard. Stauskas started his freshman season as the fourth or fifth option for the Wolverines.

His coming-out party came during Michigan's run to the NCAA championship game in 2013. Stauskas dropped 22 points on six three-pointers in a 79-59 thrashing of Florida in the Elite Eight.

Stauskas made even larger strides in 2013-14. He added the ability to drive and dish into his repertoire, along with his deadly shooting touch. His 17.5 points and 3.3 assists per game propelled him to a Big Ten Conference Player of the Year Award.

Of course, Stauskas is the first Canadian to earn such an honor.

"We're very excited for the future of Canada basketball," Stauskas said Thursday. "I feel like, if we really all commit to coming in and working hard and coming together, I think we could have a really good team."

Before the draft, on Thursday, Stauskas said he was in contact with Steve Nash, hands-down Canada's best NBA player of all time. Stauskas said Nash's two NBA MVP awards gave hope for children like him. His presence made skinny Canadian guards believe they could compete.

Like Wiggins, Stauskas started high school in Ontario, at Loyola Catholic in his hometown of Mississauga, but he shifted to the United States. Stauskas attended both the South Kent School in Connecticut and the St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass., before going to Michigan.

"I believed in myself, and I don't think many other people did," Stauskas says. "This is something I always felt was a possibility for me, and I just kept working my hardest to make it happen."

Within an hour of the Stauskas pick, a third Canadian came off the board. The Phoenix Suns selected Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis with the 18th pick. Ennis averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 assists in his one season for the Orange. He earned All-ACC Freshmen Team and All-ACC Defensive Team honors.

Ennis did it all in upstate New York, not far from his home in Etobicoke, Ontario.

"This is a big year," Ennis says. "We had the No. 1 pick. We had Nik go in the lottery, myself, and a bunch of other Canadians are still waiting to hear their name called. At the end of the night, Canada has something to be proud of."

Stanford's Dwight Powell was the fourth and final Canadian to be selected at No. 45 by the Charlotte Hornets.

Like the earlier two Canadian picks, Ennis started high school in Canada at Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School in Etobicoke. Then he transferred to powerhouse Saint Benedict'sin Newark, N.J.

For some NBA prospects, moving north and experiencing the cold is a culture shock. Ennis' Canadian roots mean he will be going the other way in the Arizona desert.

"This is probably going to be the first year not seeing snow, but I think change is good," he says.

Wiggins, Stauskas and Ennis have all known each other for a number of years, playing with and against each other since their AAU days. They represent a growing pool of Canadians in the NBA. Wiggins joins a Cavaliers team with two strong Canadians already in Bennett and Tristan Thompson.

"I played with Tristan for a summer in AAU and I played with Anthony for a while on the AAU circuit and the national level too," Wiggins says. "I'm just excited. The chemistry is already there with those guys. I played with them already. I think big things are to come."

The question is how big. Along with Wiggins, Stauskas, Ennis, Bennett, Thompson and Nash, other Canadians in the NBA are Joel Anthony, Samuel Dalembert, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Kelly Olynyk and Robert Sacre. This week has featured so much news regarding the rapid popularity growth of soccer in the U.S. In Canada, the same can be said for basketball. In 2013-14 playoffs, the Toronto Raptors won their first division title in seven years, and the growing fan support was evident.

To reach the next level, Canada needs to make noise in International competition. Qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio is about to heat up.

"I'm not saying we're going to win a gold medal right now, but I'm saying that we could have a chance to compete at that level if we all commit to it," Stauskas says.

When asked about the Olympics and competing with the United States, Ennis blushes. Moments before, he was selected to an NBA team. One goal is through and another is being built.

"I think we could put together a really good team, but 2016 might be too early," he says. "The U.S. is going to have a tough team regardless of what year it is."

From an American perspective, "Our friends to the North" could soon become our biggest rival. Wiggins, Stauskas and Ennis will be right in the middle of it. Oh, Canada.

"I think once we get in the gym together, getting chemistry and just getting all the talent in one gym for the first time, I think that will be a big moment for Canada," Ennis says. "I think not only 2016, but the following Olympics. I think we'll be able to make a run at it."

For a nation that is not just producing players but top-notch NBA talent, Thursday was another milestone night as three of its brightest stars had their own journeys take a new turn.

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An estimated 18.22 million viewers watched in awe Sunday as Silvestre Valera's header forged a tie for Portugal in its World Cup match against the United States. But former U.S. women's star Brandi Chastain says that headers are more dangerous than just breaking the hearts of American soccer fans.

Kids are particularly susceptible to injuries that result from heading the ball because their brains are still forming.

“I believe that the benefits of developing heading skills as children are not worth the thousands of additional concussions that youth soccer players will suffer," Chastain said. "As a parent, I won't allow my children to head the ball before high school, and as a coach I would prefer my players focused solely on foot skills as they develop their love of the game. I believe this change will create better and safer soccer."

Chastain is part of the Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer (PASS) campaign, which is fighting to prohibit heading for players under 14.

Heading is taught as one of the fundaments of the game, but young soccer players and their parents are often unaware of the consequences that come with heading a soccer ball. Heading is the leading cause of serious injuries, like concussions, according to the New York Times.

World Cup hype has captivated millions of U.S. soccer fans, including wide-eyed children who dream of emulating a header like Valera's. Chastain said this newfound popularity adds urgency to the campaign.

"I would love for U.S. Soccer to take this on, because it will only help kids stay healthy," Chastain said. "Why not protect our kids for as long as we can?"

The U.S. Senate held a hearing Wednesday on the long-term effects of sports-related brain injuries. Chastain and PASS can only hope their heading prohibition rule will take off as quickly as America's interest in the World Cup.

Dr. Robert Cantu, an expert in the study of athletes' brain, told the New York Times, "If we were to take a pillow and slam it as hard as we could against a child's head, again and again, we would be charged with child abuse. But that's exactly what it’s like when a player is hit in the head with a ball from pretty close."

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NBA rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams was among the players that trainer Jay Hernandez put through the paces before the 2013 draft. This year, Indiana's Noah Vonleh and Syracuse's Tyler Ennis geared up for their auditions with NBA by training with Hernandez. Here is how Hernandez prepares his players:

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Tyler Ennis says he always faced skepticism when playing against Americans just because he is from Canada where hockey is king and basketball, despite recent advances, is still developing. It probably didn't help that there is an NHL player with the same name -- Tyler Ennis.

Tyler Ennis, the hockey player, is an Edmonton native who plays center for the Buffalo Sabres. He was the team's first-round draft pick in 2008.

Tyler Ennis, the basketball player, is a Toronto native who played point guard for the Syracuse Orange. He is projected to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft this week.

Before his one season at Syracuse, Ennis left Canada to play high school basketball in New Jersey where he could face better competition and receive more exposure to scouts. Here is more of his story, in his own words:

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After holding six conferences with Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon from 1995 to 2008 I have called athletic concussions a ticking time bomb and undiagnosed health epidemic. I had a crisis of conscience in representing hundreds of NFL players who repeatedly were hit in the head in games and practice.

I now believe that each time an offensive lineman hits a defensive lineman at the inception of every play it produces a low level sub-concussive hit. A lineman who plays in high school, college and the pros may retire with 10,0000 sub-concussive hits, none of which were diagnosed, none of which he is aware of. The aggregate of these hits produce brain damage much more severe than being knocked out three times.

Prominent neurologists and researchers like Robert Cantu, Julian Bailes, Kevin Guskiewicz, Kristen Willeumier and David Hovda report that three or more concussions may lead to exponentially higher rates of Alzheimer’s, ALS, dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression. This is different from other injuries. Brain function provides memory, judgment, and personality -- what it means to be a sentient human being. That is why we are forming a new foundation, "Athletes Speak," with players advocating awareness and prevention.

The adolescent brain is at much higher risk than that of older players. The brain is still in the formative stages throughout the teenage years. It takes an estimated three times longer for consequences from concussions to clear in this group. Actual brain development can be retarded. These young people are students who are still in the midst of their education. Equipment at this level can be less than stellar. This is a group that needs special protection.

A movement is growing across the country to protect youthful football players. Football is not the only contact sport and other athletes need protection too. Visionary California State Assemblyman, Ken Cooley, just proposed a law which passed both houses limiting high school and middle school football practices. No full contact drills are permitted in the off-season and are limited during the season. Nineteen states have passed similar legislation and more are pending.

SMU head football coach June Jones has a variety of teaching techniques that limit practice contact without impairing team success. He has not permitted tackling during pre-season for more than years, starting with the Atlanta Falcons. The Sports Legacy Institute estimates that in high school football, 60 percent to 75 percent of head trauma occurs in practice, not in games. This contrasts with a low rate in the NFL.

Former New Orleans Saints front office executive Terry O'Neil has founded a new movement, “Practice Like the Pros,” designed to limit contact on high school practice fields. He has assembled a prestigious board with co-chairs, Ronnie Lott and John Madden, and has the support of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to actively push the initiative. There is even a Linkedin Group, Mothers Against Concussions, raising awareness.

Meanwhile the search for more protective helmetry continues. Jenny Morgan, CEO of Tate Technology, has a promising coil and compression helmet design to attenuate the energy force. A new head cap designed by Noggin Sports can be worn under helmets to provide more protection. A variety of sideline devices have been produced that can detect a sub-concussive hit in real time so an impacted player doesn’t return to play.

Doctors and researchers across the country are racing for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical solutions to

1) prophylactically help the brain be less at-risk for concussion,
2) stop the swelling at time of impact, and
3) actually heal a brain which has been impaired.

Dr. Jacob Vanlandingham has created one novel solution. Dr. Daniel Amen and his associate Dr. Kristen Willeumier have had promising results for many retired players with the use of a hyperbaric chamber. Dr. Robert Stern, Ann McKee, and pioneering former football player Chris Nowinski have a promising study at Boston University. There are many heroes in this movement.

I love football and think it teaches life lessons and values. Self-discipline, teamwork, real time application of complex plays, courage under pressure, resilience, and incredible camaraderie are all benefits. But if 50 percent of the mothers in this country realize the danger and forbid their teenage sons from playing, it poses an existential threat to football. The game won't die, but the socio-economics of the players will change. The same athletes who use a sport like boxing to escape economic circumstances, even knowing the risk, will compose the majority of players.

Football will never be injury free, but we can act now to make it safer. Parenting is our most critical role on this earth -- we need to protect the most vulnerable youth.

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We're hoping that you have already caught the first two installments of Draft Dreams with Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie and Indiana's Noah Vonleh.

Next up is Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis. Here's a preview:

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