When runners cross the finish line at The Color Fight, they won't see a big digital clock keeping track of the time. For one thing, the race organizers don't track race times, and even if they did, the ticking numbers would be cloaked by a cloud of colorful powder. That's because at each kilometer of the 3-mile race, spectators and race personnel launch handfuls of dyed powder at the runners, creating a vivid spectrum that symbolizes the event's emphasis of fun over victory. In order to make the perfect canvas for the rainbow of colors, runners are encouraged to wear white clothing or wrap themselves in a rain cloud.
At CrossFit Cypher, a battalion of certified Level 1 coaches puts its clients through daily workouts designed to breed a high degree of functional fitness. The gym's atmosphere—one of support, encouragement, and a pinch of competitiveness—goads exercisers to push themselves through one more deadlift, make one more trip up the climbing rope, and refuse to turn on the outboard motor on the ERG rowing machine. The result is improved performance across a number of fitness metrics, including endurance, strength, speed, and agility, to say nothing of the transformations in physique and general health.
J Running puts an extra spring in athletes' steps with its unique racing events. These runs range in distance from breezy 5Ks to slightly less breezy half-marathons, held in scenic locals around Marin County. Most races are themed as well, including a costumed Monster Dash for Halloween, a sporty singles mixer on Valentine's Day, and a birds-only jog on Thanksgiving.
Gym Class Fitness founder and personal trainer Jessica Gereau shares the life skills and slimming techniques learned during her own inspiring weight-loss journey, which left her 60 pounds lighter. During personal-training sessions, instructors focus on accountability—they'll call if students skip class—to cut coach potatoes into shapely french fries. The gym's wall-to-wall mirrors reflect images of treadmills, free weights, and aerobic equipment that facilitate group exercise classes and save students the hassle of hauling in their own Stairmasters. The establishment also hosts run meetups every weekend, where joggers follow a certified coach to explore the East Bay landscape while tracking mileage, oxygen consumption, and times to improve performance.
The stakes are undoubtedly high. At the current rate of donation, more than 30% of people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List will never get the organs they need. California Transplant Donor Network aims to change that by educating people and raising awareness. They also put boots on the ground, facilitating organ and tissue donation by offering assistance to 175 hospitals in California and Nevada. In addition to their donation work, the network holds events such as 5Ks to raise funds and invites families of donors to contribute memories to the Donor Memorial Quilt Project.
At Luke Training Conditioning, certified personal trainer Andre Luke and Josephine works to give clients the push they need to exceed their fitness goals. Drawing on nine years of experience as a trainer and coach, he leads personal-training sessions, boot camps, and TRX suspension classes designed to melt away pounds.