The instructors at Inner Drive Fitness take their cycling seriously. Astride state-of-the-art FreeMotion S11 stationary bicycles, they turn indoor cycling classes into adventures, replicating the rush of real-life races with footage splashed across a large-screen projection system. Their top-of-the-line audio system also keeps students motivated, pumping out techno jams and invigorating bald eagle screeches. The high-octane cycling sessions often blend in aspects of other fitness disciplines, with classes incorporating everything from strength training to yoga moves.
Although the symbol of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a pink ribbon, it represents a powerhouse of breast-cancer research and education. The rallying cry of "I am the cure" represents the foundation's multifaceted approach to fighting the disease, which focuses on community outreach, public perception of the disease, and funding for scientific research. Susan G. Komen for the Cure's work has helped increase early detection, survival rates, and federal funding of groundbreaking breast-cancer research.
Beyond its signature pink ribbon–bedecked merchandise, the Race for the Cure is the centerpiece of the foundation's fundraising and outreach efforts. Originally an 800-person charity race in Dallas, Race for the Cure has blossomed into a series of more than 150 races worldwide, which collectively host more than 1.7 million participants annually. Marathoners, runners, and walkers alike collect sponsorship donations from friends and family as they tackle races of varying lengths, wearing personalized signs on their backs to honor the breast-cancer victims and survivors in their lives. To date, Race for the Cure has raised more than $1.9 billion to support Komen initiatives.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams—comprised of at least two people—vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race–style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
Hosted by the Builders League of South Jersey, the 5th annual Run for Our Troops is a one-day event that challenges participants to walk or run a 5K race in order to raise funds and celebrate the service of America's troops. Special remembrance and celebration ceremonies honor all soldiers who have served in the United States armed forces, and funds raised through the race benefit Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit organization that builds and remodels homes to aid soldiers returning home.
There's room for all types of workouts in Nexxt Level Sports' 22,000-square-foot, climate-controlled facility. Basketball players can hone their technique on two NBA-length hardwood courts, and baseball players can perfect their swings in 70-foot batting cages instead of going to an orchard and waiting for regulation-sized apples to fall. In group-training classes, meanwhile, gym patrons can focus on strength or build endurance with varied circuit workouts, including strength and resistance training. For a more private workout, personal trainers also lead one-on-one sessions, tailoring their exercises to the clients' fitness goals.
On one autumn morning every year at Creamy Acres Farm, the corn stalks shake from more than an early breeze. They are beset by monsters: vampires, werewolves, zombies, all racing through a winding trail as though in pursuit of the same quarry. They aren't hunting, though. They're vying for first place. Runners sweat underneath their faux fangs and matted fur as they compete in the Costume 5k. They zoom through the farm's corn maze and Night of Terror attractions on their way to the finish line, their shoes the only telltale sign of their human roots. Once they reach the race's end, they kick off a celebration, sharing refreshments and listening to music as the staff doles out awards. The race's chief concern is holiday spirit; therefore, its prizes honor top finishers as well as those who wore the best costume, devised the best group costume, and sang "Monster Mash" the least amount of times.