A climber dangles from his belay rope, punching his fists into the air victoriously after reaching the top of the wall. At Climb Time Indy, more than 8,500 square feet of indoor climbing space host 4,000 different holds, giving the walls the colorful appearance of the bench where giants dispose of unwanted chewing gum. The climbing routes are changed regularly by meticulous and experienced climbers, granting regulars new challenges every week. Kids can join in the fun and learn the ropes with coaching during weekly club meetings; private lessons help more mature scalers brush up on skills.
For this 5K race, a normally tame park or other venue is transformed into Mean Streets, an urban-themed obstacle course. In the Construction Zone, participants navigate over and under traffic barriers of different heights followed by a dive into a trash-filled dumpster. After bypassing the dumpster zone, runners test their stamina as cat burglars, scrambling through first-floor windows and trespassing through backyards. They barely touch ground before scaling upward once again on the Time-to-Climb portion of the course, which features a Jason Bourne-esque run across the rooftops. Finally, contestants climb out a window and onto the fire escape, swinging across an 8-foot ladder to reach the finish.
The pits of slime could be anywhere. They potentially wait behind all 30 obstacles along the SlimeAthalon Charity Obstacle Race. Runners need not worry, however—the slime is nontoxic and hypoallergenic. More importantly, it's a lighthearted way to break up the 5K race, which challenges participants of all levels to navigate suspended tunnels and crawl under hurdles. Ample rewards await finishers, including complimentary beers and an after-party. Of course, all of the slime and celebration is for a good cause. The event raises funds for local charities such as Cure for Cancers.
Deep in the verdant expanse of the Lark Valley, the forest’s leaves rustle as a blurry figure glides by. The creature flying across the forest canopy isn’t a bird or acrobatic sport’s mascot returning to its natural habitat. It’s a person strapped into 1 of 10 ziplines at Lark Ranch, which extend more than 1 mile through the surrounding area. Guests slip into safety harnesses and helmets before clipping in the suspended steel cables and soaring high above the valley’s varied topography of lakes, forests, and fields of blossoming holiday sweaters. Elsewhere, lush crops sprout around festive pumpkin patches, encouraging visitors to become one with harvest-time happiness.
While it takes millions of years for Mother Nature to form mountains, the scalable walls at Hoosier Heights in Indianapolis change much more frequently. As Indiana's largest rock-climbing facility?and the second largest climbing gym in the midwest?staffers frequently change the layout of their bouldering and top rope routes, which tower 35?45 feet. Luckily, the team also teaches classes to help climbers navigate those manmade peaks. Some classes take a traditional rock-climbing approach, while others add in fitness disciplines such as yoga, which help students build the balance, focus, and flexibility essential to rock climbing or surviving an out-of-service escalator.
Though it's an airy indoor facility, The Crag Indoor Rock Climbing gym gleans its name from the jagged outdoor cliffs that climbing enthusiasts often strive to summit. Designed by a respected indoor rock-wall builder, The Crag safely recreates the excitement of inching up a punishing rock formation. However, not every wall at the facility is so challenging. It's frequently populated by skilled youth climbers and kids as young as 8. The younger climbers at The Crag often become adept through joining the youth climbing team, or by attending the gym's skill-building summer camp, where campers learn to scale walls by practicing belaying, top roping, and stealing Batman's utility belt. The facility's designer also kept adults and seasoned practitioners in mind by creating more than 100 routes that range in difficulty from beginner to more advanced.