Racing Humans events pit earthlings against 5 kilometers of treacherous terrain riddled with hills, hurdles, and enough mud to make a bathtub look into early retirement. During spectator-friendly adventures, racers are challenged with a strenuous course, but must conquer a series of obstacles as well, including crawling under barbed wire, swimming across lakes, and high stepping over stacks of logs. Course officials keep feet moving along the route, and afterward, an awards ceremony recognizes the day's fastest competitors and best costumes. Racing Humans also hosts 1-mile events for youngsters aged 7–14, during which kids surmount obstacles without help from their parents or answers from the back of the teacher’s book.
The seasoned paranormal investigators at the Spirit Quest Center instruct burgeoning ghostbusters in the art of spectral detection on its spine-tingling Spring Ghost Tour. Before embarking into the ectoplasmic world, Spirit Quest preps spirit walkers ages 10 and older with a Ghost Hunting 101 lesson. Students learn investigation techniques such as detecting magnetic-field disturbances, using dowsing rods to communicate directly with specters, and uncovering electric voice phenomena (EVP) in digital recordings that capture the kelpie vibrato of karaoke phantasms. A professional paranormal investigator then leads the tour past some of Old Town Spring's oldest buildings, regaling the fascinating history of the vexed settlement with frequent stops for ghostly apparitions and interaction. During the 2.5- to three-hour tour, phantom pursuers may get the chance to chat with the poltergeists through the medium’s translation, asking questions about ghostly life and what it’s like to hang out with Elvis.
Since 2000, the experienced climbers at Boulders Sport Climbing Center have been helping visitors ascend not just walls, but also toward their goals. Each and every new climber undergoes the orientation and belay training, during which they get accustomed to the facility, the equipment, and chanting the mantra, "Don't Look Down." After that, they can try their hands and feet on the 40-foot walls, lead wall, free-standing boulder, or 30-foot rappel tower.
Nestled on 4 acres of cultivated land, Sowing Seeds offers a bevy of hands-on gardening classes for plant appreciators of all ages. Best Mother Nature by creating small, portable, container gardens that can survive without her tear-filled downpours, or kids can get crafty by combining rocks, plants, and tiny garden accents to create fanciful mini landscapes. Salsa-making sessions show apprentices how to grow all the veggies needed to craft a fresh batch of savory dip, and include Sowing Seeds' very own salsa recipes. Herb Gardening 101 sends sprouting gardeners home with a seed selection of a variety of popular flavor-enhancing plants. Composting classes teach eco-friendly folks how to turn waste such as food scraps, paper, and grass clippings into organic, nutrient-packed soil that can improve the health of plants and act as a rejuvenating face mask for aging garden gnomes.
Growing up in El Paso near Hueco Tanks led Austin Rock Gym owner Troy Wilson to view rock climbing as a way of life. In order to open his own facility he merged his experience running youth climbing programs and gyms with that of his wife and coowner Erica—a Houston native who has spent years scaling New Mexico's rocky ridges. Specializing in bouldering, belaying, and lead climbing, the duo brings mountain terrain indoors at two Austin area locations. The north Austin gym's 30-foot bouldering wall and colorful climbing routes challenge visitors to traverse steep angles, and its top-rope routes let belayed crag clingers scale to the perfect yodeling height. At the south Austin gym, sculpted, 30-foot textured walls loom over a 10,000-square-foot facility, in which climbers can belay, practice lead climbing, or conquer a bouldering cave.
Veteran climbers at each location teach classes and private lessons for rookie rockers 4 and older. In addition to bouldering, lead climbing, and belaying classes, instructors lead women's only sessions and Powerhouse courses that focus on strengthening the body's core. Troy and Tracy's team of experts also guides groups to outdoor climbing venues and lugs a portable rock wall to construction workers no longer challenged by ladders.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.