At Santé Fitness & Wellness at the Chase Park Plaza, 18,000 square feet of space, an outdoor swimming pool, and an expansive schedule of fitness classes skim the surface of its lavish facility. Guests can take advantage of WiFi, personal TVs, upscale fitness machines, and protein shakes and beverages; personal trainers can plan private Pilates sessions and individual health coaching.
It’s only 5 kilometers long, but the Zombie Survival Dash, as the name might suggest, is a bit more than the average run. As runners tagged with timing chips for tracking, placement, and action shots make their way toward the finish line, they're also equipped with three flags representing their health. Meanwhile, the course's stretch is littered with both traditional obstacles and costumed zombies who block, stumble, and chase runners and attempt to steal their health flags.
All the while, spectators look on, as every half hour a wave of 300 survivors is unleashed upon the course. Then, spectators, survivors, and zombies retire hand-in-hand to an all-day after party with live music and entertainment, just like at the end of a real zombie movie. Vendors dispense food and drink as partiers participate in zombie-themed fair activities such as faux-grenade tosses and body-bag drags.
Just as the sun begins to sink, the Twilight Turkey Trot commences. In the waning light, participants run or walk 5 kilometers through Forest Park with fellow fitness enthusiasts. After all, the goal of the race isn't to win, but rather to foster a community that pays close attention to wellness. That's why the Turkey Trot's profits support local fitness activities and nurses.
While childhood obesity is a topic that receives widespread attention, registered nurse Jean Huelsing uncovered a facet of the issue that many have overlooked: Some of the very "fat camps" designed to help overweight kids slim down were actually part of the problem. She takes issue with these camps’ short-term approach, as they rely on fast-acting diets rather than instilling healthier lifestyle habits. Striving to succeed where other camps failed, Jean started Camp Jump Start in 2003 and, just three years and a score of happy campers later, founded The Living Well Foundation to extend the reach of her holistic-wellness principles.
The organization now hosts a wide range of camps for adults and children alike. They’re held at Living Well Village, which occupies 250 acres in the woods, where campers can develop a love for active pastimes through outdoor activities, such as navigating ropes courses, fishing, and juggling beavers.
As part of the annual Arnold Days celebration, the 5K Root Beer Foam Fest sends sports drinks to the sidelines in favor of—what else?—root beer. Along a route that winds through Arnold City Park, water- and root beer-chugging stations keep runners and walkers fueled for the five-kilometer jaunt. A foam-pit finish line awaits at the course's end, welcoming participants into a post-race party with root beer drinks, breakfast foods, and a photographer documenting the day's events. But it's not all foam and games: serious racers can compete for awards, which are given to the top performers in seven different age groups. Plus, the 5K is professionally timed, meaning runners can leave their antique grandfather clocks at home.