At 6,531 feet above sea level, Security Service Field is the highest professional ballpark in the United States. It was built in 1988 on the edge of Colorado Springs, and, in August 2012, it welcomed its six millionth fan through the turnstiles. This feat of fandom was but a dream in 1903, though, when the Sky Sox—then the Sacramento Solons—became a charter member of the Pacific Coast League. In 1961, the Solons became the Islanders and relocated to Honolulu, where the franchise remained until 1988, the year it finally moved to Colorado, and the year Pikes Peak began mysteriously sprouting foul poles. Upon arriving in its new city, the franchise adopted the Sky Sox moniker—a tip of the cap to the Sky Sox of the 1950s, who played in the Western League as an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The modern-day Sky Sox have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies since 1993, and in 2011, the team earned the nod as Triple-A Organization of the Year courtesy of Baseball America.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Generally, adulthood forces people to give up childish pleasures, robbing them of the joy associated with playing in puddles, unearthing hidden treasure, and being silly in public. Sierra Adventure Sports wants grownups to regress, if only for a day. In service of that goal, the company organizes a variety of novel races that range from city scavenger hunts for the casual adventurer to creative triathlon courses for the ambitious athlete.
The Mad Mud Run, for instance, challenges participants to sprint and frolic through a dirty and deliciously fun outdoor obstacle course littered with manmade obstructions such as cargo nets, hills of hay bales, monkey bars, and slimy mud pits. Extreme Heat Adventure Races combine equal parts triathlon and scavenger hunt to create a 10?12K journey filled with running, river rafting, and mystery challenges that could pit teams against anything from blindfolded puzzles to wall climbs. Most Sierra Adventure Sports events encourage racers to compete in costumes of all types save for gremlins, which multiply in water and unfairly dominate the timed results.
The National Veterans Day Run aims to serve as a nationwide demonstration of support for veterans and the men and women currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. Currently, the event includes organized races spread across 15 cities in early November, all united under a common cause. Across the country, these events can include a one-mile walk, a 5K and 11K race, and a half marathon, depending on the city. Proceeds will be used to allow veterans and active-duty military personnel to participate in these races at reduced rates.
For its 2014 event, the National Veterans Day Run has partnered with Operation Gratitude: a charitable organization that annually distributes more than 100,000 care packages to veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, caregivers, and active military personnel deployed overseas. Event coordinators encourage participants to support the efforts of this organization by pledging a donation during the registration process.
Throngs of excited runners crouch along the starting line, all dressed in pristine white T-shirts. As the Color in Motion 5K begins, the sea of bodies sets off along the course, where handfuls of purple-, blue-, and yellow-colored powder start flying in from the sidelines. The safe concoction of cornstarch and dye sprinkles onto faces, shirts, shorts, and skin, dressing runners in a technicolor haze. Teams or individuals make their way through the 5K course, and finish the race wearing a pallet of washable and biodegradable paint. Each race partners and benefits local charities, with racers running individually, in teams, or sponsored by their favorite Crayola color.
Created specifically for the community of Colorado Springs, BigDogBrag events inspire racers of all fitness levels, from seasoned athletes to those looking to get in shape, to stay "Colorado Fit" while proving that mud is temporary and glory is forever. The organization transforms local venues?such as the 86-acre RAM Off-Road Park?into swampy, obstacle-laden courses. There, muck-faced competitors gallop through canyons, leap across creek beds, and attempt to hurdle obstacles and mud pits keeping their knee-deep competitors captive.