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.
Bear Creek Stables, three-time winner of the U.S. Commerce Association’s Best of Columbia Award for horseback riding, pairs equestrians with noble steeds for a scenic jaunt down the trails surrounding Florabrook Farms. To ensure compatibility between trail mates, riders approach their hoofed cohorts in the pasture, selecting their mounts based on essential criteria, such as temperament and eyelash length. Once saddled up, small groups of six or fewer follow the lead of a knowledgeable guide down 1 of the 20 available trails designated by experience level. Beginners might take the reins for a trot along the glittering pond-edged Homestead path, winding past old home sites before dovetailing with the Pine Ridge trail for a 0.7-mile trek, on which deer are often spotted relaxing after a long day of practicing startled looks. The intermediate Holly Haven trail meanders through holly trees, and the intensive Stepping Creek trail sends advanced riders bounding over four streams and galloping across an open field.
With certifications in golf instruction and club fitting and a degree from the Golf Academy of America, assistant pro Adam Sanford fosters smooth swings and improved skills in each club-toting trainee. Adam imparts hard-won golf wisdom at the Club's comprehensive practice facility, which features areas to hone full swings, putts, chips, and scissor-kick approaches. The 45–60 minute lesson helps iron out on-course kinks by giving special attention to short-game fundamentals, the most critical facet to holistic golf improvement and overcoming the taunts from rival fans sitting in the sand-bunker bleachers.
In an effort to banish the long waiting lines and spread-out obstacles of other mud runs, the organizers of Armageddon Ambush, The Extreme Mud Run, have designed a fun and unique competition that is extreme and unpredictable with more than 15 professionally constructed obstacles built by licensed contractors, including climbing walls and tire pits. To keep things unpredictably colorful, they also set up powdered color ambushes throughout the course. An after-party with beer, food, and live music offers participants an opportunity to dance off the mixture of mud and paint, a much more fun alternative to showering and a much safer one than rolling around on a cop's freshly washed squad car. (However, washing off is also available.)
A group of Navy SEALs designed the BattleFrog Race Series. This trio of obstacle courses?15K, 5K, and 1K?challenges bodies and minds with scenarios similar to what SEALs face in their training sessions. Each course has a different number of obstacles. Participants climb nets, slosh through mud, and swim with intensity, all while building teamwork and testing their endurance. The events also feature live SEAL demonstrations and exhibits along with food and music.
The wellness experts at Health Advantage Fitness know that an able body doesn't come from exercise alone. Gym workouts are just the foundation for a healthier body. That's why their gym offers more than just rows of treadmills and shelves of free weights. In addition to the typical gym machines, a nutritional counselor and chiropractor also perform other wellness services, from diet help to spinal adjustments.