Through the haze of orange smoke bombs, a paintballer sets his sights on an opponent hiding behind a gutted helicopter before taking on others in a fort, leaving its wooden slats with freshly glistening paintball splatter. On more than 56 acres of varying terrain comprising 12 courses, players such as these negotiate the wooded ghost town of West World, the bombed-out automobiles of Black Hawk Down, or the fenced-in speedball court populated with large, inflatable obstacles. Throughout the imaginative battlefields, paintballers slink through elevated lookouts or cross streams over platform bridges and weave through forests while trying out their best tree imitations. The fields also play host to tournaments and a variety of themed games and can be booked for bachelor parties, youth-group events, and corporate team-building outings.
At The Gentle Zoo, youngsters feed pigs, pat ducklings, and interact with the other fuzzy residents. Elsewhere on the zoo’s 10 acres, guests can leap about on the bounce house, blast corn from the corn cannon, navigate the maze, or enjoy a leisurely ride on the tractor train. Such attractions enthrall kids at onsite birthday parties, while the mobile petting zoo’s 12–15 staff-supervised animals offer nuzzles and create memories in children's minds. The creatures also hit the road for the animal-encounters program, which combines hands-on animal contact with educational 45-minute presentations. The Gentle Zoo donates its proceeds from the program to its Creature Connection, Inc. nonprofit, which rehabilitates rescue animals before they participate in outreach programs for foster children and at-risk youth.
During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.
Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too?the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
The Survival Race?s 5-kilometer track challenges racers to navigate a gauntlet of mud-laden terrain. Staggered waves of up to 300 runners each conquer military-style obstacles, wade through murky water, and slide through muddy trenches before reaching the finish line to celebrate at a shindig awash with delicious eats and smitten swamp monsters. Afterward, a Facebook album aids online nostalgia by showcasing dirt-caked athletes and their marshy feats.
Each year, MudManX issues runners the world?s dirtiest challenge: a race across mud-slathered obstacles that test both agility and laundry skills. Designed with the assistance of US Special Forces and Mother Nature's cool sister who lets you play in puddles, the course features obstacles inspired by the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. While exploring the course, runners travel through mud pits, past fiery trails, and over icy water before securing the boon of beer and live music. The post-race after party welcomes a DJs and includes a MiniX obstacle course so children as young as eight can finally discover the joys of getting dirty.
In the fall, MudManX also gets into the spirit with the MudSpooktacular, a Halloween-themed race that turns the mud course into a battleground for survival. In addition to navigating obstacles, runners also have to contend with waves of undead attackers, evading the costumed ghouls during a desperate dash for the finish line. No matter the tie of year, proceeds from the events benefit the American Red Cross, whose volunteers often rush through harsh and dirty conditions to deliver food, clothing, shelter, and comfort to those in need.