Climbing in Fort Myers

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The recipe: take 5 miles of mud trails, fill them with more than 25 obstacles, add snow, and serve. The Badass Bash obstacle course is more than a race—it's a battle where competitors learn what they are made of. Across the 5-mile course, participants dash, clamber, and crawl through and over a series of obstacles inspired by firefighter, police, and military training. The favorites are back (Target Practice, Submarine Mines, and Check the Attic, among others), but there's also The Badass Bash's take on holiday cheer: Santa's Sack, Chimney Sweep, Don't Drop the Ornament, and more. But the real kicker is the snow. The event's organizers haul in a bunch of the cold white stuff, adding a chilly but festive note to the high-octane event. While adults are getting their hands dirty, kids 12 and younger can do the same on their own 0.5-mile course, the Kick Butt Kids Elf Bash. After the race, guests can mingle at the after party, which is livened up by free beer and live entertainment.

A portion of the proceeds of The Badass Bash benefits three fire, police, and veterans’ charities. All of the proceeds from the Kick Butt Kids Bash go to Caleb's Crusade, which helps children and families who are battling pediatric cancer.

44570 Bermont Rd
Punta Gorda,
FL
US

A glance up at the high canopies of TreeUmph! Adventure Course's 14 forested acres yields views of beautiful flora, birds, and... humans. Though the people aren't native to these trees, most of the activities here are set high up in the foliage, giving groups a chance to see what the birds see. Among the attractions, you can speed down the woods' biggest obstacle, the Triumph zip line: a 650-foot cable that starts 60 feet high and descends toward the forest floor. The five age-appropriate elevated courses here complement the low-height Climb-On course with flat, netted walkways, a zip line, and monkey bridges meant to challenge customers with progressively more difficult courses. After completing the first four courses, course-goers can be cleared to ascend to the Summit.

Then there's the most challenging Summit course, which features the park's most demanding obstacles. But these attractions aren't just designed to thrill: they're also designed to challenge, both mentally and physically, and to be entirely environmentally friendly. Aerial platforms are secured by compression rather than bolts, which allows the trees to continue growing unobstructed and roots are protected by winding trails and barriers.

21805 E State Road 70
Bradenton,
FL
US

Established: 2010

Reservations/Appointments: Recommended

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Quantity and Quality of Obstacles.

Recommended Age Group: Adults

Pick a verb?crawl, climb, drag, lift, sprint?and chances are, you'll be executing it during a US Obstacle Racing event. Throughout the year, US Obstacle Racing bounces around the country organizing obstacle-laden races on beaches, in the mountains, across flatlands, and just about anywhere in nature that's accessible and not yet overrun by Sasquatches.

The organization hosts three styles of events, each more extreme than the last. Their Mud Race 5K series challenges competitors of all abilities with a grimy course peppered with more than 25 obstacles, such as climbing walls, barbed wire, hurdles, and rope walks. However, seasoned racers can truly test themselves with the OCR 100?a course riddled with 100 obstacles, designed specifically for experienced athletes?or the Elite Legend 24?a 24-hour gauntlet of obstacles and puzzles that rewards winners with a gigantic cash prize.

Q&A with Fred, Event Coordinator

When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?

Due to our long history in the Adventure Race industry. The executives of our company were hired to consult and develop obstacles for some of the first obstacle course race companies in the USA. We wanted to improve on the business model, increase the number of obstacles and up the level of challenge instead of decreasing the number like they are doing.

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

We have one hundred obstacles in this race, which makes it the largest obstacle course race in the world.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

This course has a $10,000.00 first place challenge.

Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?

Yes, the obstacles are a real challenge.

6311 Burts Road
Tampa,
FL
US

Cupids Bar Crawl invites ladies and gentlemen?single or paired up?to express their devotion or disdain for the holiday of lovers by hitting eight hot spots across the city. The crawl begins at 6:30 p.m. at Tequilas on Valentine's Day, and ventures to seven other locations, where participants revel in free shots and swag from Fireball Whisky. At the end of the three-hour crawl, partiers return to Tequilas to soak up the libations with light food and to nurse any wounds from Cupid's arrow. Proceeds from Cupids Bar Crawl benefit the Michael Agana Memorial Scholarship at USF.

6300 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach,
FL
US

During the Backwoods Challenge, runners shimmy through a tunnel of mud, step across a balance beam, army-crawl under barbed wire, and shoot through a slide before plunging into a pond. And for some of them, there isn't even a prize on the line. In addition to frequent competitive races, Backwoods Challenge also hosts fun runs and mud-run training sessions. Either way, the 5K course, which pushes bodies and minds to the brink, forces participants to confront more than 25 obstacles that test their physical prowess. Only those who aren't afraid to get down and dirty in the mud can conquer all of the manmade and natural obstacles.

16000 Rockridge Road
Polk City,
FL
US

The Tampa Bay Seafood Festival brings together local merchants and great music for a weekend of celebration that benefits the Friends of Tampa Recreation. Refreshments scheduled to make an appearance include award-winning chowder from Chowder Heads, crab bites and fish tacos from Coastal Crab Company, and Mama Jugs' tasty iced tea. Les Dudek headlines the musical schedule on Saturday, filling the air with his original blues tunes, and the melodious four-person harmonies from Mo' Gravy kick off Sunday's festivities, followed up by The Shakes Society, The Bobby Friss Band, and Doug the reggae seagull.

705 Channelside Drive
Tampa,
FL
US