Despite the Mud Dog Run's mud pits and climbing walls, racers usually finish this 5K race. They just don't always finish "alive." That's because in the race's Halloween incarnation, they're not only tackling obstacles, but also fleeing a zombie horde at their heels. Grotesquely made-up creatures stagger along in runner's wakes, excitedly snatching up brains, a.k.a., each runner's health flags hanging at their waists. Finish the race flagless and you're still a winner?but only in the fitness sense. You'll cross the Dead Only finish line and for a week afterward may feel the need to refer to your bed's headboard as your "sleep tombstone." But there's more to this heart-pumping race than just a good time: proceeds go to help build water wells in communities in Ghana.
At MMA & Sport, anyone can turn their bodies into lean, muscular fighting machines under a team of qualified and experienced instructors. Founder Kyle Sefcik is a professional mixed-martial artist as well as a fitness guru and mogul, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu 8th-degree black belt Pedro Sauer honed his craft in his native Brazil under the Gracie family?the originators of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and inventors of the delicious knuckle sandwich. Pupils practice hard-hitting self-defense techniques during Krav Maga classes, or build core muscles with Muay Thai kickboxing courses. In addition to learning martial art skills, members can build better bodies with sessions of yoga, fitness bootcamp, and sports conditioning.
Warriors duck and weave through rainbow-colored obstacles, huge wooden spools, and thickets of trees, all to evade opposing players shooting at them with high-powered paint markers. The farm grounds transform into Torrid Paintball Sports' battlefield, where players engage in scenario games and tournaments with the latest markers and gear.
As a baseball complex devoted entirely to helping young ballplayers achieve their potential, Round Trip Sports' 7,500 square feet of turfed surface is a breeding ground for the pro sluggers and fielders of tomorrow. Batters perfect their swings in one of three 72-foot hitting tunnels equipped with pitching machines, and pitchers take the mound in one of three 72-foot pitching lanes to practice their fastballs and curveballs. The facility also features fast and slow pitching machines for softball players, and a lobby equipped with TV and WiFi.
But all the equipment would be moot without proper guidance, which is why all of Round Trip Sports' instructors are former college players and major leaguers. They lead clinics and camps for kids of all ages, with specified sessions focusing on topics such as speed and agility and strength and coordination. And then there are the camps and the clinics, where experienced instructors and veteran ballplayers impart the fundamentals necessary to the game: batting, pitching, fielding, and the secret hand signal for "hot dog, hold the mustard."
A 20-year veteran of the Professional Golfers Association, instructor Bud Lintelman imparts his knowledge, skills, and fairway philosophies to beginners and future champions. With a carefully programmed agenda and an eagle eye on individual performance evaluation, the MPACT Golf program aims to get novices on the 18-hole road to low-impact athletic enlightenment. Because golf swings are as varied as snowflakes and Aretha Franklin performances, the program takes an individualized approach to helping students. Using video analysis to meticulously dissect drives—with freeze-frame technology revealing where knees and wrists lead a swing astray and slow-motion to show where follow-throughs go askew—Bud Lintelman uses his expertise to shed fledgling duffers of detrimental habits. Students can choose to focus on whichever skills elude them most, whether that means tightening up the short game, overhauling swing mechanics, or learning how to talk to an emotionally unavailable caddy.
Named for its location at the western end of the W&OD Trail, Trail's End Cycling Co welcomes cyclists of all stripes with a hefty inventory of gear and bikes alongside mechanical services. Each of the store's experienced staffers is also a mechanic qualified to fit bikes to riders' proportions or the gaudiness of racing stripes to their egos.
The same able staffers also lead custom tours of wineries, fall foliage, and other seasonal sights in warm weather. During the winter, riders can pedal out of hibernation with indoor training rides atop their own bikes, which are secured on special mounts to keep them from zipping away.