The looks on the runners' faces when they reach the Hell Mile?part fatigue, part excitement, all mud?says it all. Though harrowing, the 1-mile gantlet, which is a simulated Navy SEAL training course complete with drill instructors, comprises just a handful of the over 23 obstacles that make up Running Dirty's 4-mile mud runs. In addition to sloshing through muddy water like a Loch Ness Monster who wants to be seen, contestants climb up walls, crawl through tunnels and under barbed wire, and even leap over burning wood. Those who can't complete a particular obstacle can either seek help from a fellow runner or skip the obstacle entirely. At the end of the race, everyone can bond during the after party, which includes live music and fun activities like beer pong and keg-tossing contests.
A hardcore runner might laugh at the idea of a race that's only five miles long??until they realize the course has more than 25 obstacles designed to challenge the runners' physical and mental strength. That's the Siege Race, an event designed by elite law enforcement to help athletes feel more courageous and confident in their abilities. The obstacles include everything from scaling walls and inclined monkey bars to challenges such as climbing cargo nets and carrying weighted poles. Participants aren't required to conquer each obstacle, but those wanting to give it their best try can sign up for pre-race training events where trainers help runners practice on the actual obstacles.
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.
During 60-minute private lessons, one of Tennis in Urbana’s certified pros helps racket wielders acquire and develop proficiency in every aspect of the game, including ball striking, serving, and winking at umpires. The pros will drive up to 30 minutes from the Tennis in Urbana facility to meet students at a court of their choice. Six-week clinics challenge a minimum of four individuals with intensive workouts that focus on a particular skill set or aspect of the game. Junior clinics are divvied up by age group: Tiny Tots clinics teach youngsters aged 4–7, Big Shots clinics focus on kids ages 7–10, and Academy clinics prepare 13- to 17-year-olds for competition with intense stroke drills, rigorous conditioning exercises, and trophy-kissing practice. Adult clinics offer men and women choices between clinics designed for their skill levels and clinics designed for cardiovascular exercise.
Ron Layman's decorative indoor-painting instruction harks back to thousands of years of artisans' decorative and faux-finishing techniques. Drawing from the colorful traditions of neoclassical plaster finishes and trompe l’oeil techniques, his methods build on the past while incorporating modern styles of glazing and color washing. His commissioned work can be seen in private homes and commercial locales, and when he's not imbuing work and living spaces with his talents, Ron teaches multiple-day workshops in The Faux School studio nestled in Frederick's historical district.
Drawing on 20 years of experience as a master painter with the North American Decorative Artist Association and boasting the ability to spell Michelangelo, Ron guides artists of all levels through basic and advanced home-design techniques, incorporating paint, textured finishes, and lime-based Venetian plasters, which add depth to plain walls and floors. Ron also helps his students to explore new approaches to home decoration, with lessons that help students to take control of their environments or take steps toward forming their own home-decorating businesses, regardless of prior artistic experience.
Liberty Road Golf Center's multifaceted facilities help golfers fine-tune swings with every club in their bag. Piercing drives, pinpoint approaches, and remote-controlled flop shots take flight from the Center's 20-stall driving range before touching down in a field peppered with yardage-marked flags and realistic faux bunkers to simulate on-course targets. A stint at the short-game practice area preps clubbers for a round at the nine-hole, par 3 course, where players launch tee shots onto slick, artificial greens and punish egotistical drivers by making them sit out for the round. While practice areas sharpen swings, master club tinkerer Mark J. Diley re-grips, re-shafts, and repairs clubs, and the center offers rental drivers and 6-irons for those without their own set. The Center also encompasses outdoor batting cages, where mechanical hurlers sling softballs and baseballs at eight different speed settings.