It was 1869 when the Lee family planted its first seed in the soil of Tualatin, Oregon. Today, three generations of the family still keep Lee Farms' lights on and its scarecrows vaccinated. They stock the country store with local produce, 18 flavors of honey sticks, and 17 varieties of jam. In the bakery, the staff hand makes pies each day, baking perennial favorites such as apple and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin.
To keep things fresh, Lee Farms rotates the selection of food and activities each season. In May a greenhouse surrounds visitors in flowers, and in October the farm transforms into a celebration of the harvest season, when guests can pick from 12 varieties of pumpkins. Lee's staff cuts down stalks to make a corn maze and drives visitors on scenic hayrides across the farm while they sample kettle corn and homemade cider.
When he's not whipping the youth soccer players of the Portland Timbers into shape, Waterfront Fitness's owner Jason Bell heads to the city’s riverside parks to shape up everyday citizens with rigorous athletic drills. He and his team of qualified instructors convene beneath Portland's sky during all but the coldest months, incinerating calories during one-hour boot camps held every morning and evening. These sessions include activities such as strength circuits, Interval training, games, and box fit, which features high-speed punching drills and cardiovascular throwdowns beneath the boughs of mighty park trees. The trainers also provide general and sport-specific personal training for exercisers in search of an intense, highly personalized regimen to build muscle or burn fat.
During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a frantic race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first-place award of $200. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned consulting detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, quick wits and wise planning will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and T-shirt, and fees also help toward contributions to partner charities and the prize pool. The website offers a regular FAQ and Groupon FAQ page with further details on the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring a boa constrictor, and more.
The Fire Dash doesn't simply test participants as runners—it tests them as if they were probationary firefighters ("probies") completing tasks actual recruits would have to accomplish. The 5K obstacle course begins with a flat-out sprint and then finds probies crawling through tunnels obstructed by smoke, fire, and lost kittens. Although each obstacle can be completed individually, some are more easily tackled by teaming up with fellow runners—as the firefighters who designed the race say, "leaving others behind to get to the finish line isn't a good trait for firefighters."
To honor the race's inspiration, a portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and local benevolent funds.
In her two-plus decades in the fitness industry, master trainer and owner of Miss Fit Adventures Nikki Becker has compiled a pretty impressive resume filled with certifications and specialties. But perhaps her most important attribute is her genuine desire to help others reach their goals.
Using the canyons, mountains, and rivers of the Pacific Northwest as her playground, Nikki along with the Miss Fit Adventures team leads fitness enthusiasts into the wild during rewarding outdoors experiences. The team also leads one-on-one training sessions and fitness classes under the sturdy roof of the Miss Fit studio in Portland, which keeps extraterrestrials from learning too much about human fitness routines.
The team at 8 Track Experience doesn't like their races to blend into the pack. A popular offering is the 8 Track Relay that thrives on a '70s disco party theme, and 8 Track Experience also grants its participants slip and slides, live bands, and a beer garden. The company has raised more than $450,000 to date for local nonprofits while granting its participants rollicking times, hot showers, camaraderie, and entirely legal runner's highs.