Runners and walkers clad in white Blacklight Run T-shirts gather and prepare for the starting bell. Once it sounds, they take off to run a simple 5K route, but by end, they?ll hardly recognize themselves. That?s because along the way they will pass glow zones, where watchers douse them in a nontoxic neon powder that glows under the black lights and changes their clothes into artwork. Once they cross the finish line, they attend the Blacklight Run After Party, complete with DJ-spun tunes and another color throw every 15 minutes as photographers snap shots.
Throngs of excited runners crouch along the starting line, all dressed in pristine white T-shirts. As the Color in Motion 5K begins, the sea of bodies sets off along the course, where handfuls of purple-, blue-, and yellow-colored powder start flying in from the sidelines. The safe concoction of cornstarch and dye sprinkles onto faces, shirts, shorts, and skin, dressing runners in a technicolor haze. Teams or individuals make their way through the 5K course, and finish the race wearing a pallet of washable and biodegradable paint. Each race partners and benefits local charities, with racers running individually, in teams, or sponsored by their favorite Crayola color.
Here are the sounds you'll hear at a typical marathon: huff, puff, wheeze, snort, repeat. Here are the sounds you'll hear at the Hit and Run 5K: sploosh, boing, splat, whoopee, and other onomatopoeias that haven't yet been invented. Less like a race and more like running through a living cartoon, the Hit and Run 5K's obstacle course of inflatable onslaughts has been known to "make ninjas cry."
Dodging, ducking, leaping, and balancing across a wet-and-rubbery battlefield, contestants face formidable foes such as the giant spinning balls of the Duck or Dive, the unreliable puffy poles of the Wobble Walk, the flying wet menaces at the Whacking Wall, and the Bouncy Bridge, which is kind of like London's Tower Bridge if it were any fun. All contestants receive their own spiffy T-shirts and matching headbands?a fetching ensemble that instantly deflates roving dodge balls?along with a hearty packet of deals from the race's sponsors.
The surf culture of the 1960s lives on at Cowabunga Bay. A wood-paneled station wagon, bright floral beach umbrellas, and a 1967 Volkswagen bus parked alongside the lazy river all showcase the water park's vintage aesthetic. The 35,000-square-foot wave pool even features a backdrop inspired by drive-in theaters, allowing visitors to debate the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey while swells roll into shore.
Despite its sunny vintage trappings, Cowabunga Bay boasts thoroughly modern attractions. The Zuma Zooma slide, for instance, drops riders from a launch capsule 73 feet above the ground and sends them flying around a 360-degree horizontal loop before they splash into a pool. The Point Panic slide provides a different sort of thrilling experience, as visitors twist and turn within a pitch-black slide illuminated by occasional bursts of color. A separate section of smaller slides and splash pools welcomes younger guests, and casual snack shops and cafes serve pizza, nachos, and classic pineapple whip.
Acrobat Sorin Salcianu has exercised his high-flying skills in performances with Cirque du Soleil and international competitions. His wife Tammy has spent more than three decades building muscle as a competitive gymnast and fitness trainer. Both are United States Academy of Gymnasts–certified coaches. As the co-owners and directors of the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance, they draw from their combined fitness backgrounds to lead a team of instructors from Romania, Argentina, France, Canada, and the United States. With this international team, the school is able to draw from fitness and dance training styles from around the world. The resulting programs include leveled, kid-focused courses in recreational and junior-level professional gymnastics as well as tumbling, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop dance.