Running in Lakeland

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The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening Shaolin kung-fu class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.

6838 U.S. 70
Bartlett,
TN
US

The LuvMud Benefit Event sends costumed sprinters charging and trudging along a 5K course riddled with mud, obstacles, and more mud in order to raise funds for Habitat for Hope, a nonprofit organization supporting the families of seriously ill children. Having grown each year since its inception in 2010, the annual race challenges individuals and teams to conquer tough terrain designed with varying levels of difficulty so as to accommodate participants of all fitness levels. Along the route, spectators gather to scout the action, and volunteers stand by to provide directions and tips, such as reminding racers not to eat any mud without sprinkling on a few blades of grass first.

After making it through the final, massive, 50-foot mud pit and crossing the finish line, finishers recharge their bionic legs with fruit, water, and snacks. Meanwhile, an all-day festival celebrates the occasion with live music and food vendors, and showering equipment supplied by the Memphis Fire Department cleans off any caked-on mud and sweat from the race. LuvMud also holds special races that allow participants’ dogs to join in the fun, as well as all-night camping events that include nighttime racing and live music.

Mud Island
Memphis,
TN
US

The course designers behind the Mud Crusade know how to handle a physical challenge. Mark Chmura, a former Green Bay Packer; Chris Watts, a former US Marine Corps reconnaissance officer; Matt Peters, a former Los Angeles police officer and sniper; and John Thomas, a middle-aged dad and carpentry extraordinaire, devised the 5K course to test participants’ mettle by bombarding them with 18 obstacles, including barbed-wire crawls, climbing walls, and mud pits. Like Poseidon during a pillow fight, athletes tackle the course in waves, competing for bragging rights before heading to a rollicking after party drenched in mud, sweat, and good spirits. A portion of the race’s proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which supports wounded troops and their families.

5500 Victory Ln.
Millington,
Tennessee
US

Crowds of people decked out in leg warmers and bandanas, sporting popped collars on their Members Only jackets and rocking Wayfarer shades. It sounds more like a Duran Duran video shoot than a fun-run, and that's the gist of the 80's Retro Run. Set to a soundtrack of the decade's best tunes, the throwback 5K celebrates the years that gave the world MTV and landfills full of unsolved Rubik's Cubes. Contestants are encouraged to dress up like their favorite '80s icon as they run, walk, or moonwalk their way to the finish line. After they've completed the course, revelers can shake it up at the after-party, where cover bands and DJs kick out nostalgic jams. Proceeds from the Retro Run benefit local charities, and all contestants receive their own headband, an event T-shirt, and an excuse to show off their collection of antique slap bracelets.

Shelby Farms
Memphis,
TN
US

The Urban Dare Adventure Race is a fast-paced competition that challenges two-person teams to decipher clues, navigate the city, and perform playful stunts. Combining the bustle of a track meet with the brain-taxing sleuth work of a luge competition, the race uses a dozen trivia-based clues to lead contestants to checkpoints all over their sprawling metropolis. Location hunters reach their checkpoints by whatever means necessary, be it hopping a bus downtown, flying madly through a network of secret ziplines, or scuba-diving in a fountain for bus fare. At the mini destinations, racers must use a camera to document their presence or, in some cases, get their passports stamped after completing challenges that may include a climbing wall or solving a riddle.

130 Peabody Place
Memphis,
TN
US

The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set

500 North Pine Lake Drive
Memphis,
TN
US