Taking place on rugged, 10K–12K courses across the country, the Green Beret Challenge gives participants the chance to demonstrate the legendary toughness and endurance of the race's namesakes. In teams of two or four, male, female, and coed crews all take a stab at glory. Armed with backpacks, lengths of rope, and sturdy D-rings, each team must prove its mental and physical tenacity by tackling a series of challenges that require participants to scale obstacles and carry heavy loads across mud, sand, and other surfaces. Every race is followed by a celebration, during which winners are awarded prizes and every of-age finisher receives a complimentary beer to quench thirst and complement endorphin highs.
Designed by U.S. Special Forces and reality-show veterans, The Dirty Hog’s mud runs⎯held throughout the U.S. and Canada⎯promote teamwork and tenacity on untimed 9- to 12-mile treks through mudslicks peppered with obstacle-laden checkpoints. Participants shape their destiny at multiple checkpoint challenges, with each success potentially shortening the trek ahead and each failure earning burdens such as sacks of pig feed or a piglet that must be raised to maturity. As alternatives to the full course, a shortened, 5-kilometer option enables exertion on a smaller scale, and a half-mile piglet run grants children a chance to delve into the mud. The surpassing of tests earns mud navigators colored bracelets that are tradable for beer, hearty pork fare, and other delights at a free after party awash in live music and celebratory grunts from Lola, the event’s mascot boar. Teams cry out victory chants as solo entrants compliment each other on mud stains in the shape of Herbert Hoover’s silhouette.
Before stepping onto the ice or the baseball diamond, members of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Durham Bulls pay a visit to Eye Care Associates, who have provided top-notch eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eye exams for nearly 35 years. Founded by Dr. Stephen Bolick, the team of vision specialists at the center help rid blurriness from pucks, balls, and signs held by adoring fans. When they?re not gazing into the eyes of athletes, they and their fellow doctors at a network of clinics stay busy correcting the vision of seniors, children, and adults. The company topped Indy Week's 2012 Readers? Choice poll for best optometrists in the area and received a Standing Ovation award as the best eyecare center in the Triangle in 2012 from readers of Metro Magazine.
Ladies spin around poles, dance on chairs, and roll on the floor during fun and flirty workout classes. Twelve stainless steel professional poles in the main dance room span from the sleek wood floor to the 10-foot ceiling, while a private instruction studio holds two more poles. The female-centric workouts serve to boost self-esteem while burning calories and toning bodies. The studio often hosts parties with a convenient on-site kitchen.
When renowned course architect Ellis Maples first laid eyes on the rolling expanse of land in the Sandhills, he knew he had found the venue for his next course. Whispering Woods Golf Club encompasses both gentle slopes and steeper hills, offering a dynamic canvas atop which Maples designed holes with stark elevation changes. Today, golfers encounter a diverse layout that showcases anything from treacherously undulating bentgrass greens to a small roller coaster for bored caddies to enjoy. Carolina pines line the edges of the fairways and greens throughout the round, stretching out their thin trunks to snag any errant shots. The end product of Ellis’s vision is an 18-hole, 6,324-yard layout described by course architect Dan Maples, Ellis’s son, as “a golf course designed with the average player in mind, but good players won’t find a pushover.”