Xperience Adventures sends thrill seekers scampering through cities across the U.S., unlocking clues and toppling challenges en route to race-day glory. Teams of up to five rely on technology—the Internet, texting, and apps—and their own savvy to move quickly from one checkpoint to the next. The catch: they can only travel under their own power or via public transit, meaning no hitching rides with taxis, pedicabs, or flying saucers. Though participants map out their own itinerary, races typically cover a distance of three to six miles. Once every team has successfully conquered the course, they can meet up during an after party at a local brewery, restaurant, or sports bar to celebrate their accomplishments with food and drink specials.
The instructors at Inner Drive Fitness take their cycling seriously. Astride state-of-the-art FreeMotion S11 stationary bicycles, they turn indoor cycling classes into adventures, replicating the rush of real-life races with footage splashed across a large-screen projection system. Their top-of-the-line audio system also keeps students motivated, pumping out techno jams and invigorating bald eagle screeches. The high-octane cycling sessions often blend in aspects of other fitness disciplines, with classes incorporating everything from strength training to yoga moves.
The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes & 5K empowers runners and walkers to contribute to the battle against Type 1 diabetes one stride at a time. Racers dash through a marked 5K track, testing their endurance and pursuing a personal best—whether by shaving off a few seconds, finishing a race for the first time, or crossing the line before their shadow does. Attendees can also demonstrate support by enrolling their dogs, who can also take part in the race. Whether running or walking, all participants work toward the same goal: raising funds and awareness for JDRF’s mission to contribute to treatments, and eventually a cure, for Type 1 diabetes.
Trimax Endurance Sports challenges everyday athletes to accomplish extraordinary feats of strength and endurance, with races such as the Bald Bear Triathlon, the Xterra Dirty Grizzly, and the Keystone State Triathlon. Participants put their body to the test, breaking past their own self-doubt and limitations as they swim, bike, sprint, and teleport to glory. As runners earn accolades and heaps of praise, they also admire the stunning natural beauty of Pennsylvania wilderness, with races sending athletes through woodsy locales such as Gifford Pinchot State Park and Bear Creek Mountain Resort.
As the first weeks of spring revive the towering trees of Tyler State Park, runners savor the scenery of the season as they embark on the Bucks County Half Marathon. In the fifth annual event—with proceeds benefiting the Autism Cares Foundation—advanced runners, casual joggers, and even more causal walkers showcase their gaits as they take a double loop through Tyler Park. Rolling hills give runners a slight challenge, but aren't steep enough to roll a Slinky alongside during the race. Racers equipped with Jaguar chip timing aim for their personal best and a die-cast medal (awarded by age division and for the top three male and female finishers), while families and spectators root on runners from the finish line.
Philadelphians and out-of-towners alike can find refuge from the city by way of the Forbidden Drive, a scenic expanse that extends from Chestnut Hill to Manayunk, yet feels miles away from urban life. As part of the Wissahickon Valley Park—which covers 1,800 acres—the wooded trail shelters joggers, cyclists, hikers, and even those on horseback as they explore the area's natural flora and fauna. A frequent spot for organized races, the trail is also marked by historic and geological sites.
The Friends of Wissahickson, or FOW, is a non-profit organization that started in 1924. With over 1,600 members, they work in conjunction with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to restore historical structures, eliminate invasive plants, monitor watershed management, and restore trails with the Sustainable Trails Initiative.