When runners cross the finish line at The Color Fight, they won't see a big digital clock keeping track of the time. For one thing, the race organizers don't track race times, and even if they did, the ticking numbers would be cloaked by a cloud of colorful powder. That's because at each kilometer of the 3-mile race, spectators and race personnel launch handfuls of dyed powder at the runners, creating a vivid spectrum that symbolizes the event's emphasis of fun over victory. In order to make the perfect canvas for the rainbow of colors, runners are encouraged to wear white clothing or wrap themselves in a rain cloud.
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
Every year, more than 12,000 gang members from across Los Angeles step through the doors of Homeboy Industries. Behind those doors lies a new world of possibilities: education and GED programs, job training, and even full-time employment. Established in 1988, the organization helps create healthier, happier lives through services ranging from tattoo removal to anger-management and parenting classes, coupled with a strong community that makes those new lifestyles sustainable in the long term. To fund these efforts, the organization boasts seven different member-run social enterprises, including a bakery, an embroidery shop, and farmers' markets.
Generally, adulthood forces people to give up childish pleasures, robbing them of the joy associated with playing in puddles, unearthing hidden treasure, and being silly in public. Sierra Adventure Sports wants grownups to regress, if only for a day. In service of that goal, the company organizes a variety of novel races that range from city scavenger hunts for the casual adventurer to creative triathlon courses for the ambitious athlete.
The Mad Mud Run, for instance, challenges participants to sprint and frolic through a dirty and deliciously fun outdoor obstacle course littered with manmade obstructions such as cargo nets, hills of hay bales, monkey bars, and slimy mud pits. Extreme Heat Adventure Races combine equal parts triathlon and scavenger hunt to create a 10?12K journey filled with running, river rafting, and mystery challenges that could pit teams against anything from blindfolded puzzles to wall climbs. Most Sierra Adventure Sports events encourage racers to compete in costumes of all types save for gremlins, which multiply in water and unfairly dominate the timed results.
Coaches Robert and Euri Mills, the trainers at Club 26.2, have completed 57 and 8 marathons, respectively, and coached more than 3,000 runners and walkers along the way. Armed with invaluable experience in areas such as footwear, form and technique, hydration, and proper stretching, they coach athletes of all fitness levels toward their goals of training for runs of all distances, including 5K, 10K, half marathons, and full marathons. Of Robert and Euri’s students, 99% have crossed the finish line, and 80% of those were first-time runners.
No matter their athletic ability, kids aged 4–12 can get something out of Sports Champs' multiplatform day camps. That's because in addition to helping kids hone speed and strength in a number of sports––including basketball, field hockey, track, and volleyball––the CPR- and first-aid-certified counselors also encourage them to start thinking about sports-focused careers. Weekly guest speakers give fun and interactive lessons on broadcasting, management, nutrition, and physical therapy, to name a few.