No two cities ever host the same Critical Mud 5K event. Though the race distance stays the same, the event planners litter each race with an ever-changing number of obstacles pulled from a pool of more than 150, giving runners in each city a completely different experience. Some courses might threaten competitors with slippery hills and murky rivers, while others might challenge them to traverse sticky mud bogs and climb up ropes, validating their many years of never skipping gym class. Each event is open to racers as young as 14, but the Little Mudder’s fun run give kids ages 4–13 a chance to get dirty as well. In the spectator areas, family, friends, and supporters can cheer on runners while staying clean.
Champions Tour competitor Mike Goodes has tackled courses all around the continent—he putted across greens in Florida, Mississippi, and Canada in the summer of 2012 alone—the Reidsville native always returns to his hometown course at Pennrose Park Country Club, and for good reason. For decades, golfers of all abilities have honed their form on the undulating fairways of the nine-hole course, which has developed its own storied history; the Donald J. Ross design opened in 1929 and survived the nationwide golf-ball shortage that ravaged most courses in the 1930s. From the beginning, the club attracted PGA professionals who wanted to triumph over the course’s sand bunkers and tree-lined fairways. Today, golfers still sink their cleats into the slick bentgrass greens and bermuda-grass fairways, though now they can conveniently move from hole to hole in golf carts instead of caddy piggybacks.
The original Tudor–style clubhouse is nestled in the shade of mature trees and brightened by azalea blossoms. Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 36 course * Length of 3,115 yards * Course rating of 35 * Slope rating of 118
The 18-hole course at Plantation Golf Club stretches for 6,194 yards from the back tees, inviting golfers to challenge a full range of skills across the bermuda grass fairways and greens. Golf course architect John V. Townsend designed the layout, recognizing the need to design holes around the site's 18 indigenous flagsticks. Opened in 1986, players have played the par 71 track for nearly three decades.
Stately loblolly pines line the fairways at Caswell Pines Golf Club, towering over streams and lakes, bent-grass greens, and bermuda fairways. The picturesque, Gene Hamm–designed course measures 6,900 yards and offers plenty of surprises and twists, including paved cart paths that make getting around a breeze.
Engines roar across a tire-lined track, where single and double go-karts speed through turns and on toward victory. Alongside a track for junior go-karts, this is only one of the attractions that greets visitors to The Zone. Baseballs soar across the batting cages' mesh big-top tent, and the mini-golf course dots its baize landscape with obstacles such as miniature barns or tiny warehouses filled with smaller replicas of the mini-golf course. Indoors, video games fill an arcade with a symphony of electronic beeps, while party rooms play host to shindigs with themes such as princesses and activities such as crafts.
While stationed on Long Island to conduct secret war research for the U.S. government during World War II, O. Winston Link started snapping photographs of the Long Island Railroad tracks behind his lab. Eager to capture large-scale railroad pictures at night, he built his own customized flash equipment. After the war, Link harnessed that creative curiosity by spending five years photographing the Norfolk and Western Railway, the last large steam-powered American railroad. From his 20 trips to the railway's tracks in four states, Link collected 2,400 pictures.
His work didn't garner attention until the 1980s, when he published his first collection of railroad photos in the lauded book Steam, Steel & Stars. The West Virginia Historical Society continues to preserve his legacy with the O. Winston Link Museum, which showcases Link's Norfolk and Western project while filling in its historical context. Throughout seven galleries, patrons hear the sounds of bustling locomotive engines, adjust the lighting of an interactive diorama's photograph, and ogle Link's original photographic equipment, including flashbulbs, power boxes, and super power boxes. The museum underscores its edifying galleries with a plentitude of tours, workshops, and ongoing photography programs.