Piccadilly Circus's BLAST! show blows away audiences with a spectacle set under a capacious, 80-feet-tall big top. The 90-minute extravaganza features such death-defying acts as acrobats launching themselves out of catapults, showgirls balancing atop racing camels, and middle-aged men cutting back on their sodium intake. Ballerinas and bike-riding acrobats wrangle laughs from onlookers with off-balance antics while rotating wheels of death spin daredevils over the ring. Shows take place in a newly constructed big-top tent, featuring climate control and armrest-equipped, theater-style seats. Aggressively punctual guests can while away preshow time at the circus' petting zoo, riding elephants, camels, and ponies while regretting youthful decisions to run away from the circus and enroll in actuarial school.
The year was 1972—a time when the running boom was reaching a head in the United States, and Jeff Galloway was living his dream. The young runner held the American record for the 10 mile, participated in the Munich Olympics, and finally convinced his parents he wasn't being chased by invisible wolves.
But he realized that there was something missing from the running scene—a specialty running store. So he opened one himself, Phidippides, and it quickly grew into 35 franchise stores. Even with such success, Galloway is committed to personally helping runners and continues to oversee both locations in his hometown of Atlanta.
Named after the Greek messenger who ran the first marathon, Phidippides running stores help athletes achieve their own goals through great shoes. The staff first assesses a client's level of activity and physical needs, and takes into account important factors such as any previous injuries and performance goals.
Next, customers slip on a pair of diagnostic shoes so the professionals can analyze their natural run or walk and make the appropriate shoe recommendations. Finally, the client selects the shoe based on function, personal comfort, and how well it coordinates with their running partner's eyes.
After they take their shoes home, clients can meet up with Phidippides again during running events.
Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
The Great Bull Run brings the thrill of Pamplona's historic event to cities across the United States. Modeled after the Running of the Bulls, this one-day event enables participants to race live bulls, keeping one step ahead of the charging animals to finally prove that toes are better for running than hooves. While the historic Pamplona event has had few serious injuries in its 102 years of existence, The Great Bull Run staff takes even more precautions to ensure runners stay smiling from beginning to end. Additionally, the bulls are given the full respect they deserve, and are not antagonized or harmed before, during, or after the run.
Following the race, runners and newcomers can gather together for a good old-fashioned food fight. Tomato Royale arms entrants with juicy fruit that they can fling at each other. Additional post-run activities include an after-party, live entertainment, and games as well as food and beverages.