The Dirty Dash isn't the kind of race where runners try to set a new record. There are no ribbons or trophies for the first runner across the finish line either. That's because the real fun of this race isn't in winning, it's in the actual running itself. And watching groups of costumed adults play in the mud, of course.
Part light-hearted race, part military-style obstacle course, The Dirty Dash challenges runners with a course strewn with muddy obstacles with a focus on fun. In order to reach the finish, runners will have to hop over hay bales in mud pits, navigate rows and rows of tires set in wet soil, and even launch themselves down a foamy, 175-foot slip-n-slide. Besides the ultimate reward—the opportunity to spend a day in the mud—each participant also gets a t-shirt, pig tattoo, bandana, and pig decal, as well as a perfect excuse to visit their favorite dry cleaner.
Project Mud might remind adults of the fun they had as a child—running in an open field, sliding into a muddy pond, and crawling through a mud-filled tunnel. The Project Mud 5K challenges individual competitors to drudge their way through 18 mud-covered obstacles in a bid to make their way to the finish line. Those who cross the checkered line celebrate with fellow racers and spectators alike during a lively after party, where live bands and DJs inspire crowds to dance while food vendors serve fresh dishes and cold beer. Proceeds from each event help fund charities in each city, ensuring money collected goes to a good cause instead of serving as fodder for thieving tooth fairies.
Xtreme Xperience was founded by a pair of car aficionados who understand the thrill of commanding a $253,000 piece of four-wheeled poetry in motion, like the Lamborghini LP560. They know that exaggerating the pronunciation of Porsche is only half as fun as horsewhipping its 530 horsepower from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds. They realize that the Ferrari F430's supercharged Launch Control console button is too irresistible not to push coming out of every red light and into every dark, quiet, and hopefully vacant train tunnel. The smooth, spaceship-esque aluminum body shell of the Audi R8 makes them appreciate how discreet something like 782 rivets, 382 self-tapping screws, and more than 300 feet of welding can be. The people at Xtreme Xperience love supercars, and they love matchmaking them to other car enthusiasts who live to cruise across the great, oil-stained arteries of the American interstate-highway system.
Securely fastened into a tandem-parachute system, an instructor and a pupil tumble from a Skylane Cessna 182, a floating sensation running through their bodies for the 45- to 60-second plummet. Back on solid ground, a 25-acre drop zone reunites divers post-free-fall, and in the distance, Skydive Pennsylvania's pilots shuttle other divers skyward in a fleet of aircrafts that includes a King Air, which can ascend 13,500 feet in 15 minutes. The on-ground personnel photograph all tandem and instruction-assisted-free-fall dives, converting their footage into professionally edited slideshows of stills and screensavers for skydiving-prone laptops.
The Historic Races pit the engine gurgles of classic '60s, '70s, and younger vehicles against one another. Legendary motor-mobiles from luminaries like Jaguar, Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, and BMW zip through roughly 1.5 miles of picturesque track with loopy elevation changes and blind-entry turns that would challenge even the most suction-cup-covered of tires. The contest schedule splits racers into various groupings. Experience muscle-bound mayhem at Group Four's Trans Am race, where Mustangs, Datsuns, Camaros, and more will test their horsepower and latissimus dorsi with feats of vehicular strength. Watch real-life Hot Wheels tear up a non-plastic track in the LeMans Group Five battle, where specialty cruisers like the MG MGB, Alfa Romeo Spider, and Triumph Spitfire will square off.
BeaveRun's two racing tracks host practice sessions, races, and classes for race karts, supermotos, cars, and snow plows. Bring your own race kart, or rent one of BeaveRun's Honda-powered karts, and be prepared to dart around the outdoor Wilson Circuit at speeds upwards of 45 mph ($20 for first session, $15 for second session). If you're still getting over your fear of miniature four-wheeled animals, drive your personal car directly onto BeaveRun's auto-cross obstacle course ($40 for weekend time) and finally master the art of making sharp turns around orange cones. You can opt for a drifting class, where you'll learn to scare small children and metallurgists with the smokiest get-away techniques ($40 for weekend time), or enroll in BeaveRun's intro to off-roading in the "dirt days" guided obstacle course for 4x4s ($40 per driver). BeaveRun also boasts an extensive range of thrill-seeking, auto-handling classes (starting at $189) that will appeal to your inner James Bond, while daredevils will relish the sweet two-wheeling freedom of BeaveRun's supermoto open practice sessions ($25 per driver, consult the website).