At iRISE Performance, no two workouts ever have to be identical. Bootcamps and group classes spice up routines to add a social element to exercise, and rows of cardio equipment and weights allow individuals to progress at their own pace. But then the gym branches out beyond the expected. Two high-school-regulation basketball courts and one college-regulation court prompt pickup games before players step up to three powerlifting platforms to test their resolve. And anyone seeking to infuse their routine with functional-fitness moves can have a heyday in the turf room, where sleds, sandbags, a battling rope, and TRX equipment engage the core.
iRise Performance steps outside the gym too for a more holistic look at well-being. A fully functioning kitchen hosts cooking demonstrations and nutrition classes to help clients rethink their diet. And iRise also keeps exercisers from making up excuses or forging doctors notes for their trainers by giving them something precious: time. An onsite childcare room watches tots while parents and guardians blast their bodies in the gym.
On June 8, runners converge on Union Hill and the Martini Corner Entertainment District for a four-mile relay race through the streets of Kansas City. Divided into teams of four, each competitor carries a baton in their hand or mouth as they dash through a one-mile portion of the route before handing the stick off to the next teammate. Those who chart the best times will be recognized with post-race awards for the fastest men's, women's, co-ed, and corporate teams. After the race, the lure of live music emanates from nearby bars Velvet Dog and Martini Corner, where a post-race party welcomes runners to replenish with included drinks and socialize with fellow runners.
Proceeds from the race will benefit Ozanam Guild, a 65-year-old institution that provides care and support for children and families in need. Since opening its doors in 1948, Ozanam Guild has helped more than 7,000 troubled children secure a better future through therapeutic care and academic assistance.
Since 2009, the Kansas City Dirty Duo race has helped parlay mud into money for charity. Stretched across mostly flat terrain inside Kansas Speedway, the race sends teams of two biking and running around a course nearly six miles in length. Mystery obstacles add an extra challenge to each mile, and right before the finish line, there’s a massive 40-foot mud pit where teams can to play gloopy games of Marco Polo before completing the race. Kids as young as five years old can get in on the dirty dashing, too, by joining the one-mile Dirty Duo Jr. race. Once everyone has crossed their respective finish lines, the festivities continue with a post-race celebration featuring music, food, and cold refreshments.
During a race, many runners relish that moment when they come upon the volunteer handing out cups of water from the side of the course. For the Drenched 5K, there's no waiting for that fleeting relief—the entire course is equipped with watery obstacles such as sprinklers and oversized slip 'n' slides. The fun continues at the after-party, where participants can unwind on water slides and in foam stations. During a giant water fight, runners lob water balloons at each other to cover up any embarrassing dry spots they might have left. Even spectators can buy tickets to the post-race festivities, with proceeds from their purchases and race registrations going toward Kansas City–area charities.
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
Stars from actress Elise Neal to hair blogger Cherice Richmond have graced the cover of Midwest Black Hair Magazine, whose pages brim with tips on all types of black hair. Readers with tresses ranging from natural curls to relaxed strands glean practical info from Q&As with experts stylists, savvy debunkings of haircare myths, and listings of Midwest salons that will cater to clients' hair needs.