Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Between the dark, black walls at The Lazer Maze, green beams of light stretch from one wall to another, striking anyone willing to venture through their neon labyrinth. Levels of difficulty vary as beginners and pros nimbly crouch, tumble, and Macarena over and under laser beams, trying to beat the best time. The staff also equips a 3000-square-foot party room with party lighting, music, fog, and bubbles for birthday parties and other social events.
Adrenaline rushes often lead to addiction. Having developed a tolerance through many a marathon and obstacle course, the elite athletic team of Adrenaline Games wanted to capture the thrill of the first rush. To that end, they crafted a treacherous trail that gets the pulses of even the most hardened adrenaline junkies pumping. The details of the course are kept top secret as not to spoil the element of surprise, but it can be revealed that elements of mud, foam, and water play their part in keeping competitors adrenalized and dirty as they vie for the top Junkie prize. After the finish line has been slathered in mud, participants can catch their breath while celebrating their victories with food, drinks, and live music.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–8, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Be Active Outdoors organizes physical and recreational activities for adults and children of all fitness levels. Regular events challenge locals to break their sedentary habits with 10-mile bike rides, lessons on revitalizing waterways, and group adventure races. An annual river-basin tournament combines a focus on conservation with thrilling paddleboat and shoreline fishing. The Amped Up Adventure race complicates traditional adventure racing with urban elements including biking, running, paddling, and an obstacle course to get people moving in their home environments.
The Geneva Park District encompasses 50 parks and 3,000 annual programs over its 700 acres. Stone Creek, a river-themed mini-golf course with a windmill, water wheel, creek with real running water, and a wishing well offer playful variations on the sport of kings, and is great for groups, parties, or picnics.