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.
Big Wheel USA doesn't kid around when it comes to bikes. Its storefront showcases more than 300, each from top brands such as CamelBak and Crankbrothers. Far from limited to adult-sized bikes, Big Wheel USA stocks plenty other wheeled rides, including Trikkes, exercise bikes, and skateboards.
Don't fret if nothing in the store strikes your fancy—Big Wheel's certified mechanics can customize your very own bike, complete with as many training wheels as it takes to make you feel safe. The technicians also conduct bike fittings and repair malfunctioning parts. Big Wheel also sells plenty of bike-related shoes and apparel, and keeps patrons abreast of the latest local rides and events.
Defensive Shooting Instructors' training staff includes Special Forces members, SWAT officials, and intelligence specialists. Drawing from these backgrounds, the highly trained team teaches dozens of public courses that cover everything from pistols to shotguns to hand-to-hand combat. Rather than guiding their students through simple lessons, the instructors run drills that simulate real-world conditions and aim to create safe-yet-intense environments. Depending on the class, they might have groups race through obstacles, run up stairs, or even roll in the dirt. For firearms training, they travel to local ranges and put shooters through repetitive drills focused on speed, accuracy, and consistency. In addition to civilian instruction, Defensive Shooting Instructors designs courses for law enforcement officers, military members, and deploying journalists. Its staff mans a gun shop.
Once the site of the PGA Tour's Miami Open, the Miami Springs Golf course spans 6,785 yards of well-groomed, challenging terrain, playing to a par 71 from its blue and white tees and par 72 from its ladies' red tees. After dismounting from their mechanical steeds, club-wielding competitors battle cunning landscaping to prevent the covetous branches of mature trees that hug fairways' edges from seizing dimpled orbs, or sinking into the canal, which conspires to swallow plaid-covered ankles on sections of the back nine. Straighten out your swing before a round with a bucket of 70 range balls, included in today's deal, to use at the course's grass-tee driving range, or get in some moonlit swings to prepare for high-stakes blindfolded golf tournaments.
The two founders of Aquachild Swim School—Scott Launer and Brian Lilburn—came to embrace aquatic education through disparate means. When Scott took his then 2-year-old daughter, Jaya, to swim lessons, he was amazed to see 10-month-old babies floating on their own and began his journey to becoming a youth swim instructor. Brian, who nearly drowned in a backyard pool as a toddler, learned to love the water rather than fear it after his mom enrolled him in swim lessons. Scotty and Brian now share their life-saving knowledge alongside a staff of instructors that are all certified in water safety, first aid, and CPR.
Through Aquachild Swim School’s specially designed lessons, infants as young as 10 months learn to roll from facedown positions to back floats where they can breathe easily, and 1-year-old students begin to swim with their heads down, then twist onto their backs for air. As kids progress, they learn the four major strokes (front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), brush up on the basics to keep them confident, or start snorkeling. The instructors lead adult lessons to help older students learn how to paddle at pool parties or triumphantly retrieve their boss’s golf ball from a green’s lagoon during corporate outings.
Tee off at one of two nine-hole golf courses maintained by the Miami-Dade County Park & Recreation Department. Whether chipping onto the green at Greynolds or dodging water hazards and hazardous water monsters at Briar Bay, golfers of all experience levels can play quick, challenging rounds. Briar Bay Golf Course sprawls in all directions across 30 acres of lush greenery polka-dotted with trees and bunkers. Each year, this par 31 executive golf course serves as home for more than 40,000 rounds of golf and several hundred nighttime games of bio-sonar badminton. Greynolds Park similarly tests golfers with a par 36 course that stretches 3,100 yards from the longest tees. After matches at Greynolds, players can retire to a spacious clubhouse to tabulate scores and settle any draws with a round of rock-paper-scissors.