The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
Since 1984, Three Rivers Rowing Association has become one of the largest community-based rowing and paddling clubs in the country, converting neophytes into boating lovers and helping experts hone their form. With the use of two boathouses located on the Allegheny River, the club is home to crews from three local colleges and nine high schools and was named the 2002, 2010, and 2013 Club of the Year from USRowing. In addition to winter and summer rowing leagues, the club runs amateur dragon-boating leagues and sponsors the Pittsburgh Paddlefish, a dragon-boating team that competes at the international level.
In 2009, the Duquesne Dukes men's basketball team put their own spin on the annual March Madness. Defying the odds, the team made an unprecedented run to the Atlantic 10 conference championship game and followed that with its first berth in the NIT since 1994. The resulting whirlwind brought plenty of media attention to a university that otherwise prefers to stay off the beaten path. Sprawled across a serene 43-acre hilltop campus, Duquesne University hosts 16 Division I athletic teams in sports such as soccer, track and field, and women's volleyball, and since the school's inception, the Dukes' colors of red and blue have remained the same, unlike a chameleon that constantly changes its favorite movie.
Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears that have been damaged by the cacophony of city life and the screeching of prima-donna chalkboards. Singing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits from her storied career, as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle.
Making their first foray onto the indoor gridiron this season, AFL newbies the Pittsburgh Power begin the year by taking on sure-to-be-cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul in a game of fast-paced, potentially high-scoring arena action that pigskin fans inherently crave. Head coach Chris Siegfried has assembled a team led by quarterback Bernard Morris, who leads his associates using rushing and passing skills honed from a previous stint with the Jacksonville Sharks and an internship with the maitre d' of a busy restaurant. The Power's dance team, The Sparks, entertains the crowd between plays. All the action takes place at the newly built Consol Energy Center, which also serves as home to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and a hangar for invisible dirigibles.