Climbing in Plano

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During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.

Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too?the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.

2681 U.S. 6
Marseilles,
IL
US

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.

2725 East 2625th Road
Marseilles,
IL
US

BADASS Dash?s organizers live in a world of imagination. Where others see cargo nets, they see giant webs to be scaled. School buses become climbing walls and bales of hay turn into tunnels filled with grass and mud. In city after city, they place 30+ of these obstacles along a 7-kilometer course, and invite individuals and teams to compete against each other in elite matches, or beat their personal best in recreational races. Afterward, the organizers throw a celebratory bash filled with bonfires, food, and prizes for top finishers. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the charity Autism Speaks.

27 Jennie Finch Way
Rosemont,
IL
US

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.

19 N. 479 US 20
Hampshire,
IL
US

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.

107 Spruce Street
Aurora,
IL
US

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.

101 North Street
Geneva,
IL
US