Kayakers glide past ice shelves in the glacial waters of Patagonia. A continent over, hikers pose for a picture at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro—the highest point in Africa—before looking out onto the Tanzanian landscape. The Southern Terrain's team of licensed, bonded, and insured outdoor enthusiasts coordinates once-in-a-lifetime trips like these to storied destinations around the world.
To facilitate safe and memorable experiences, fitness experts arrange adventure-training programs so that explorers arrive ready not only to climb, hike, and kayak, but also to handle elevated altitudes. The professionally guided excursions typically maintain a traveler-to-guide ratio of eight to one. To support eco-friendly travel, The Southern Terrain partners with the nonprofit program iJourney Green, which helps adventurers to sustain the parts the world they visit.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Social conventions dictate that lawyers shouldn't hop around on trampolines and doctors shouldn't play in foam pits, but Jump Around Now is a place where adults can bend the rules a bit. The 35,000-square-foot indoor park welcomes children and grownups alike to let loose on custom-built equipment that practically begs to be played on. For instance, there's a 12,000-square-foot trampoline area that features not only an entire bouncy floor, but also an angled trampoline wall to use as a springboard. Visitors seeking other ways to get vertical can strap into a harness for the Skywalk, which circles the park from above and features challenging elements such as rope steps, tight ropes, and dive-bombing airplanes. Of course, if you just want to let the kids roam around and have all the fun, there's a relaxing on-site caf? where you can sip a latte and surf the web.
Vital Climbing Gym combines the facilities of a rock-climbing center with the comforts of a coffee lounge, giving members a place to strengthen their bodies and relax their minds. The 24-hour gym entices members to climb at any time of day without concern for injury on rocky walls that are built for bouldering, a style of climbing that keeps climbers low to the ground and requires no safety equipment or backup support. Before or after climbing sessions, clients can relax on a comfortable couch, sip a hot beverage from the espresso machine, connect to the gym’s WiFi network, and talk technique with fellow climbers.
Arcadian Ascents helps students to master the art of open-air rock climbing with guided excursions and onsite lessons for all experience levels. The maximum student-to-instructor ratio for each class is 4:1, and all guides and instructors have earned certifications as single pitch instructors from the American Mountain Guides Association and as wilderness first responders from the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Private and group courses cover material from basic rock movement to custom-designed courses on speed climbing, self-rescue, and advanced rope technique. Arcadian Ascents provides all equipment for most courses, including climbing shoes, helmets, ropes, and mountain-goat bribes.
Rock-ascending buffs can also expand their experience and strive for new personal achievements on guided trips to Mexico or Spain. Veteran climber and guide Josh Wieberg leads his charges with experience climbing from Canada to Italy and wields his BA in history and philosophy to teach in public schools when not scaling their brick walls.
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.