Philadelphians and out-of-towners alike can find refuge from the city by way of the Forbidden Drive, a scenic expanse that extends from Chestnut Hill to Manayunk, yet feels miles away from urban life. As part of the Wissahickon Valley Park?which covers 1,800 acres?the wooded trail shelters joggers, cyclists, hikers, and even those on horseback as they explore the area's natural flora and fauna. A frequent spot for organized races, the trail is also marked by historic and geological sites.
The Friends of Wissahickson, or FOW, is a non-profit organization that started in 1924. With over 1,600 members, they work in conjunction with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to restore historical structures, eliminate invasive plants, monitor watershed management, and restore trails with the Sustainable Trails Initiative.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
As the first weeks of spring revive the towering trees of Tyler State Park, runners savor the scenery of the season as they embark on the Bucks County Half Marathon. In the fifth annual event—with proceeds benefiting the Autism Cares Foundation—advanced runners, casual joggers, and even more causal walkers showcase their gaits as they take a double loop through Tyler Park. Rolling hills give runners a slight challenge, but aren't steep enough to roll a Slinky alongside during the race. Racers equipped with Jaguar chip timing aim for their personal best and a die-cast medal (awarded by age division and for the top three male and female finishers), while families and spectators root on runners from the finish line.
Xperience Adventures sends thrill seekers scampering through cities across the U.S., unlocking clues and toppling challenges en route to race-day glory. Teams of up to five rely on technology—the Internet, texting, and apps—and their own savvy to move quickly from one checkpoint to the next. The catch: they can only travel under their own power or via public transit, meaning no hitching rides with taxis, pedicabs, or flying saucers. Though participants map out their own itinerary, races typically cover a distance of three to six miles. Once every team has successfully conquered the course, they can meet up during an after party at a local brewery, restaurant, or sports bar to celebrate their accomplishments with food and drink specials.
Certified boxing coach Alden Washington was born into a family of boxers. His father, in between teaching boxing classes in the US Army and Navy, began coaching him in the pugilistic arts at the age of 10. Alden took to the sport, winning boxing titles in Silver and Golden Gloves competitions, all while earning his black belt in bando, Chinese kenpo, and tae kwon do. In 1980, the consummate athlete began coaching students, conducting classes in kickboxing as well as sprinting and sports conditioning.
At Washington Boxing Academy, Alden combines his extensive title-taking and teaching experience to conduct kickboxing classes for all ages. Amid the professional heavy bags and cushioned floors of his studio, the certified coach infuses kickboxing routines with rounds of creative exercises, including jumping rope, shadowboxing while holding weights, and slamming massive tires with hammers. In personal sessions, he spurs on advanced boxers as they spar in the studio's full-size boxing ring. He also provides students with fundamental self-defense tips, such as how to a catch an oncoming fist mid-punch or halt a flung pie midair.
The mission to motivate others doesn't stop at Aim High Studio's name. Whether leading sweaty cyclists through a virtual Grand Canyon, stretching limbs in a heated yoga studio, or strengthening hugs with TRX bands, the instructors always strive to help each student meet his or her individual goals. To accomplish this, they maintain small class sizes and offer one-on-one and small-group personal-training sessions. They encourage students to modify their workouts and blend their methods??some classes even combine spinning and yoga. The staff also encourages its guests to meet their fitness goals by assuming a holistic approach via bodywork. Deep-tissue and trigger-point massage therapy joins Thai-yoga bodywork and nutrition counseling on the docket of comprehensive mind and body care.