At the Cincy Nation Mud Run, it’s all about the 513. Racers spend a Saturday bounding through an obstacle-packed course funded by local sponsors and benefiting local charities. The 2.11-mile obstacle course boasts military-style challenges such as cargo nets, log jumps, monkey bars, and mud crawls. The Cincy-centric run also offers parkour-inspired obstacles including two-angled walls, mud trenches, and parallel bars. After crossing the finish line, racers can revel at an after-party that features local vendors, and intrepid diggers can try to pull keys out of a mud pit to win iPods, iPads, and vintage Rolodexes. Ultimately, the race organizers aim to encourage healthy competition amongst the teams, which can be fielded by rival high schools, companies, or lemonade stands.
Skydive Warren County is a labor of love for the Stewart family with roots as far back as 1945, when the patriarch purchased 40 acres of land and lived in a house attached to a hangar at Waynesville Airport. Such proximity caused the Stewarts to grow up with an appreciation for aviation that eventually brought them to skydiving. Since 1969, the business has been imbued with their enthusiasm, teaching novices and experts alike how to hone their skills in airborne sports with the help of licensed professionals.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Cincinnati Skydiving gives novice jumpers a taste of the open sky via tandem diving. Participants take flight while attached to an instructor and enjoy a 60-second free fall before the parachute opens and they float gently to the ground, taking in the landscape. Cincinnati Skydiving also offers advanced jumpers the chance to take solo leaps; after a four- to six-hour training course, they take to the skies with two accelerated free-fall masters who oversee the plunge.
When prolific course designer Arthur Hills designed the original 18 holes at Shaker Run Golf Club in 1979, he bent the fairways and greens around Armco Park Lake, the site's central feature. The resulting layout features voluptuous fairways that hug the waterline, as well as several greens that teeter precipitously on the water's edge. Water hazards enter play 14 times in total, forcing golfers to double check their club choice and steel their nerves before committing to a strategy. An additional 9, dubbed the Meadows course, was added in 1999, bringing the facility to 27 holes on its 20th birthday.
Overlooking Bel-Wood Country Club’s manicured greens and fairways, the Grille Room prepares simmering heavily laden plates of American fare from an eclectic menu for customers from around Cincinnati. The barbecue-pulled-pork sandwich treats a lonely mound of tender, smoked pork waiting to be hugged between slices of bread ($8), and the Bel-Wood burger customizes a thick patty of Angus beef with interchangeable accessories to create a bacon burger, jalapeño burger, or arctic adventure burger ($9). The Grille Room’s entrees tempt taste buds with a prevailing nautical theme, exemplified in the house-made beer-battered fish and unassaulted chips ($14). With roasted fingerlings lounging sumptuously over wild-mushroom ragout, the seared salmon fillet ($17) caps off the Grille Room’s standard menu selections, but special dinner features every weekend promise serendipitous discoveries for patrons.