The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Sweat-soaked humans dart across the dirt, racing between low scrubs and trees before stomping through a sea of tires. Clear, blue skies overhead reflect nature's indifference as they struggle up small mountains, sprint with sandbags in hand, and scale towering wooden walls with no shade in sight. These racers willingly expend sweat and energy on Reviver Challenge's 2.5-mile course, which winds through 10 obstacles inspired by metaphors implied in Bob Seger songs. The course includes one mystery obstacle, kept secret to ensure participants stay alert and throw their cunning into a final challenge before a celebratory feast and live music following the race. The footrace aims to bring runners together to test their endurance and confidence while providing donations for The House of Hope and Roger Williams Chapel restoration.
Dylan Polin took his first steps as a free-runner seven years ago, and never slowed down. He placed seventh in the Red Bull Art of Motion 2010 Boston competition, and became an active member of The World Free-running and Parkour Federation. To share his passion with others, Dylan founded Hub Freerunning. Hub Freerunning has since become a staple of proper Parkour and Freerun education in the Boston area, as well as the Northeast's premiere stunt and performance team.
He holds weekly sessions to teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced students ages 12 and up the art of movement. He conducts his classes in the New England Sports Academy's spacious facilities, or takes the lessons to the streets of Boston itself. He demonstrates not only how to climb, vault, and soar through the air, but also focuses on moving quickly and efficiently, saving students from expending unnecessary energy or spilling all of the M&Ms out of their pockets.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
The Color and Glow Run could just as easily be called the Color and Glow Walk, or the Color and Glow Dance. It?s not important how fast racers finish the 5K course, what?s important is what those runners wear. As long as they sport a white T-shirt, they can enjoy a colorful or glow-in-the-dark makeover at the hands of the race?s volunteer crew.
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.