America has always been the most extreme country, from the Boston Tea Punchings to having the first man swear on the moon. We hold this shredding guitar solo to be self-evident with today's Groupon: for $25, you get one entry to the Beach Palooza obstacle race, plus a bundle of extras that includes a pineapple hat, a drink ticket, and a T-shirt (a $55 advanced value, or $65 day-of value). The race takes place at Rockaway Beach in Queens on Saturday, August 27, with four start times available every half-hour from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In a gnarly departure from the usual beachside sunbathing, the New York Beach Palooza unleashes racers ages 14 and older on a 5-kilometer competition buoyed by live music and cheering crowds. The beachwide party kicks off at 10 a.m., an hour before the first race participants duck, twist, and gambol through a gauntlet of beach-themed obstacles and riddle-hurling seagulls. In between a starting line forest of pool noodles and a finish line impeded by a patch of hot coals, racers burst through a pile of beach balls, weave their way through a maze of walls, and even leap from lily pad to lily pad. After the race, officials crown winners for best overall time, costume, and self-given nickname before the party wraps up at 4 p.m.
Though only participants 21 years of age and older receive a ticket for a free Mike’s Harder Lemonade, every racer receives a medal for finishing, as well as a complimentary T-shirt and a pineapple-shaped hat to distinguish Beach Palooza contestants from the nearby Papaya family reunion.