If you’re looking for the perfect inspiration to get your body moving in 2013, nothing is more motivating than taking part in a fitness-themed event. Whether it’s a climb up a skyscraper or scrambling through an obstacle course, these fun and challenging events are some of the best ways to get physical, test your stamina and make some new friends along the way this year.
Big D Climb
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202
Hours: Jan. 26 – 7:30 a.m.
Get your blood pumping by climbing a 60-story skyscraper while you raise money to fight blood cancers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This race draws more than 1,000 people from all over, even as far away as Austria, to make their way up the 52 flights of this iconic landmark. Participants ages 8 and older are welcome to climb on their own, or make it a team effort with two or more friends. You’ll see firefighters racing against time in full gear, elite athletes, boy scouts, families and even people aged 70 all making their way to the top for this great cause. Don’t worry about crowded stairwells because everyone is assigned a start time and groups are spaced at 15-minute intervals. Along with music and vendor booths, there will be an award ceremony to hand out medals to the fastest individuals and groups. Free parking will also be provided for all participants and volunteers. Participants may register in advance online and by phone, or in person on race day.
301 N.E. 6th St.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
Price: $60/free younger than 5
Hours: Feb. 2 – 9 a.m.
This is one race where you can exercise and get plastered at the same time. This race is as much about fun as it is about exercise as participants of all ages can take this 5K in any form they wish, whether that be running, walking, crawling or even dancing to the finish line. Racers don their whitest attire because by the time they get to the finish line they will be plastered in a rainbow of colors from being pelted with balls of colorful cornstarch. Everyone’s a winner at this non-timed race event and all runners receive a Graffiti Run T-shirt, headband and bag of colors to throw during the grand celebration after the event. To secure a spot, you must preregister online.
The Rat Race Urban Adventure
Dallas West End
208 N. Market St.
Dallas, TX 75202
Price: $95 individual/$190 two-person teams/$285 three-person teams
Hours: March 9 – 8 a.m.
If you really want to test your endurance, then this “Amazing Race”-themed challenge is for you. This multi-sports event takes place in urban areas throughout the country, attracting around 1,200 participants. Racers may form teams or go at it alone, with the objective of completing the course in three to five hours. The course entails a rigorous, yet fun series of running, biking, climbing and kayaking through a mapped out route that remains a secret until race day. While a major part of this challenge is physical, there is a large mental component to it as well because racers must strategize the most efficient way to navigate the route along checkpoints in record time. Participants ages 16 and older are encouraged to register online in advance before the event sells out.
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Campus at Legacy
5340 Legacy Drive
Plano, TX 75024
Hours: March 23 – 8 p.m.
Join in the family fun and light up the sky while you run or walk this 5K race benefiting Children’s Medical Center. Last year’s race brought in more than 4,945 participants, ranging in ages younger than 10 and up to 75 years, all aglow in LED lights and assorted glowing accessories. Racers are divided up into categories based on age, with awards given for male, female and best overall in completing this 1.5-hour timed race. After the race, stick around for the big party complete with live entertainment and a costume contest for a chance to win an Apple iPad. Register online before March 21.
Dallas Survival Race
Cousins Paintball Field
8975 FM 740 South
Forney, TX 75126
Price: $69 by March 1/$79 by April 1/$89 by April 23
Hours: April 27 – 9 a.m.
Get down and dirty while you plow your way through this 5K mud run on 277 acres filled with balance beams, cargo nets, hay bales and mud pits. This event is open to ages 10 to 99 and those who like getting dirty while they’re having a load of fun. Top times to the finish line win prizes, and the wackiest costume receives an award too. Participants are placed in groups of 300 with start times staggered every 30 minutes. The course takes between 20 to 40 minutes to complete. Bring the family whether they’re all racing or not because there will be bouncy houses, live music, plus plenty of food and beer. Register online before the prices increase.
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Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.