cycling · racing · running

Is this a rave or a race? Intriguing fitness trends

rave2 There are fitness trends that make it close to London, Ontario. Muddy adventure races, for example, and zombie runs. This summer I’m doing the Warrior Dash and I have plans in the future for the Tough Mudder. But other trends require an urban environment and ethos.

A friend posted to Facebook the other day about a race that sounded much more like a rave to me. Loud music, flashing lights, and clothes that light up in the dark. That’s about the exact opposite of my running preference. I like trails in the quiet woods, or green exercise as they say.

Here’s one, though it’s not the one my friend was doing:  Run the Rave: Glow War and Dance Party

GLOW WAR // ​DANCE PARTY: ​Run The Rave has teamed up with Grammy Nominated recording artist Ryan Farish to perform an epic fitness event What is a Glow War? Run The Rave breaks apart the standard of running for miles by yourself to be a part of an event. We make teams out of thousands of participants and behold, the Glow War is born!

I guess as a non drinker I can see the appeal. It’s like a night club without alcohol and with running instead of dancing. I used to assume that most heavy exercisers were also light drinkers but I now know the correlation runs the other way.
While I don’t feel I’m missing out by not being able to run rave races in London, Ontario, I was curious about SoulCycle, since spinning is almost always an indoor activity anyway.  On the atmosphere of SoulCycle classes read Riding High in Vanity Fair.

SoulCycle rooms are hot and sweaty. The music is deafening, and it’s almost pitch-black. Spinning may sound easy—it’s only riding a bike, after all—but you rarely get to sit in the seat, or “saddle,” as they call it; your body hovers over the bike like a jockey on a horse. After 45 minutes of this, things start to get weird. It’s like a Native American sweat lodge: everyone is in a stunned, near-hallucinatory state, and suddenly Griffith’s banter sounds utterly profound. “Be the same person on the outside as on the inside—those two people should match!” she says. “Work through the stuff in your own life. Let someone else’s behavior be someone else’s behavior—don’t let it affect you. Go!”

And for a convert’s account, you should read A SoulCycle Fanatic’s Q&A with Master Instructor Stacey Griffith also in Vanity Fair.

On fitness activities as dates, see the New York Times column Urban Athlete which talks a bit about SoulCycle, here.

My own night club like exercise experience was in Toronto, at a trendy fitness club filed with very fit, beautiful people. There were very nice spin bikes, good lighting and two people leading the class, one focused on calling out the workout, and a Dee Jay with actual turntables, mixing the music. Fun. I could see the appeal.

The juice bar looked busy after and I could see if I were a lot younger and even remotely interested in the straight bar scene, that it might be a fun alternative.

How about you? Have you taken part in a rave race? How about SoulCycle? Did you like it?


4 thoughts on “Is this a rave or a race? Intriguing fitness trends

  1. This is the first I am hearing about such things and I am really amazed – how great! I am more of a green exerciser, and just signed up for my first Tough Mudder in August. I would give the Rave Run a try, but I suspect it would be a one-and-done event for me.

    The SoulCycle sounds more intriguing to me though, but I am not a big spinner. I have tried spinning and it is a great workout, but I don’t have an outdoor bicycle right now, and I prefer getting outdoors to put in my exercise…so I see spinning as a great winter option, mostly.

    Was the spinning class you did in Toronto a SoulCycle? Did you get to the sweaty hallucinations?

    1. No sweaty hallucinations! I did enjoy the music and lighting though. It wasn’t a Soul cycle class but it was in that style.

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