From the category archives:

Adrenaline

Running The Antarctic Ice Marathon Makes For Masochistic Memories

by Alan Rider
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Look, I understand what it’s like to get a certain satisfaction from competing in the kinds of extreme endurance events that make normal people—or even dedicated enthusiasts, for that matter—question your sanity.  Even with this perspective however, I still think the idea of running in the Antarctic Ice Marathon sounds a little nutty.
You see, this extreme event involves running a full 26-mile marathon on a course carved out of the ice at the foot of Antarctica’s Ellsworth Mountains.  Besides the 3,000-foot altitude here on the bottom of the world, runners will have to endure sub-zero temperatures and face the possibility of katabatic winds that can reach 100-plus miles-per-hour.  The upside, [...]

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Tooth Or Dare? Where To Swim With Crocodiles

by Alan Rider
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Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to get into the water with some pretty amazing wild creatures, from playful manatees to spouting beluga whales. Now, however, there’s a new interspecies encounter I’m eager to add to my list of extraordinary experiences—swimming with giant saltwater crocodiles!
Much like shark diving, participants are separated from these toothy 20-foot-long beasts by protective enclosures. While these devices add a margin of safety, being submerged in either the clear acrylic “Cage Of Death” at Darwin, Australia’s Crocosaurus Cove or the metal basket used in the Croc Cage Diving Encounter at Oudtshoom, South Africa’s Cango Wildlife Ranch is still bound to get your heart [...]

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Extraordinary Event: RoboGames Gives You The Chance To Say “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto”

by Alan Rider
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For those of us who grew up on sci-fi movies and television shows like Forbidden Planet and Lost In Space, the idea of a world full of robots seems like some far-off fantasy. Which is precisely why this weekend’s RoboGames—a three-day event certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s largest open robotics competition—seems like such an extraordinary experience.
This six-year-old San Francisco-area geek-fest features the highly imaginative creations of individuals and teams from more than 20 countries, competing in dozens of events ranging from soccer to sumo. The stars of the show, of course, are the battling bots that come in sizes from 5.3 [...]

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Tanks For The Memories: 2 Unforgettable Tank-Driving Adventures

by Alan Rider
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Of all the extraordinary experiences I’ve had over the years, the chance to take the controls of a 55-ton British Chieftain battle tank has to be among the most memorable.
Unfortunately, the Dallas-based operation that gave me that opportunity is no longer in business. The good news, however, is that I’ve found a couple places that still allow ordinary civilians to have similar tank-driving adventures:
Lazer Tanks
This small mom-and-pop shop located just north of Reno, Nevada is now the only place in North America where individuals and small groups can spend time in the driver’s seat of Cold War classics including a Soviet-era T-55 battle tank and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle.
Tanks-A-Lot
Think [...]

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WFO Weekend: Texas Mile Gives Lead-Footed Drivers A Chance To Feed Their Need For Speed

by Alan Rider

Read through some of the extraordinary experiences featured here over the years and it’s pretty clear that I like fast cars and motorcycles as much as the next guy.  That said, I think anyone who’s dumb enough to do triple-digit speeds on public roads deserves to have their license yanked right out from under them.
Especially when you consider how many places there are where you can safely run your high-performance machine wide f@#!ing open without putting innocent lives at risk.  Like the Texas Mile, for instance.
This relatively low-key event rolls onto a deserted airport runway located two hours north of Corpus Christi March 26-28 for three days of tire-smoking [...]

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Bungee Jumping Bonus: What One Young Woman’s Leap Of Faith Can Teach Us About Living Life To The Fullest

by Alan Rider

While this website is filled to overflowing with stories of  way-cool once-in-a-lifetime adventures, read between the lines and you’ll discover everything here is really intended to promote the larger idea that life was meant to be lived to the fullest.  Which is why I wanted to introduce you to Mary Thompson and let her tell you the tale of her first bungee jump.
In many ways her experience might not seem that unusual.  But what really impressed me is the way this plucky young woman didn’t let her fears stand in the way of having an extraordinary experience she’d always dreamed of.  Let me know in the Comments section below if [...]

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Blown Up: Indoor Skydiving Offers A Much Saner Alternative To The Real Deal

by Alan Rider

As I look around this tubular chamber, a random thought occurs to me:  Aren’t rooms with padded walls usually reserved for crazy people?  Before I have a chance to consider what lying spread-eagled on the wire mesh floor of a two-story padded room says about my mental health, the gentle breeze generated by the giant fan beneath me quickly builds to hurricane force.  And suddenly I find myself flying.
Granted, the concept of “indoor skydiving” may seem a bit loony in its own right.  But the fact is this is about as close to the exhilaration of free fall as a relatively sane person—herein defined as anyone with more sense than [...]

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