test in the Pikes Peak Marathon, which is often
called America's Ultimate Challenge due to the
rapid elevation of the course, with runners
climbing 6,000 feet within the first 10 miles.
The community of Spokane, Washington, holds
a special passion for sports, and that energy feeds
into every travel group's experience. The area
offers a range of venues, most notably the
Spokane Convention Center, a 650,000-square-
foot, multipurpose facility that was recently
upgraded to include a sky bridge that connects to
the Davenport Hotel. It is in a thriving cultural
hub along the Spokane River, with restaurants,
shops and hotels all within walking distance.
"The best thing about Spokane is the walkable
community," said Kate Hudson, public relations
manager at Visit Spokane.
In January, the convention center hosts the
Spokane Sizzler Adult Volleyball Tournament.
Around 60 coed adult teams compete while
enjoying music, contests and a courtside beer
garden. Those looking for beach volleyball will
find outdoor courts nearby in Spokane Valley.
Every year, in spring, the Nordic Ski Association
closes out the season with the Spokane Nordic
Challenge Loppet, a long-distance cross-country
ski event that features 20-, 30- and 50-kilometer
races. The event is a good opportunity for people
of varying skill levels to come together and com-
pete, or just enjoy the ride with a group of
friends. Hot food and beverages are provided.
Another renowned competition in the city is
the Lilac Bloomsday Run, which takes place
annually on the first Sunday in May. An average
of 50,000 runners, joggers and walkers show up
each year, making it one of the largest timed road
races in the country.
Later in summer, hundreds of groups gather in
Spokane for the Hoop Fest, in which 7,000 teams
contend in the world's largest three-on-three
Courtesy Visit Colorado Springs
The mountains around Colorado Springs are prime territory for outdoor