How spoiled are we to have Marin County’s gorgeous landscape at our fingertips for all things related to fun and exercise? Rolling green hills for cycling, pristine beaches for walking and surfing, calm bays for kayaking, trails with epic views for hiking … the list goes on. On top of endless locales for outdoor play, there are impressive gyms, health clubs and yoga studios full of like-minded people who want to get in shape or find a quiet space in which to relax and meditate. And when it comes to finding new equipment for an active lifestyle, this place has it all. High-five to all of you fellow adventurers. Next time we exchange a smile out in nature, you’ll know how grateful I am to be here.—M.O.
Clip your feet in, tighten up your helmet, and get ready for the ride of your life! The Marin Century (on Saturday, August 5), voted this year’s Best Cycling Event, will test your mettle. Rides range from 35 miles, to 135 miles to the super duper 200-mile Mt. Tam Double Century. Enjoy the scenery on routes that are well supported and include lots of rest stops, with munchies to pump you up, color-coded arrows so you don’t ride off into the sunset, water-resistant color maps and water bottles. Produced by the Marin Cyclists Club, the event is staffed by all volunteers. After a good workout, celebrate at the post-ride feast and expo. Proceeds support local charities and athletic and social causes for youth.
Looking for something a little different to do, right in your own backyard? There’s nothing like being on the water, and kayaking is a lovely way to be in nature while getting a workout. Sea Trek Kayak in Sausalito, voted the Best Outdoor Adventure Tour, has your back. Whether you’ve raged through Class III rapids, or have never been in water outside of your bathtub, Sea Trek will teach you what you need to know. Trip choices include an afternoon on the bay, a paddle around the Golden Gate Bridge, a starlight paddle to dinner, a Full Moon Paddle and even an overnight on Angel Island. And if you want to just get out of town and grab some quiet time, you can go south of the border on a trip to the Sea of Cortez, with options for meditation, yoga and whale watching. For those who don’t like to sit so close to the water, stand-up paddleboard tours and classes are offered, too.
2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito; 415.332.8494.
Your New Year’s resolution to get fit is still on your mind. OK, so you let it go a little longer than you had planned, but you don’t have to do it alone—you can get help—from Michael Krick, voted this year’s Best Personal Trainer. Working out of his Krickfit studio in San Anselmo, Krick will get you on track and make your goals his mission. With a degree in kinesiology and a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certificate, (to name just a couple of his creds), Krick likes to work closely with his clients—either one-on-one or in small groups. He’ll keep you motivated and toned using a variety of exercises, including Pilates, TRX, strengthening and conditioning, cardiovascular training and calisthenics. A trained holistic lifestyle coach, Krick also takes into account nutrition, sleep patterns and stress levels for each client. So whether you want to lose weight, get back in shape or just get into better shape, Krick can help.
245 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo; 415.707.9912.
Hit the Slopes
It’s been a stellar year for rain—and snow! And there’s still time to hit the slopes. A new pair of skis would be so nice. But you hate to spend the money and then find out that you don’t like them. If only you could try them out first. Demo Sport in San Rafael, voted this year’s Best Snow Sport Shop, has you covered with their try-before-you-buy program. Demo Sport sells and rents hundreds of different kinds of equipment, including skis, ski boards, splitboards, boots, poles and more. Other services include custom boot-fitting, binding installment and installation, and ski and snowboard tune-ups. For those of you counting your pennies, your first rental fee can go towards a purchase. And you can look good on the slopes—Demo carries a full line of quality sunglasses and must-have fashion accessories. When the snow finally melts, Demo keeps you in shape with paddleboards, water skis, wake surfers and more; their Tiburon location rounds it out with bikes and in-line skates.
1101 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael; 415.454.3500.
Time to Tone
Pump up your body and get those endorphins singing at Fitness SF, this year’s choice for Best Gym. With classes ranging from spinning, yoga, ZUMBA, Pilates, step aerobics, T’ai Chi Chih and a “killer cardio” Burn Series, Fitness SF allows for mind and body alignment. Membership includes a complimentary FIT session, and personal trainers can help with bodybuilding, powerlifting, losing fat, stretching, TRX, nutrition and more. Small group classes are offered, and if you want to just do your own thing, a state-of-the art fitness floor awaits, and includes an abs and stretching area. Locker rooms, a sauna, a pro shop, Wi-Fi and free parking are all perks.
10 Fifer Ave., Corte Madera; 415.348.6377.
Have you found yourself up at night, sneaking off to watch Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan movies, secretly wishing that you could be kickboxing in your kitchen or practicing Jiu-Jitsu with your cat? Maybe you think you’re too old, too young or the wrong sex for martial arts—but you’re not! Marin Mixed Martial Arts, (MMMA) voted Marin’s Best Martial Arts School, caters to kids, men and women. Founded in 2006 by professional martial artist and Marin native Mikyo Riggs, MMMA bases its classes on the philosophy that martial arts blends physical strength and agility with practice, discipline and focus. And the benefits are amazing—increased strength and energy, weight loss, greater self-discipline, stress relief and mental focus. Classes include Brazilian Jij-Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts, along with special martial arts classes for kids. One of the coolest things yet? A dedicated women’s program that not only teaches women self-defense, but provides them with a community of other women to practice with. “What we learn on the mat, we carry into our everyday lives.”—Mikyo Riggs
222 Greenfield Ave., San Anselmo; 415.456.1557.
Are you ready for the FitFormer? You’ll find this specially designed Pilates reformer machine, for an all-in-one full body workout, exclusively at Pilates ProWorks—probably just one of the reasons why the place was voted Best Pilates Studio this year. Founded in 2009 by husband-and-wife team Oscar Sanin and Taylor Carter, Pilates ProWorks offers classes like Matbox, a combo of kickboxing, mat Pilates and yoga, Barre Pro, based on the principles of ballet barre work and Pilates and Mommy & Me, a class for moms and their babies. And for overly obsessive brides-to-be, the Sweating for My Wedding Bridal Package is available. On top of all of that, ProWorks offers NutritionPro, a weekly, healthy digital meal plan program with every possible option for getting the bod you’ve always dreamed of.
360 Miller Ave., Mill Valley; 415.360.5816.
The full list of Best of Marin 2017 Fitness & Recreation winners:
Best Bike Route/Trail
China Camp State Park
Best Bike Shop
Best Cycling Event
10 Fifer Ave., Corte Madera.
Best Health Club
Body Kinetics Health Club
1530 Center Road, Novato.
1800 Second St., San Rafael.
639 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley.
Best Hiking Trail
Best Martial Arts School
Marin Mixed Martial Arts
222 Greenfield Ave., San Anselmo.
Best Outdoor Adventure Tour
Sea Trek Kayak
2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito.
Best Park/Open Space
China Camp State Park
Best Personal Trainer
Michael Krick, KrickFit
245 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo.
Best Pilates Studio
360 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.
Best Skate Shop
244 Shoreline Hwy., Mill Valley.
Best Snow Sports Shop
1101 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael.
Best Surf Shop
244 Shoreline Hwy., Mill Valley.
Best Tennis Club
Mt. Tam Racquet Club
1 Larkspur Plaza Drive, Larkspur.
Best Yoga Studio
YogaWorks Mill Valley
650 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley.