Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you know full well the juggernaut that is extreme sports. But a rock probably won't be enough to keep you in the dark for long, not with the sport of extreme rock crawling claiming its place as the fastest-growing motor sport in the world. Get initiated at the Extreme Rock Crawling National West Finals, taking place Friday, August 26, and Saturday, August 27, at Firebird International Raceway, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler. Four-wheel-drive behemoths make 60-degree walls, eight-foot-deep crevasses, and massive hills and rocks look like speed bumps in a parking lot, as the best from the United Rock Crawling and Off-Road Challenge (UROC) vie for a spot in the World Championship Supercrawl. Tickets cost $15 at the gate, $5 for kids 10 and younger. Call 602-268-0200 or visit www.firebirdraceway.com. -- Craig Wallach
It'll be November before you'll want to go outdoors for real, so from Friday, August 26, through Sunday, August 28, duck into the Outdoor Recreation Expo at Phoenix Civic Plaza, 111 North Third Street. Along with the latest gear for hiking, camping, hunting and boating, there'll be interactive goodies, including a rock-climbing wall, a squirrel-calling contest, and scuba lessons. Expo admission is $7, free for children under 12, and $1 off with a canned food donation to Operation: Hunt for the Hungry. Call 877-887-7878 or visit www.outdoorsaz.com. -- Julie Peterson
Wet 'n' Wild
Athletes do double time
A frantic hedonistic eating and mating binge is signaled annually by the arrival of the summer monsoons . . . at least for those parched desert frogs emerging from their burrows after months of hibernation. People with amphibious tendencies also tend to go a little crazy at this time, training in preparation for the fall "Splash & Dash" race series at Tempe Town Lake, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. Don't be afraid to get your feet wet in the first race at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, August 27, an event featuring a 750-meter swim followed by a four-kilometer run. Registration is $25. Call 623-330-0913 or see www.splashanddashaz.com. -- Douglas Towne
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