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Will New Yorkers jump into the Hudson for an Equinox membership?

EquinoxDive 20-feet below the surface of a pond, dig through a gravel pit, and run up 12 flights of stairs before the sun rises. No, these aren’t the latest Spartan Race obstacles—they’re all things New Yorkers have done this summer to snag a free gym membership.

It’s all been part of Equinox Goldrush, the luxe gym chain’s latest in a string of wacky marketing stunts and campaigns over the years (like, remember when they said you could blame all of your bad decisions on them?).

More reading: Equinox’s new cycling class feels like a (sweaty) video game

Goldrush, which launched on July 20, is a series of “extreme” challenges around New York City to give away five Gold Memberships, crazy-packed year-long packages you can’t buy that include things like access to all of the clubs around the country, personal training and Pilates sessions, and credits for juice, activewear, and skin-care products.


How far will cash-strapped Big Apple residents go to make one theirs? The two remaining challenges include hoisting a heavy rope out of a well beneath a manhole cover and making your way to a membership that will be “dangling off a pier on the Hudson.”

More reading: If you fall in, keep your mouth shut—and other things I learned paddle-boarding on the Hudson

It’s too bad the prize’s only spa element is monthly massages instead of a body-scouring scrub to cleanse the winner of river grime. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit

(Photos: Equinox)