New to Obstacle Racing? We’ve Got Your Back!
It wasn’t too long ago that obstacle racing was considered asinine and sadistic. People turned their noses up at it because, really, who in their right mind would commit to such torture?
Such is not the case anymore. Races are popping up all over the world, drawing people in with their raw magnetism and powerful “grit factor.” It is now a stamp of approval when completing one of these races. It’s a badge of honor. It’s bragging rights. And we would know, having supplied many of our products to such events. It’s not even just a race…It’s become a block party for racers to socialize, compare stories and bask in the glow of success. And yes, for those of age, many races will reward you with a much-deserved beer at the end!
We’ve put together a list of the very best obstacle races out there, so if you’re considering running your first race, read on.
It’s no surprise that this is at the top of our list. With over 50 races speckled all over the world, it’s no surprise Spartan has become the leading obstacle race out there. What’s wonderfully unique about the Spartan race is that there are three different distances to choose from. The Sprint is the shortest (3-5 miles) and boasts 20-23 obstacles (good for beginners). The Super is Spartan’s middle race (8-10 miles) with 24-29 obstacles. The Beast is the longest race (12+ miles) and unleashes 30-25 obstacles. They also offer a Spartan Kid Race for your youngster. You can expect anything from spear throws to 12 foot wall jumps to heavy log carries. Finishing a Spartan race will certainly earn you some bragging rights…And maybe a few bruises!
Tough Mudder is the granddaddy of all races. It was one of the first to ever come out and has been holding strong against its competitors. The Tough Mudder Half is about 13 obstacles over a five mile course. The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile course peppered with 20 obstacles. What this race is most known for is its undoubtably muddy course and its field of live wires you have to run through. So it’s not shocking that only 78% of entrants actually finish this race. It’s hard, it’s grit and you will no doubt be tested physically, mentally and emotionally.
Zombie Mud Run
Think “The Walking Dead,” only for fanatic obstacle racers. What’s unique about this race is that you can sign up either as a human competitor or as a zombie (make-up and all). Competitors run this 5K race with a flag football belt around their waste. What you want to avoid is having the zombies capture your flags. If you cross the finish line with one or more of your flags, you’re a survivor and did not contract the “zombie virus.” If you have no flags, well, you’re not a survivor. The Zombie Mud Run is fantastical physical exertion at its finest!
With over 20 events planned all over the country, the Warrior Dash is sure to build camaraderie. They aim more for “fun,” as opposed to flat-out torture. You can expect to see cargo net climbs, mud pits and their famous “Warrior Roast” fire pit jump. But once you finish this 5K course, it truly is a block party, with a live deejay, food and beer, and even a dance-off competition.
Muddy Buddy Adventure Series
This race is great when you have a running buddy. Because you literally can’t leave each others sides. At all. The course is anywhere from 3 to 4.5 miles and boasts 10 military style obstacles. But there is also the Muddy Buddy Bike and Run (two people, one bike) that covers 6 to 7 miles and only 5 obstacles. This is a great option for bikers who want to take a stab at obstacle racing!
Dirty Girl Mud Run
This is a women-only race, so expect to see lots of pink, short shorts and savage girls getting their grit on. The distance is only 5K, which is nice for someone who’s just starting out. You can expect to see mazes, nets, tunnels and tubes as you work your way towards the finish line. This would be a great option for some bonding time with the girls!
Sure, obstacle racing may not be for everyone. But it’s become just as popular as any marathon or triathlon out there. Generally, competitors just want to go out there and have a good time. Yes, it’s physically and mentally taxing, but the pride you will feel after completing any one of these fantastic races will be well worth it.