Alternative running events- mud runs, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, etc


If you’re looking for a little variety in your training, but don’t have time to commit to a marathon or half-marathon, try one of these alternative running events. The variety of options will keep you interested and motivated throughout your training. Whether you’re just looking for a good time with friends or want to push yourself as far as possible, there’s an event for you. Check out the list below!

1. Mud runs: 

They take place in rural areas and are often very scenic with rolling hills and dirt trails, which is different from many events that are in urban environments near sidewalks or roadways.

2. Tough Mudder:  

Toughest Obstacle Course – Mud, Water, & Fire

 For those that love to challenge themselves physically and mentally, this is the event for you. There are seven different courses the participant can choose from, with each one testing their physical abilities. Participants run or walk through mud pits and up hills and over walls. 

The course ends at an obstacle course where they must complete various physical challenges as well as mental ones like keeping cool under pressure and reading a map while dodging traffic and obstacles. Sounds like fun? Check out a video of a previous Tough Mudder here. 

3. Spartan Race:  

The focus of this race will be on running and not overloading your body with a lot of weight. But you should also be prepared to push yourself through obstacles in the mud and water. They take place all over the country, so it’s easy to find one near you.

 The course will change for each race, but it generally consists of about 5 different sections: hills, woods, grasslands, the swamp (swamp-like environment), and water features including swimming and kayaking. There will also be a fire feature at some point during the race . Check out the Spartan Race site for more details. 

4. Fear & Loathing:  

 Fear & Loathing is a two-day endurance event.

 There are two ways to participate: the 24 Hour Relay, which consists of three teams racing against each other over 24 hours, and the 12 Hour Race (which is shorter), which consists of a team racing for 12 hours straight against another team. 

The relay race requires six people to complete two laps around a course in one day, while a single-person can complete all three laps alone in an hour or so. Day two consists of running up to 6 miles.

5. Warrior Dash:  

 A great choice for both seasoned and beginner athletes, this is an obstacle course you run with other individuals or teams that can be completed by runners and walkers. The obstacles are always changing, but you can expect mud pits, cargo nets, walls to climb and more. 

This race tends to have a good bit of music playing at their events, so if you’re into loud music (or like to run with headphones) this race might be for you. 

6. Dirty 30

 This is a 30-mile obstacle course race that takes place in the woods of Western North Carolina on dirt trails. The three day event starts with two days of nonstop obstacle events. The first day includes 15 obstacles, while the second day includes 10 obstacles. On the third day, participants will run 3 miles around a more heavily wooded loop to complete the course. 

7. Iron Horse Challenge:

 The Iron Horse Challenge takes place in the Catskill Mountains of New York State and consists of 11 different obstacles. It has a fast pace so it can be completed within an hour or two for most people.

 Participants run around a 3.5 mile loop, with some obstacles on the course and others just between. The course includes a steep mountain climb, several ziplines, and one big waterfall obstacle that requires balancing on wooden planks . 

8. World’s Toughest Mudder:

  The World’s Toughest Mudder is a 24-hour course consisting of five different events. Participants complete both mental and physical challenges including: Team Relay, Solo, Fire Make-Out Challenge, Sprint, and the final event – The Half-Miler (which involves running for just half of a mile before switching to various obstacles for the rest of the time). 

Check out this video of someone completing the Walk to Hell and Back obstacle (which involves 6 continuous obstacles on a mountain incline) as well as Fire and Ice in this race. You’ll need some good running shoes or cross trainers for this one! 

9. Well Established Firm

 This is a 3-day event consisting of six different events. The team name is well established firm, which might make you think it’ll be a bit more challenging than it actually is. It may be tough for some runners, but the obstacles are all fairly easy for most and the course runs fairly flat. You should at least need to be in decent shape to complete this one. 

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