Extreme Races: Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Color Run, and Beyond

Extreme Races: Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Color Run, and Beyond

There’s something to be said of the powerhouses that run 5k’s, half-marathons, marathons, and well, those Ironmen (and women!) that participate in triathlons but what about when you want something a little extra, a little dirtier, and perhaps a little more extreme? Well, enter the craze that’s been generating tons of buzz over the last few years: extreme racing! From mud runs, to color sprints, to all-out Amazing Race-type competitions, we’re rounding up just some of the extreme races happening in a city near you!

Tough Mudder

Looking to test your strength, stamina, mental endurance, and teamwork skills? Well check out Tough Mudder! Designed by British Special Forces, Tough Mudder events send you through a grueling 10-12 mile obstacle course that will challenge even the toughest of competitors, in fact only 78% of people finish the challenge (to be awarded with a cold beer, live music, and an exclusive orange sweatband!).

With more than one million participants worldwide to-date and over $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is a must for anyone looking for an extreme “race!”

Tough Mudder Facts:

  • 76% Male
  • 24% Female
  • Average Age: 29
  • 78%: Average percentage of participants who finish a Tough Mudder
  • 80%: Percentage of participants who do Tough Mudder as part of a team
  • 1,000 +: Number of people who have the Tough Mudder logo permanently tattooed on their body
  • 3.5 Hours: Average time it takes to finish a Tough Mudder course
  • 10 to 12 Miles: Length of a Tough Mudder course


View event calendar

Spartan Race

What makes the Spartan Race different from other obstacle course race series? The clock. Unlike similar challenges, the Spartan Race is just that, a race. So instead of just finishing with a sense of accomplishment, you finish with a rank. Also different is that you cannot actually see the course map before race day but know that “there is fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally Hell on Earth.” Sounds thrilling and simultaneously terrifying.

There are three different Spartan Races you can try your hand at:

  • The Spartan Sprint: 3+ miles with 15+ obstacles
  • The Super Spartan: 8+ miles with 20+ obstacles
  • The Spartan Beast: 12+ miles with 25+ obstacles

Oh, and there’s also the Ultra Beast, but apparently you’re probably not beastly enough for that one!

View event calendar

The Color Run™

Also known as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” The Color Run combines loads of color with an untimed 5k run to celebrate healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back. You start out in your fresh white outfit and at each kilometer you are doused from head-to-toe with all different colors – but the colorful celebration doesn’t end there! At the finish line you’ll enjoy a “Finish Festival” where even more colored powder is thrown around in a final hurrah of happiness.

Since it’s start in January 2012, The Color Run has grown to become the single largest event series in the nation!

View the event calendar to join in! 

Warrior Dash

Called “The World’s Largest Obstacle Race Series,” Warrior Dash a muddy 5k with a dash of intense obstacles on tough terrain that ends with a festival of music, booze, fuzzy warrior helmets (think: viking-style), and general warrior merriment including but not limited to axe-throwing and chainsaw carving.

At every event there are awards given out for the following achievements:

  • Top three overall male and female times
  • Top three males and females in each age division
  • Best Warrior beard
  • Best costume

View the event calendar to bring out your inner warrior.



Run For Your Lives: Zombie Run

With the season premiere of The Walking Dead just a few months away many of us have zombies on the brain, which of course, is not to be confused with zombie brain – because that would be horrible. For any true zombie-enthusiast meets race-lover hybrid we definitely think you should check out the Zombie Run.

Run For Your Lives is precisely what it sounds like, you’re running… from zombies! And if that wasn’t enough there’s a series of obstacles waiting for you throughout the 5k course as you’re being pursued for your life (I mean flags)! Once you make it to the “Safe Zone” you will enjoy the Apocalypse Party – music, games, dancing, and so much more!

Side note: if you want to participate as a zombie you get loads of perks including reduced admission, professional zombie transformation makeup, and more!


Patagonian Expedition Race®

I would say this race is the be-all-end-all of extreme races, in fact its way more of an adventure. The Patagonian Expedition Race takes teams through four lands previously unseen with very minimal assistance as they find their way through  southern Patagonia by means of trekking, climbing, rope work, kayaking, mountain biking, and backcountry navigation. They often cover hundreds of kilometers without seeing a soul.

It’s like the Amazing Race, without the TV cameras. Learn more about the Patagonian Expedition Race!