If you're the type of person who watches "Wipe Out" and thinks it looks like a pleasant Saturday morning, you're gonna love this.
A weekend run no longer has to be point A to B, as obstacle races are popping up almost daily, and the average 5k race around your local jogging route has greatly evolved. A course full or grueling obstacles including mud, foam, moving obstacles, 8 foot walls, and even fire jumps. With so many new races popping up all over the place, it's tough to follow and figure out which race is the best for you. Because of it's popularity, the obstacle race phenomenon has sprouted up numerous variations offering different levels of difficulty for all types of athletes no matter how young or old.
Pick the one for you, here is Your Complete Guide to Novelty Races.
Water? Yes, ice bath actually. Be Prepared for full submersion.
How Serious? Mostly fun, but rigorous for sure. Some Mudders take themselves way too serious.Time to don the orange headband and team up, Tough Mudder is one of the largest obstacle races, the self professed "toughest obstacle race on the planet" includes climbing, crawling, balancing and running all while combatting mud, ice, water and electricity.
Obstacles? Yes-- Climbing walls, toting tractor wheels, jumping over fire or under barbed wire, you name it.
Water? Yes, but all water obstacles are walkable.
How Serious? Depending on whether you're competing in the Sprint, Super or Beast mode, this race can range from super aggressive to less stressful. Just be sure to pack a change of clothes for the drive home.
Men's Health Urbanathalon
Obstacles? Yes. Monkey bars, marine hurdles,
How Serious? Skip or fail at an obstacle and you'll be lead to a "Six Star Penalty Zone" where the race staff will require you do 2 push-ups and 6 burps before being allowed to continue on with the event. So, if you're counting that's personal shame and burpees-- that's a pretty serious race.
Obstacles? Yes. Mud crawls, wall climbs, slides, and of course, foam pits.
How Serious? Billed as an "adventure run", the Foam 5k is all about having a good time where everything goes, and costumes are encouraged. Although the obstacles are challenging, it'll be tough to keep a smile off your face when your head first into a gigantic pit of foam.
$70 - $90 with additional pricing for teams
Obstacles? No, but the 4 color stations provide plenty of action.
How Serious? The Color Run is less about achieving a personal best time, but more about just going out and having fun. More then just a 5k, the Color Run is a party, fully equipped with music, dancing, and color throws, so bring a change of clothes and embrace the experience.
Neon Splash Dash
Obstacles? No, but includes 4 "Glow Zones"
How Serious? The Neon Splash Dash makes their event a party, so coming away with the best time through the 5k just means your missing out on the full experience. Complete with black lights and glow in the dark paint, this nighttime race is unlike anything else and is more about the people then the run.
Obstacles? Yes. Wall Climbs, climbing nets, fire jumps, mud crawls, and much more.
How Serious? Pull out the cape, it's go time. The Superhero Scramble incorporates a series of obstacles stretching anywhere from 4 miles to marathon distances depending what you sign up for. Designed to test you strength, resilience, and endurance, the scramble truly tests your Superhero abilities.
How Serious? Electric Run makes their 5k as much of a concert as it is a race. The course is designed with neon lights all choreographed to move with the beat of the music making a unique electric wonderland that'll make your 5k that much more enjoyable.
The Neon Vibe
How Serious? At Neon Vibe, your body is the canvas. The nighttime 5k comes complete with black lights, glow in the dark paint, and music throughout the course. Ideal for the person who has trouble motivating through an average run, the Neon Vibe flips your morning jog on it's head.
The Great Bull Run
Obstacles? Yes, unless you don't consider bulls an obstacle.
How Serious? The long running Spanish tradition has finally made it's way to the U.S, so maybe you can check that off your bucket list. A waiver has to be signed to participate, but with only 15 deaths recorded in the over 100 years of the race, I guess your chances aren't that bad. If the run is still too extreme for you, theres several other options to enjoy the race including the Tomato Royale food fight.