Overcoming an Obstacle (Race)

Ever ran in a race? Ran outside? Ran on a treadmill? If so, you know that running can be extremely taxing on the body. Just a simple, competitive 3 mile race can drain you both physically and mentally. Now, imagine participating in a 3 mile race in which you have to carry a 40 lb bag of sand, crawl under barbed wire, and flip four monster truck tires. Sounds crazy, right? It is. It’s called obstacle racing, a new competitive sport that has been taking the world of fitness by storm.

What is an Obstacle Race? 

An obstacle race is essentially just what it sounds like – a competitive race, but with obstacles. Obstacles often include, but are not limited to, climbing over and under walls, traversing bodies of water (often while carrying heavy objects such as a large rock), and jumping over fire. Race distances and obstacle difficulty levels vary dramatically, with races for both experienced and inexperienced athletes.

Spartan Races

Probably the most popular type of obstacle race is the Spartan Race. Voted “Best Obstacle Race” of 2012 by Outside magazine, Spartan Races provide fun, challenging courses that are both physically and mentally stimulating. There are four levels of Spartan Races: the Spartan Sprint (3+ miles and 15+ obstacles), the Super Spartan (8+ miles and 20+ obstacles), the Spartan Beast (12+ miles and 25+ obstacles), and the absolutely ridiculous Spartan Death Race, which is 48+ hours of adventure racing that includes mud runs, trail running, and a variety of obstacles.

Check it out: Want to see what you could be getting yourself into? Watch this Spartan Race official video.

Sign up here.

Tough Mudder

Another popular obstacle race is the Tough Mudder. Designed by British Special Forces, each Tough Mudder is 10-12 miles long and includes 25 military style obstacles. Like the Spartan Race, Tough Mudders test both your physical and mental willpower – all Mudders end with racers running through live wires, getting repeatedly shocked with 10,000 volts of electricity. However, at the end of each Tough Mudder there is a Dos Equis Party, during which competitors can enjoy live band entertainment, and, of course, plenty of Dos Equis beer.

Check it out: See what the Southern California Tough Mudder course was like earlier this year.

Sign up here.

Syracuse Obstacle Racing

Both Spartan Race and Tough Mudder host a variety of events all over the country, so chances are there’s an obstacle race near your hometown that you can sign up for. However, if you want to sign up for something in the Syracuse area, the Warrior Run Mountain Series is also hosting an obstacle race at Labrador Mountain (only 30 minutes away from the SU campus) on April 28th. The race is a 5k (3.1 miles), and features a race after-party with live music and beer.

Learn more about the event from the Warrior Run website.

By Gabe Sansone

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