Obstacle racing has been described in many ways by many different racing brands. Ultimately, obstacle racing forces runners to race a course that mixes road racing, trail running, and cross country running with a variety of obstacles throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed, and dexterity. Runners are often unprepared for impending obstacles that may include going over, under or through various challenges complicating the event and adding additional physical and mental effort. Often the races are accompanied by after parties and live music and beer to celebrate the extreme event.
Events vary in distance and challenge level from 3 mile races to near half marathon distances with race brands generally traveling the country setting up race venues in large cities encouraging athletes of all types to participate. The obstacles themselves run from the traditional – crawling through mud, scaling walls, crawling under walls, and traversing balance beams to the non-traditional: carrying buckets of water, jumping fire, solving puzzles, walking tight ropes, and swimming under wooden planks. Obstacle racing, often times compared to “mud runs” are popular among runners and non-runners alike as they add new and differing elements to both the race itself and the training regime for preparing for such events.