Think mud races are an odd way to get to the finish line? You haven’t seen anything yet. We’ve collected seven unique races from the around the world that are guaranteed to push your body and mind.
While some are wackier than others, they all make for a good story to tell your grandchildren.
Every September, distance runners from around the world gather in Greece to run on the trail of the ancient runner Pheidippides, who in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, was sent to Sparta to seek help in the war between the Greeks and the Persians. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens. That means he ran 250 kilometers — that’s 155.343 miles — in one day. The Spartathlon, which retraces the steps of Pheidippides, is one of the most difficult ultra-marathons in the world. It covers rough and muddy terrain, crosses over vineyards and steep hills. The kicker: the 1,200-meter (or 3,937-feet) ascent and descent of Mount Parthenio in the dead of night. For more info, visit Spartathlon.gr.
2. The World Wife Carrying Competition
Strengthen your body and your relationship at the World Wife Carrying competition in Finland. The objective is for the guy to carry the girl through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The length of the official track is 253.5 meters (831 feet), and the surface of the track is partially sand, partially grass and partially gravel. The track has two dry obstacles and a water obstacle, about one meter (3 feet) deep. Several guys can carry their wives piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder) or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist). For more info, visit Eukonkanto.fi/en.