It seems as though “trendy” races are taking over the running world! Mud runs, foam runs, color runs, zombie runs, briefcase relays!? When did these start? And are they going to take over the traditional races: 5ks, 10ks, half and full marathons? Or are they giving non-runners a chance to compete in something that is more than just running?
Let’s start with mud/obstacle/extreme runs, which seemed to have sparked the other unique races invading our cities.
The first Warrior Dash was held in Joliet, Ill in 2009, and sold out with 2,000 participants. In 2011, 650,000 Warrior Dashers competed from Ontario, Canada to Alabama to Australia. The Warrior Dash race has become one of the most popular mud runs today, but it definitely wasn’t the first. Some of these mud runs have been around for nearly a decade, and all are loosely based on the Marine Corps Mud Runs (some more closely related than others).
- The Original Mud Run (DFW and Houston), started by Marine Paul Cortaway (in its third year, so technically not the original “mud run”)
- Spartan Race (US, Canada and Europe)
- Tough Mudder-(Worldwide!)
- Survivor Mud Run (Northern California, Washington, Colorado, Southern California, Florida, Dallas, and Houston)
- Down and Dirty Mud Run (LA, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Philly, Detroit, New York, Atlanta, Sacramento,
- The Dirty Dash (Utah, Spokane, Billings, Oregon, Tacoma, Colorado, Boise, New Mexico, Utah)
- The Hell Run- Seattle only, September 15, 2012
- Primal Mud Run-(NC and VA)
- Death Race Challenge-(Vermont)
- Gladiator Rock and Run-(San Antonio, San Jose, Irvine, Dallas, Washington, Georgia, Pasadena, Phoenix, San Diego, )
- Hoppin Mad Mud Run-(MA)
- Buffalo Battle Begins-(TX)
- SBSD Mud Run-(San Bernadino, CA)
- Madison Mud Run-(WI)
- Dirty Myrtle Mud Run-(Myrtle Beach, SC)
- SqwishSqwash Challenges-(Tampa, Southern Georgia, Orlando)
- Winter Pineapple Classic-(Seattle, WA)
- Racing Humans Adventure Race-(Texas, GA, Alabama, MO, FL)
- Go Dirty Girl-(For Women Only-(IL, MN, WI, NY, NE, CO, TX, CA, AZ)
- Terrain Racing Mud Runs-(San Jose, Eugene, Portland, Spokane, SoCal, Phoenix, Tucson)
- Irvine Lake Mud Run-(SoCal)
- Del Mar Mud Run-(San Diego, CA)
These races are not only a physical challenge, but also a mental challenge, and are a great opportunity for non-runners, or runners who don’t want to always compete in the traditional races, a chance to compete and also have fun (most competitors dress up). They also give us serious runners a chance to ditch the Garmin, forget about qualifying for Boston, and test a new skill not used regularly (jumping over fire, climbing a wall, swimming through mud, etc).
I have yet to do a mud run, but will do the Warrior Dash this year. I am very excited to try something new!
Are you signed up for any mud runs? Have you ran a mud run? Please share your experience?