It’s almost spring, which can’t come soon enough for those of us in the north. With spring comes the challenge of figuring out how to get rid of that winter weight. We have the solution. Don’t just go to the gym – start training to run in an obstacle race. This handy ManScore guide will help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), also sometimes called ‘mud runs’, are a relatively new category of sports. These events involve running combined with additional physical challenges and obstacles. They vary from “just slightly tougher than your average job” (e.g., A Color Run) to “You might die” (which is actually the slogan for The Death Race).

We have divided these into three categories, with each getting tougher than the last. We also want to let you know that we are an ad partner with the Spartan Race. If you are going to compete in a Spartan event, please register through the ad below. Whatever event you do, don’t forget to send us pictures - we will feature you in a future article and on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

1) The Get Out, Get Some Exercise and Have Some Fun Events

Color Runs
Color runs are events born out of the Hindu Festival of Holi. Typically, they are relatively easy 5K races. The only ‘obstacles’ are groups of people (and often other runners) throwing colored powder at you. This is less about the physical challenge and way more about having fun. Most races have a good dance party and great food at the end. For more info, check out The Color Run, the largest player in the space.

Zombie Runs
Zombie runs are typically 5k races combined with relatively easy obstacles, but with the added bonus of having to dodge ‘Zombies’ throughout the race. You start with a certain number of flags. The zombies try to take your flags. If you make it to the finish with a flag, you get a ‘Survivor’ medal. In some races, you have the choice to run as a zombie. For a list of some zombie runs, check out this directory.

Rugged Maniac
The following is from the Rugged Maniac website. This alone was enough to get us excited about it! “Come Out and Play! - Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends climbing trees, jumping in puddles, playing tag, and just plain having fun? Well Rugged Maniac is simply an adult version of that! We build 25+ epic obstacles for you and your friends to play on (like fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels), put them in a 3-mile course, and then throw a crazy party with plenty of beer and music!” For more info, see their web site.

Warrior Dash
The Warrior Dash is one of the original obstacle races. It’s a 5k race with fun obstacles and geared towards teamwork and camaraderie. This year they have 12 obstacles based on Earth, Air, Fire and Water. More than three million people have completed these races. More info on their site.

2) Tougher Events, but More Teamwork Focused

Spartan Race
The Spartan Race is THE obstacle race event. It has more than 200 events in 30 countries. They have various levels of competition, from the Kids Race to the standard Sprint (3-miles), to the killer Endurance race (varying distance). There’s a Spartan Race for nearly every skill level. Sign up here:

Savage Race
The Savage Race is teamwork oriented, and has the distinction of having the most obstacles per mile. They have both a competitive wave and a more fun wave of runners at each event. The signature obstacle is the 43 foot water slide.

3) The Put Yourself to the Test Events

Tough Mudder
Unlike some of the events above, only 78 percent of entrants actually complete the standard Tough Mudder race. These 10 to 12 mile races are no walk n the park. You will be challenged. If you do make it to the finish, however, they throw a great pary. They even have a tattoo artist and orange headbands galore to mark the occassion! Get more info at the Tough Mudder web site.

Death Race
The Death Race is only for the truly insane. Their slogan – “You may die”. Followed up by “Every man dies, but not every man lives”. We love their attitude. Not sure any of us at ManScore can handle it though. No two Death Races are the same. It takes place in random locations around the world and they don’t tell you ahead of time when it starts, where it ends, how long it will take or what you will be doing! Throughout the race, you will be encouraged to fail and quit. Nobody on the team here at ManScore has had the guts to sign up. If you have done a Death Race, please send us a note to let us know how it went! NOTE: We aren't sure if there are more races coming or not - they are being pretty quiet about it. Check out their web site and let us know.



Achievements in this Article

Complete 5 Obstacle Races

Complete a Color Run

Complete a Death Race

Complete a Rugged Maniac

Complete a Savage Race

Complete a Spartan Race

Complete a Tough Mudder

Complete a Warrior Dash

Complete a Zombie Run