Endorphin Junkies Switching To “Obstacle Racing”

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 15, 2011
  • Updated Dec. 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM UTC
Forget marathons: more and more people are doing this kind of thing. Photo: USA Today

They face razor wire and burning hay bales.

Forget marathons: more and more people are doing this kind of thing. Photo: USA Today

Not so long ago, fitness enthusiasts considered the marathon event something best left to those who crave danger and excitement.

This sentiment is not as relevant any more with more and more average runners demonstrating that the marathon is not such an exclusive distance. And so the endorphin-loving crowd has switched to the latest craze: “obstacle racing”. The January edition of Outside magazine has an article on these new events. While competing, obstacle competitors risk catching fire while leaping over burning hay bales or slicing an artery while crawling under razor wire–something that sounds more like boot camp than fun.

Apparently, more than a million people signed up for these types of events in 2011. Nearly all the race’s names have something to do with getting dirty–names like “Tough Mudder” and “Muddy Buddy”. Other names like Warrior Dash and the Spartan Race sound more belligerent.

One person interviewed in the Outside article described the events as like war, but “without the bullets.”

For More: USA Today

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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