The obstacle race boom has made its way to the U.S., and with it, more events than you could ever enter. Needless to say, not all obstacle races are equal. There are now DIY events run by nobodies with land and some construction know-how, big-time pretenders out to make a buck. The real-deal events have it all: a challenging course, a fun after-party, and participants that make the just-right atmosphere. Here are seven of the best, plus how they stand out. Launch Gallery >>
Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: The obstacles are designed by firefighters to mimic some of the trials encountered in a blaze. The pole and water slides are easy, but there are also plenty of challenges: dragging tires over platforms, negotiating a rope bridge, and the Towering Inferno – a vertical climb up a flight of slippery stairs in the rain.
The Vibe: This is a family-oriented event – each one has two races for kids. Firefighters make up a third of the participants, and some of the proceeds go to the foundations of local fire-related charities.
Cost: $60–$75; herorush.com
Credit: Courtesy Hero Rush