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 Maniac race might have ranked results, but the obstacles, not speed, take center stage. Most notable are the fairly long crawls required to get you through a cramped, muddy, and dark tunnel, or under a shoulder-high walkway built out of chain-link fencing. These will test your quads and patience, and weed out any claustrophobes.
The Vibe: The after-party is top-notch, with craft beer, live bands, and an impressive inflatable playground – think: advanced moon bounce – that adults will love as much as kids.
Cost: $48–$88; ruggedmaniac.com
Credit: Courtesy Rugged Maniac