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 miles
Difficulty: The largest obstacle race in the world, Warrior Dash is a timed, competitive run. Still, most participants manage the muddy trails, minor hills, cargo nets, and slides with relative ease. Crowding at the events can be a problem, unless you're in the first, more ambitious wave.
The Vibe: For athletes looking for a fun, social event that still offers the we-just-survived-a-war camaraderie of completing a challenge. Generally all smiles at the finish lines.
Cost: $40–$60; warriordash.com
Credit: Red Frog Events