Maybe you’ve tackled a marathon and even mustered the grit to try a military-style obstacle course race. But how about ignoring your screaming hamstrings for 26 miles at 40 degrees below zero? Or competing in a 100-mile run so tough that only 13 people have ever finished?
Men’s Fitness scoped out the toughest, most badass footraces around the world. We rated each on a scale of 1 to 10 based on climate, altitude, obstacles, and toughness. To put it in perspective, we rated the New York City marathon at a 5. Most of these races take place in remote locations. You’ll travel for hours, and maybe even days, to reach the starting line. You’ll sleep on hard ground in a tent (if youʼre lucky) and have to cope with strange foods as well as potentially-dangerous wildlife. In addition to the distance, youʼll face subarctic temperatures, sickening altitude climbs, and natural terrain obstacles. Then, thereʼs the time and cost—most of these events aren’t same-day finish or cheap to enter.
However, by competing in them, glory is all yours. Youʼll race in places that most people have never even hear about. You’ll compete against the best, driving your physical and mental limits to the edge of what you only thought was possible. And if you finish, bragging rights are yours forever.