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 everfinished?
Men’s Fitness scoped out the toughest, most badass footraces around the world, rating 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.
11 MOST EXTREME ADVENTURE RACES
Comrades Marathon – South Africa
While shorter than typical ultra-runs, this 56-mile road race from Durban on South Africa’s east coast inland to Pietermaritzburg is no less intense with a knee-crunching 500-meter drop in just 13 and a half miles . The course direction switches every year, running from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and vice versa. Despite five grueling climbs, the June race attracts at least 12,000 runners annually. The race is broken up into cut-off points. Runners who don’t make it to the next cut-off point before the final gun goes off will be picked up in a rescue bus and transported to the finish. Race officials enforce this rule strictly, shattering finishing hopes of hundreds of runners. Entry tip: Running from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is considered the downward course. And better yet, the international entry fee is only $180—making it one of the world’s cheaper races. (comrades.com)
Badass Score: 8
That’s right. I’m a BADASS 8. Twice.