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The 4 Great Adventure Races

The 4 Great Adventure Races

By this point we’ve all heard of Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash. And while those are amazing races (and here at WellPath we absolutely advocate that you get some friends together and sign up for one!), there is another tier of adventure races that even the toughest Mudder will find daunting. These pit men and women against some of the most challenging terrain Mother Earth has to offer, pushing them to the limits of human ability, testing mental and physical capacity in a way few races can. Here are four of the toughest.

4. Badwater Ultramarathon

Where: Death Valley, California

The closest thing to a trip to hell. This 135-mile run (yep) takes you through Death Valley, where temperatures reach 120, causing the rubber in your shoes to melt. It culminates in an 8000-foot climb up Mt. Whitney.  It’s not uncommon for racers to collapse mid-stride. (www.badwater.com)

3. Marathon des Sables

Where: Sahara Desert, Morocco


If the comfort of running on asphalt seems too pedestrian, this race should allay those concerns.The Marathon des Sables is a 150 mile trek across the Sahara Desert, where temperatures peak around 110, and then drop below 50 at night. Unlike Badwater, where a crew will drive behind you with water and food, you’ll have to carry all of these necessities (along with your sleeping bag, trekking poles and extra shoes for when your feet swell). Between dust storms, constant climbs up and down, and endless sand dunes, many a hardened adventure-racer has been driven to the brink of defeat. (www.darbaroud.com)

2. Iditarod Trail Invitational

Where: Alaska


If all this talk of hot climates has you yearning for something a bit cooler, look no further. You can hike, ski or bike this 350 mile race through sub-zero temperatures with low visibility and rampant blizzards where frostbite is common. This race through Alaska’s charms include that it is stunning, remote, exhausting and isolated. (www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com)

See Also

1. Patagonian Expedition Race

Where: Chile 

Many consider this race the ultimate in adventure racing. Teams of four kayak in the sea, mountain bike and trek 500 miles over the course of ten days. Racers navigate Patagonia with GPS, maps and a compass. Conditions are as inconsistent as they are inhospitable, ranging from freezing mountain peaks (over 11,000 feet) to mosquito-infested knee-deep mud in endless swamplands, or stormy, tumultuous waters off the coast of Cape Horn. Under half finish the race. Despite all this, it has taken a lofty spot in the eyes of adventure racers, not only for its difficulty, but also for the sheer majesty and beauty of the terrain. Some call it the world’s last truly wild race. (www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com)


Before setting off on a race make sure you’re satisfying all your nutritional needs. Click here to learn about WellPath’s customized nutritional solutions and how they can help.

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