Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Obstacle Races: There is no off season!


Winter can be rough for runners. Many either hit the treadmill, lay off the mileage, or train through the darkness, cold, ice and snow for spring races. Having 3 months with no race in sight can be depressing, but, thanks to some winter obstacle races that have been popping up over last couple of years, there is no more off season! The best part is, the races feature mud instead of snow, so you won't even have to worry about getting dirty!





Most of these races are about a 5k distance, so you can get your obstacle fix in without worrying about freezing to death in the process. Unfortunately for me, none of these races are anywhere near the area where I live. But you don't have to miss out on the fun just because I have to! If you live by any of these, check them out! In the meantime I hope the Tri-State gets their act together and jumps on the bandwagon.

                          Blizzard Blast: January 25th 2015 -  Dracut, Massachusetts

Photo courtesy of smithfestruns.com

 This 5k winter race has been put on for the past few years, with many festive obstacles to challenge and entertain you. Notable obstacles include keg monkey bars and a Christmas tree carry. They even have an elite wave for the serious racer. The best part is, Dracut is only 45 minutes away from Boston, so if you feel traveling for this race and feel like braving the cold a bit longer, you could do both in a weekend!


                            Iceman Run: January 31st 2015 - Sauk Rapids Minnesota

Photo courtesy of icemanrun.com
Here is another 5k distance race with 15 obstacles. With snow tunnels, fire jumping, and cargo nets, this race will remind you of a summer mud run without the mess. It's also perfectly timed this year to burn some calories before gorging yourself at a super bowl party the next day.

                                       Vigor Utah: February 7th 2015  - Midway Utah

Offered in a 5k or 10k distance, this race is leaving the obstacles a bit of a mystery for now. However, they do promise some sledding on the course and encourage costumes, so they really need not say more to catchy my eye! Sounds like a good time for anyone that lives in the area, or maybe as a addition to a ski trip...

                                   Abominable Run: January 31st 2015 Como Colorado

photo courtesy of abominablerun.com


Of course Colorado had to get in on this winter obstacle phenomenon! They are also vague about the obstacles (and the race distance??), but the most challenging aspect of the race is that it will be at over 10,000 feet elevation. The event is also Yeti themed, and you know I love a good theme run! And, as an added bonus, the race site will be giving out hot chocolate at the finish and doing fat bike demos. Sounds like a good time!

                     Polar Hero: Various Dates - Ottowa, Montreal, & Quebec Canada

Photo courtesy of Polarherorace.com
Deemed the biggest winter race series in Canada, Polar hero promises a 5k with over 25 obstacles to tackle. These include many wall climbs, but the hardest obstacle looks to be the very deep snow and extremely cold Canadian winter temperatures. If your extra crazy, do the Quebec race and then stay at the famous ice hotel!

                                      Toughest Ice: April 11th, 2015 Sweden

Photo courtesy of toughest.se
 Speaking of Ice hotels, Sweden's Ice hotel is hosting its first ever Toughest Ice race, an 8k race that isn't just a winter obstacle run. The obstacles are actually MADE entirely of snow and ice. Think igloo like snow walls, Ice monkey bars, tunnels, etc. The ice hotel stay/race combo is already sold out, but if you feel like extending your winter next year, there are still race only tickets available. They are billing themselves as a once in a lifetime event, so if this interests you grab your yak traks and register! 

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