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Warrior Dash and Spartan Race - Are These Endurance Race / Mud-Soaked Obstacle Courses the Next Big Thing in Extreme Sports?

By James Folsom,

Two organizations have launched exciting and grueling foot races that are growing in popularity, Warrior Dash and Spartan Race.

Warrior Dash

If you want to get lean and mean, Warrior Dash may be for you. It is a grueling obstacle course. Not your typical obstacle course of tires and jumping over a sand pit and climbing a wall, no this one is going through a mud pit under barbed wire, sliding down a wet, very steep hill, jumping over flames and those tires? Yeah, they are at about a 30 degree angle.

This is more than an endurance race too. It's more like a party with a race attached. Heavy Metal Music and lots of beer drinking accompany this event. So even if you're not a racer, you can still come out and party with thousands of your closest friends.

A typical race has hundreds of contestants and the best times are typically around 30 minutes. So this is definitely something you want to be in good shape for. At the end of the run you will be beat up, bruised and covered in mud. So you don't want to wear your nice jogging outfit for this thing. "Mud, Sweat and Beer" is the slogan for this circuit. They travel literally all over the world.

There will be events in 2012 all over the US and Canada as well as Great Britain, Ireland and even Australia. If you visit their Facebook page you will see a video of one of the events. You will also notice that hundreds of thousands of people have "Liked" their page. These races could be the next "big thing".

Spartan Race

Spartan Race is a similar circuit that is more about the competition and less about the party. Not that Warrior Dash is not challenging, but Spartan Race looks like Navy Seal Training only tougher. You've got your obstacle course complete with rope climbing and crawling under barbed wire, etc. But there is also added to that spear throwing and stopping in the middle of the race to lift heavy rocks or do a bunch of squat thrusts. You may have to crawl through a culvert or repel down a steep grade. There's no loud music or beer drinking with this circuit. It is for the serious athletes.

Spartan Race also uses Facebook to get the word out. Like Warrior Dash, they too have hundreds of thousands of likes. They have the 2012 schedule on the page. You can see that they too travel all over the US and the UK. Watch for an event near you.

Both of these events look like something I would have liked to have had the opportunity to participate in at a younger age. These are not really for seniors either. You have to be in tip top shape to even attempt these events. I can see something like this taking off on cable networks like Spike TV or Fuel. Maybe eventually making it onto a sports network looking for programming.

If a top notch athlete or two emerges that can hold an audience, who knows? That is how MMA started. Now it is a serious sport. Recently MMA events have made it onto live network TV, appearing on FOX. That was not thought possible a decade ago.

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