The first Tough Mudder of 2013 happens this weekend at Boughton House in Northamptonshire and will see a few thousand competitors battle their way through mud, fire and ice across the 12 mile-ish course. Tough Mudder may be the big boy, but the UK is the real home of obstacle racing, with over 25 years of obstacle racing history. Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite alternatives to the Tough Mudder.
10. The Nuts Challenge
31st August- 1st September 2013
One of the best events in the UK. It has a permanent assault course built on-site and over the course of 7km, you’ll be facing over 100 challenges. It’s one of the most intense and fun courses and has the option to run 1, 2, 3 and 4 lap options (ie 7km, 14km, 21km, 28km). Underestimate the longer options at your peril!
9. Tough Guy
Perton, Near Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Nettle Warrior 27th-28th July 2013
The original obstacle course race and the inspiration for a lot of the bigger events (ahem, Tough Mudder, cough, cough). The permanent assault course set up near Wolverhampton is unparalleled by any other events. The obstacles are literally enormous. The original winter event is as brutal as it gets, but for those not so acclimated to the elements, the summer “Nettle Warrior” event is a banger.
8. Rat Race Dirty Weekend
Burghley House Estate, Stamford, Lincolnshire
11th May 2013
This is 2013 biggest new entrant to the UK obstacle course market. Pitched as “The worlds biggest obstacle course”, with over 200 obstacles over a 20 mile run. Rat Race really know how to organise a sensational event, so expect this to set the world on fire next weekend!
7. Total Warrior
3rd-4th August 2013
Based in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District, this event is as much about facing the challenges of the natural terrain as it is about tackling the substantial obstacles. It’s worth making a weekend of it and staying on to party and camp with your fellow warriors!
6. Spartan Race
25th August, 1st September, 8th September, 15th September, 21st-22nd September, 9th November 2013
Another big US firm, making moves into the UK. They run three different distances: Spartan Sprint (5km), Super Spartan (12km) and Spartan Beast (20km). They always pull in the crowds and have events running all over the country.
5. Wolf Run
Near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
7th-8th September 2013
This is a really well run and structured 10km obstacle course based in the heart of the midlands. It’s perfect for fun runners as well as those looking to test themselves and draws in an enormous crowd. So much so, you need to book up within a week of new dates being released in order to get a place – it sells out in the blink of an eye!
4. Rock Solid Race
31st August, 12th October 2013
These are one of the new kids on the block but have proved that they mean business, with a significant range of well-constructed obstacles spread over 5km and 10km distance options. They currently have events situated in Exeter, Plymouth and Milton Keynes, but keep an eye out for more venues as they grow.
2nd November 2013, 4th January 2014
These guys have been going for years and although there are no man made obstacles, their 10-12 mile courses are something to be reckoned with. The routes are carefully planned to incorporate some seriously challenging natural terrain.
2. Brutal 10
22nd June, 17th August, 19th October, 16th November, 28th December 2013
If you’re based in the South East make sure that you check out this awesome series of mud runs. They have a regular calendar of events in the Surrey / Hampshire area, where you’ll face beastly hills and insane amounts of mud!
1. Monster Race
Charlton Park, Wiltshire
2nd November 2013
If you’re based out on the M4 corridor then check out these fresh young bucks. Their first event looks like it could light up the southwest this November with a great of mud, trails, water and man-made obstacles.