World’s 10 Most Extreme Races
I scoped out the toughest, most extreme races around the world to learn more about these events. After combing through a long list, I have compiled the top 10 most extreme races in the world:
- Marathon de Sables – is a six-day, 251 km (156 mi) ultramarathon, which is approximately the distance of six regular marathons. This multi-day race is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara Desert. It has been called the toughest foot race on Earth.
- The Race Across America – For 36 years RAAM has been challenging ultra cyclists from around the globe to push their physical and mental limits to the farthest reaches. Starting in Oceanside, under one of the longest piers in California, RAAM spans 3000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet, crosses 12 states and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland.
- The Jungle Ultra – Runners cover 142.6 miles through the humid Peruvian jungle in a five-stage, self-supported race
- Alaska Mountain Wilderness Challenge – Since 1982, roughly 15 people a year attempt to find the path of least resistance across more than 100 miles of wild Alaskan terrain.
- La Ruta de Los Conquistadores – From the Costa Rican jungle to high-altitude peaks and active volcanoes, bikers must battle knee-deep mud and sand (and poison dart frogs) over four stages on a course that climbs 29,000 feet over 161 miles.
- The Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race (via a 1 block radius) – This race is a true demonstration of the fact that the most extreme endurance feats in the world are mental ones. The course doesn’t offer ever-changing natural vistas. Instead, racers must complete about two marathons a day circling the same block in Queens.
- The Brutal – Located in Wales, it involves a 4.8-mile swim, then a 224-mile bike ride, followed by a 52-mile run.
- The Barkley Marathon – 100 miles in 60 hours. There is no website. The way to enter the ultramarathon is a secret. The course is said to snake 100 miles through brutal terrain in the mountains in Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee (though some say it’s closer to 130 miles long). Racers have 60 hours to finish.
- The Patagonia Expedition Race – follows a unique route. Racers form teams of four and cross glaciers, rivers, mountains, forests, and plains.They might kayak, mountain bike, or rock climb, potentially traveling hundreds of miles over multiple days.
- Volvo Ocean Race – Every three years sailors race 38,739 nautical miles around the world, crossing four oceans and hitting five continents.
But what makes extreme sports appealing?
Man was made to hunt, gather, run, survive. As we have evolved, we have created a life of comfort but is this what we really need? Do we find comfort in discomfort? Must we push ourselves to the brink of death and then overcome to prove we are alive?
Perhaps pushing the limits of human capability is what provides the thrill, the accomplishment, and demands respect.
There is no doubt, extreme racers are adrenaline junkies. They feed on the competition and the respect that comes with being able to overcome the hurdles of each event. These athletes focus on the goals and continuously set the bar higher. But, there is that moment during the race when racers feel stripped, raw and almost broken. In that moment is when they find out what they are really made of. Overcoming the lowest moments in these extreme races is when, it seems, the most satisfaction is gained.
Extreme sports cover all kinds of activities including snowboarding, rock climbing, surfing, racing, skydiving, paragliding, skateboarding, and sailing. During a lot of these activities, it is always a good idea to hear and be seen. Lucid Audio recommends the HearBand Sport™. Racers can listen to music AND amplify outside sounds up to 9X, keeping them aware of their surroundings. And, they have the added benefit of flashing LED lights to stay visible during nightime hours.