Fads come and go, especially in the fitness world, and marathons are no exception! Marathons have become more creative over time; from wacky prizes to new trails, no two marathons are the same! A new event is challenging the marathon’s popularity, and that is the obstacle race! In this race, participants will compete in physical obstacles such as climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing through bodies of water, crawling under barbed wire and jumping through fire. Testing more then speed and endurance, these races challenge your strength and dexterity as well. Training for a marathon is challenging, training for an obstacle race is even more so. Total body workouts combined with cardio and a proper diet will help those looking to compete in these races!

1. If you participate in the Nike Women’s Marathon, at the finish line your prize is a Tiffany’s Necklace fastened on by a firefighter in a tux!!! (I’d run for that!) (photo credit here)

2. Another creative marathon that draws big crowds is the Disney Marathon. Running through the Magic Kingdom with the Disney characters cheering you on is sure to be a ton of fun! (photo credit here)

 3. The Spartan Race is one of the most interesting obstacle races out there. You can choose between the Spartan Sprint (3 miles of races), Super Spartan (8 miles of races), the Spartan Beast (12 miles of races), and Super Beast (26 miles of races).  This race is unique and challenging to anyone who dares to compete. (photo credit here)

4. Tough Mudder courses are between 10 and 12 miles and have various military style obstacles. These courses are held on difficult terrain but generally do not require athletes to forge their own paths. (photo credit here)

5. Warrior Dash is a shorter event but definitely one growing in popularity. Winning times for a Warrior Dash may be as short as 15 to 20 minutes. While the Warrior Dash features many of the same obstacles found at other races, such as mud crawls, water features, and net climbs, this event is more popular for its entertainment value than it’s actual challenge value! (photo credit here)

So if you are looking to challenge yourself beyond 26.2 miles check out any of these races and give it your all!