7 Unmissable Obstacle Course Races To Train For In 2024
Posted by Alex Clasper
Most of us will kick off the new year with some kind of fitness goal, but whether you are hoping to get fitter, faster or stronger, staying motivated is always the real challenge. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to give one run, one training session, or one gym trip amiss, and while there is no harm in not exercising if you don’t feel like it, progress can quickly unravel if you don’t persist.
One of the easiest ways to stick to your fitness and exercise goals is to make sure that you always have something specific to aim for. This could be a specific weight you’d like to lift, a course or route you’d like to complete by foot, board or wheels, or it could be a race or event that you gradually build up to. Where the latter is concerned, you don’t have to just stick to traditional triathlons or running events either.
Purely distance-driven events certainly aren’t for everyone, which is why more and more innovative races and challenges are popping up each year. The most popular kind? It has to be the obstacle course race - a fun, social, but genuinely tough kind of event that typically involves running (or walking) an intermediate distance with just the small matter of some tricky obstacles to navigate. If you fancy giving it a go, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 unmissable obstacle course races that you can train for in the UK this year.
Tough Mudder - Across the UK, dates vary
We couldn’t kick off this list without giving our good friends at Tough Mudder a mention. One of the best-known obstacle course races not just in the UK but also worldwide, Tough Mudder tests every single element of fitness over a series of muddy obstacles. Competitors work as a team to navigate the course, choosing from a range of distances depending on just how much you want to test your strength and ability.
The whole experience is great fun too and it’s no wonder that hordes of eager challenges take on the courses each year. Better still, there’s a Tough Mudder in each area of the country, so find your nearest and get training for a shocking but rewarding experience! UK events kick off with the South East Tough Mudder on the 6th/7th April and run until the North West event in October.
Wolf Run - Warwickshire & Leicestershire, dates vary
Fancy a real challenge? Check out the family-run Wolf Run. Billed as an exhilarating off-road experience, the Wolf Run is a series of 3 different challenges starting in April and finishing in September that combine man-made obstacles with the natural trials unique to each season. It’s a great event for entering a team, but just as fun if you want to give it a go as a lone wolf and prove to yourself just how strong you are. Each of the three events offers a 10k, 5k and junior course, and you can sign up for all three if you want to prove you’ve got what it takes to achieve coveted ‘Trilogy’ status.
Born Survivor - Manchester/Gisburn, 27th April 2024/14th September 2024
With over 10 years of event history, Born Survivor is one of the most respected obstacle course races in the UK. For this one, think black mud, epic surroundings, and authentic military obstacles - it’s safe to say only the strongest will survive. Each route is designed by Royal Marines Commandos and includes a whole host of tests, from river crossings to slides. There are two events over the course of the year, so why not hit the ground running straight away and get training for the April event? Alternatively, the newest course in Gisburn holds its event a bit later in the year, so you’ve got time to really refine your training if you want to.
Inflatable 5K - Across the UK, dates vary
If you’re looking for something a bit shorter or want a slightly gentler introduction to the fun of events like Tough Mudder, the Inflatable 5K is a great starting point. These short, fun-filled obstacle course races take place across the whole of the UK, from Edinburgh to Exeter. The exhilarating inflatable obstacles are perfect for all of the family, and despite the lack of mud, you’ll still feel a real sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.
Mud Master - Weston Super Mare, 21st April 2024
But, if it is mud that you’re really looking forward to, few events do it better than Mud Master! Held at Puxton Park in Weston-Super-Mare, Mud Master is a relatively new course that combines classic obstacles like mud pools and cargo nets with tyres and space hoppers. You’ll need to be on top of your functional training if you fancy giving this one a go (think press-ups, pull-ups and more!), but the event is very team-friendly and ultimately all about giving it a good go.
Insane Terrain - Lincolnshire, 25th August 2024
Obstacle course races are undoubtedly a great way to hit your fitness goals, but they are also about having a great time and not taking yourself too seriously. It’s this sense of having fun that Lincolnshire-based Insane Terrain really prides itself on. The family-friendly event poses obstacles suitable for all ages and fitness levels and you can even choose just how far you want to go on the day which takes a little bit of pressure off when endurance training. You can choose which ‘wave’ you’d like to run in, and it’s recommended that anybody wanting to make this more of a race starts in the first wave.
Spartan Race - Across the UK, dates vary
Founded to ‘help people live without limits’, Spartan is the ultimate challenge. This global event offers races of all distances which are each designed to push competitors to their limits and improve their mental as well as physical strength. Unlike many of the other obstacle course races on this list, Spartan is tailored towards the individual so it’s a great choice if you’re hoping to unleash your competitive spirit. It’s certainly a challenge you should not sign up to lightly, but if you want to really push your body in 2024 then there’s no better way to do so than take part in Spartan.
So what are you waiting for? Think about the type of event you’d like to tackle and commit to one of these unmissable UK obstacle course races. For more information about how to train, what to wear, and events near you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Red team.