Top 7 Obstacle Races In The World

Obstacle Course Race is one of the most exciting and unusual sports events, the rules of which are unique and, at the same time, simple. Unlike regular Olympic races, obstacle races can be different: overcoming a high barrier, “swimming” through a ditch with mud, carrying a load from one place to another, or diving into a pond of icy water. And this is just a short list of what is available in such events. In this article, we will talk about 7 world obstacle races worth your attention.

OCR World Championships

Let’s start with perhaps this sport’s most famous and top event. Obstacle Course Race World Championships are the Olympic Games for those ready to show their preparation, endurance and emotions. This event attracts the attention of athletes, fans, and bettors. OCR World Championships events are at their peak, second only to the latest NFL betting lines. Why? First of all, the OCR World Championships includes a distance of 15 km (≈9.3 miles), with 100 obstacles and challenges: mud, weight lifting, ice water, huge rocks, etc. 

Athletes from 65 countries can participate only if they have passed strict qualifications. As a result, this is the most anticipated event in the world Obstacle Course Races.

Barbarian Race

Let’s move on to describing something “light”. The Barbarian Race has a difficulty rating of 3/5 and is more of an individual challenge. The event takes place in Poland and is divided into 3 different paths: Barbarian Open, Barbarian Arrow and Path of the Warrior. 

Barbarian Open is for beginners and those who want to try their hand at obstacle racing for the first time. 

Barbarian Arrow is a speed race along a strip with an average number of obstacles. 

And the juiciest one is the Path of the Warrior – a long line of obstacles and several dozen challenges. The Path of the Warrior adds excitement to the fact that there are penalties for attempts to overcome obstacles, which is not the case, for example, in the Barbarian Open.

Survival Race

Despite the loud name, the event is simple and not as complex as the previous two. First, this is an urban race, often occurring in local parks and open areas. This is the best option for beginners since the distance is short and obstacles are not difficult. Just like the Barbarian Race, the Survival Race has three different difficulties:

  • Starter – 3 km (≈1.8 miles), 15 obstacles;
  • Warrior – 6 km (≈3.7 miles), 30 obstacles;
  • Machine – 12 km(≈7.4 miles), 45 obstacles.

What to choose is decided by athletes and athletes, but as you can understand from the names of the stages, Starter is for complete beginners (3 km, 15 obstacles), Warrior is for the intermediate level (6 km, 30 obstacles), and Machine is for real machine-warriors (12 km, 45 obstacles).


And again, an event whose organizers are from Poland is also held in Nepal, Georgia and Slovenia territories. The reason for this territorial diversity is that Runmageddon takes place all year round. In winter, athletes must plunge into icy water, and in summer, overcome a mud swamp or cross the Sahara Desert. In addition, the organizers added a truly extreme feature – a corridor with dozens of live wires.

It sounds extreme and life-threatening, but the number of people wishing to participate in Runmageddon events grows yearly.

Red Bull Conquer the Castle

Of course, the list would not be complete without obstacle races from Red Bull. Red Bull actively supports such extreme events, so they will not limit themselves to cliff diving. Conquer the Castle takes place in Denmark since Rosenholm 16 was chosen as the main castle. The main task is to capture the point and get to the castle after passing dozens of ordinary obstacles and fighting the castle’s defenders. We think it won’t be a surprise that they give a good amount of money for winning, so many athletes want to participate in Red Bull Conquer the Castle.

Bison Race

The second most challenging event after the OCR World Championships is the Bison Race. When athletes complete the Bison Race, they are typically ready for the World Obstacle Race. This is because of the large number of races, team and solo modes, and the variability of obstacles. Having completed them, although the casual athletes remain tired, beaten and (sometimes) injured, everyone enjoys the process.

Spartan Race

And last but not least, the Spartan Race is among the extreme sports events. With the Spartan Race, which Joe de Sena founded, the worldwide hype for such competitions began among athletes worldwide. Currently, Spartan Race holds dozens of events for professional athletes and children (not extreme ones).

Everyone dreams of getting into the Spartan Race because here, in addition to money, athletes fight for awards (medals) and collecting. Custom medals represent the organizer’s expectations for the contestants. It is a very memorable collection which means joining the tribe of Spartan warriors. According to the classics, the Spartans cannot do without throwing a javelin (spear). This test is the benchmark and final test for many races.

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