run for your life
Some people achieve mental and spiritual enlightenment by pushing their bodies to the limit. Here are some of Ontario’s weirdest and most punishing races. Start training now
rugged maniac kitchener june 9 WHo does it: Tough Mudder veterans searching for a new challenge.
This race, held at a Kitchener ski hill, forces racers to conquer 27 butt-kicking challenges, like crawling through dirt tunnels, barreling down a huge waterslide and leaping over flaming logs. The hardest-core find ways to up the intensity, including going shoeless or covering their bodies in war paint. From $49. Ruggedmaniac.com.
Spartan race orono june 23—24 WHo does it: Wannabe Survivor contestants.
Throw spears, crawl under barbed wire, carry buckets of rocks— and that might just be the first obstacle. The “sprint” option offers 20 obstacles over five kilometres; the “super” is 29 obstacles over 13. “Elite” entrants compete for money and sponsorship deals. From $99. Spartanrace.ca.
8k kilt run perth june WHo does it: Tartan fetishists, Outlander fans
Sprint through downtown Perth amid a mob of kilted Scotophiles. For an additional test, the Warrior Obstacle Challenge requires participants to lug a sword and shield throughout, with stops for a hammer throw and downing a shot of scotch. Race-approved kilts are available for $35. From $50. Perthkiltrun.ca.
5k foam fest uxBridge july 21 WHo does it: Anyone who didn’t participate in a university foam party.
This wet and wild competition is a family-friendly run in which racers sport neon headbands or tie-dyed shirts as they make their way through 22 obstacles—including the world’s largest inflatable water slide. The highlight is getting doused in 2.5-million cubic feet of foam. From $45. The5kfoamfest.com.
mud hero cAledon auG. 26 WHo does it: Endurance specialists, mud enthusiasts
Doing anything over 10 kilometres is hard. This extreme sprint asks you to also complete 26 daunting obstacles—rope swings, wall climbs, cinder block carries, tightrope walks—while covered head-to-toe in slick, stinky, glorious mud. Post-race showers highly recommended. From $74. Mudhero.com.
6k Prison Break race BinBrook SePt. 15 WHo does it: Former camp counsellors, childhood rebels.
Participants imagine they’re escaping from a high-security detention unit in this capture-the-flag-like competition. Start with a belt and three flags (i.e., three chances to escape), and navigate a series of obstacles before in-character prison guards haul you back to your cell. From $55. Justrun.ca.