Looking to test yourself in a completely different running or strength challenge? Check out some of these interesting alternatives…
Wife Carrying World Championship
This peculiar athletic race is sure to test a relationship!
A trust exercise for some, an exciting honeymoon for others, the event entices people from around the world to compete in groups of three couples at a time around a sand-track-filled obstacle course which includes a deep-water pool.
The Wife Carrying Championship, hosted in the small town of Sonkajärvi, Finland, is considered one of the seven most bizarre feats of strength events in the world.
The rules say that entrants must carry their wives or their neighbours. The designated ‘wife’ has to be at least 17 years old and weighs in at a minimum of 49 kilograms. If the designated ‘wife’ is lighter, she must carry a weighted rucksack, given to her by officials.
The world champions win the equivalent of the wife’s weight in beer, a bag full of wife-carrying merchandise and an official logo statue. There are also special prizes for second and third couples as well as the most entertaining couple, best costume and strongest carrier. It really is a day filled with entertainment for both contestants and spectators!
The competition is also catching around the world. Australia, the UK, USA, India, Hong Kong, and Germany, now hold their own versions of this freakish event. The event takes place this year in Finland on 30th June till 1st July. Check it out at Wife Carrying World Championship 2023 – Rad Season.
Fancy a 200-mile ultra-marathon through the darkness of the UK’s longest foot tunnel?
The Tunnel is a mind-bending test of extreme endurance and sensory deprivation. Running on flat terrain, the route is pitch black between 11pm and 5am, while there is low-level lighting in effect at other times.
Competitors have 55 hours to run 200 times through The Combe Down tunnel in Bath, Somerset. It makes it possibly the greatest mileage ultra-marathon ever run, 99% underground.
All applicants have to have a minimum of a 100-miler as a qualifier, for this low key, no nonsense extreme test of running ability and endurance.
This year it takes place from 31st March-2nd April. To find out more visit The Tunnel | Cockbain Events Ltd.
It’s exactly what it sounds like! Zombie Run is a 5K where you’re not running against the clock, but from brain-hungry, virus-spreading, bloody zombies.
Before the race, you get a flag belt which represents your health. The zombies’ aim is to take your flags and maybe eat your brains.
If you finish with all your flags, you receive the ‘Survivor’ medal at the finish line. If you finish with some flags but not all, you finish with the ‘Infected’ medal at the finish line. And if you finish with no flags, well, you’ve successfully been transformed into the undead!
To encourage team participation, if people run as part of a team and any single member ‘survives’ with a flag, the entire team receives a Survivor medal.
There’s a start line and a finish line, trying to avoid zombies in between, and multiple routes lead to the finish. But you want to choose wisely or your 5k might turn into a 10k!
For more information visit zombierun.com
Man v Horse
The event started back in June 1980 following a chat over a pint in the back bar of the Neuadd Arms Hotel.
Landlord at the time, Gordon Green, overheard two men discussing the relative merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain. The enterprising Gordon, never one to miss an opportunity to promote Llanwrtyd Wells and improve business at his hotel, decided to put it to the test – and so began Green Events and its first, longest standing and now internationally-acclaimed event, Man v Horse.
The course was changed in 1982 to provide a more even match between the man and the horse, with some very close finishes – sometimes with the horse winning by just a few seconds.
It took 25 years before a runner finally beat all the horses. In 2004, Huw Lobb won in 2 hours and 5 minutes, beating the fastest horse by 2 minutes. His achievement was repeated 3 years later by Florien Holtinger and again in 2022 by Ricky Lightfoot. Could you be the next?
The jackpot for a runner who beats the first horse and rider starts at £500 and increases by £500 each year the event takes place until it is won. For 2023 it is £500 – although Huw Lobb earned himself a whopping £25,000 in 2004!
Saturday 10th June is the date this year. Find out more at Man v Horse (green-events.co.uk)
Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race
Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy set up this race in 1997 as a test of physical and spiritual self-transcendence.
The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race, organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, is based around an urban block in Queens, New York.
Runners have 52 days to complete the 3,100 mile distance – an average daily mileage of just under 60 miles. The annual race takes place over a 52-day period beginning in mid-June and ending in early August. Runners traverse a loop around a sports field, playground, and high school in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, beginning at 6am and running for extended periods throughout the day, and can continue till midnight if they wish, which is when the course closes for the night.
Sri Chinmoy championed the physical and spiritual benefits of running and would come to the course daily to offer encouragement and support to the runners.
He said: “This 3,100 miles is an unprecedented journey in our world-peace-manifestation-dream. World peace can come into existence only when we are inundated with patience and perseverance. Infinite patience we need in our inner life and perseverance we need in our outer life.
“These 3,100 miles remind us of one divine and supreme reality: we can and we must do everything at our command to transform the world of lethargy and unwillingness to be dynamic. Unwillingness we do not leave behind us. Therefore, happiness remains always a far cry. Willingness to give, willingness to achieve, willingness to grow and glow should be the message of our souls. With our souls’ blessings we can and will fulfil our earthly life.”
Find out more about the race at 3100.srichinmoyraces.org.