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Races | The Coolest, Craziest, and Most Intense Races in 2019

The Coolest, Craziest, and Most Intense Races in 2019

April 23rd, 2019

by Michael Ryan


Where will your next race take you? Whether it’s your home state or the edge of the world, competitions today are much more than just a race. Destination competitions attract like-minded individuals who seek a similar physical and emotional experience. We get it! Not all competitions are created equally.

In fact, we’ve come up with a list of noteworthy races that provide the essential elements of competition, undisturbed natural beauty, and an entertainment factor.  Put them all together and you have our 2019 list of unique and noteworthy competitions that deserve your attention.

Coolest - Chuck Norris 5K


Image via Chuck Norris 5k

As they say, “Chuck Norris does not run, instead he simply slows the earth’s rotation while he walks.” 

Be part of a historic moment and join the fun as a host of fans run dressed as Chuck Norris. On May 4, this Texas collaboration is geared to set a world record for the most people in one place dressed like Chuck Norris. The best part, the real Chuck Norris will be waiting for you at the finish line with his distinctive high five. The event sells out quickly, so sign up early.

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Toughest Endurance Race - Arrowhead Ultra 135


Image via Advocate Cycles

Noted as one of the toughest races in the world, it takes place in Northern Minnesota. What make this race so tough is that it is held in the coldest city during the coldest season and spans 135 miles of rugged snowy terrain. As for race results, the average finish rate is less than 50 percent. This human-powered ultra-ultra-endurance event works to provide scholarships to children of US Spec Ops Soldiers killed or wounded.

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Coldest (Possibly also the most expensive!) - Antarctic Ice Marathon


Image via Antarctic Ice Marathon & 5K

Travel to the southernmost marathon in the world, located just a few hundred miles from the South Pole at the base of the Ellsworth Mountains. This three-day competition requires travel by private jet to the marathon location. Don’t expect cheering crowds in this remote region of the world. The climate presents formidable challenges underfoot while the strong Katabatic winds blow steady.

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Most Scenic & Instagram Worthy- Big Sur Marathon


Image via Endurance Sportswire

This point-to-point course runs along the scenic California Highway 1 from Big Sur to Carmel. Held annually the last Sunday of April, the race meanders through towering redwoods, along the rugged shorelines, and past plush pastures as only the West coast can deliver. At the halfway point, the iconic Bixby Bridge is equipped with a formal-attired musician banging on the keys of a Baby Grand Piano.

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Best Adventure Triathlon - S.O.S. Triathlon


Image via 360 Ventures

Known as the Survival of the Shawangunks (SOS), this eight stage triathlon held every September in New Paltz, New York combines country roads and scenic byways for a stunning point-to-point course. Circling the northern ridge of the Shawangunk Mountain range, the course ascends the western face. Racers encounter beautiful trails, streams and lakes as part of the competitive wilderness adventure.. Now in its 36th year, this popular event sells out in minutes. 

Craziest 'Swim' Race - Red Bull Neptune Steps


Image via DryRobe

Yes, it’s an insane swim competition in the open waters of the Glasgow’s Forth & Clyde canal in Scotland. In addition to swimming icy water, athletes must hoist themselves over seven canal lock gates using ropes and ladders all while dodging waterfalls. This teeth-chattering competition can present physical challenges for athletes with unpredictable weather conditions. Up for the challenge?

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Classic American Cycling Race - Marin Century 100


Image via Nuun Our Tribe

For cyclists who love to ride in Marin County California, this race is a celebrated classic ride. Completely managed by volunteers, this cycle race has six course options with variations in mileage and elevation. With food, live music, and support services along the course, it feels more like a festival than a race. The fun continues post ride with more food, drinks, and entertainment. Held the first Saturday in August, the weekend includes a cycling expo and other related events.  Already been to this race?

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Best Post-Race Party : Horsetooth Half Marathon


Image via HorseTooth Half

Colorado is well-known for the iconic mountain views and craft beer.  This race embraces the Colorado skyline between the iconic peaks of Horsetooth Mountain and Arthur’s Rock as the course winds around the shoreline of the Horsetooth Reservoir. All finishers receive a unique medal to commemorate the achievement that also doubles as a bottle opener. Local brewer and event sponsor, New Belgium Brewing provides the beer for the famed afterparty. Other local vendors provide food, deserts and non-alcoholic beverages.

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Where will your competition itinerary take you this year? While race organizers work hard to attract participants, we work closely with them to get the word out to you. Our race database provides a point of contact to hundreds of race organizers and their information. Sign up for an account to get started!