Obstacle Races: Which One Should you Choose?

As Obstacle Races have grown in popularity, the distinctions between the types of races have evolved. Figuring out which type is the right one for you can be a challenge by itself. Here we attempt to lay out the differences between the Big Three – Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash. Hopefully this will help you find the right blend of mud, running and obstacles to meet your goals and abilities.

Tough Mudder


While not a competitive race versus an opponent – it remains a competitive race against yourself! Don’t kid yourself, lack of external competition does NOT mean it is easy! Each race is a minimum of 10 miles long and its filled with obstacles that could bring a grown man to tears including it signature Electroshock Therapy 2.0! This torture chamber is a dash through live wires that will jolt your senses if you touch them.

What differentiates Tough Mudder from the others is teamwork! These races are geared to working with others to overcome the obstacles as many – lugging a 200 pound log over and under walls – cannot be done alone!

Spartan Race


Spartan races are the most popular races today. What makes it unique is that competition outweighs camaraderie. Every heat is timed, so you’re on your own! While the obstacles are less complex than others, they are equally daunting! Races vary in distance from 3+ miles and up with 15+ obstacles in each race.

Warrior Dash


The first of this kind, over 2M racers have experienced the Warrior Dash since its inception in 2009. This beginner friendly race is a 5K with 12 obstacles along the way. While called a “race” it really is more of a moving party. Finishers don fuzzy warrior hats at the finish line and partake in beer and turkey legs upon completion! If you haven’t done one of these, it is a great place to start!