My favorite extreme races on earth

Iditarod trails sled dog race - the dogs

Iditarod sled dogs ©Alaskan Dude/Flcikr

There is a lion in all of our hearts, they say, and in some cases that lion awakes and drives you to the edges of the world to push all the limits to extremes. I have always loved extreme races and adored the people who had the courage and strength to participate.

For this, here are my favorite extreme races on earth – at least as I see it. But before, watch really cool video about Atlantic Challenge 2013, a rowing race of 3,000 miles starting from the Canary Islands to Antigua. How tough this little game is, you can see for yourself, but racers seem too be pretty excited about it!

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

One of my favorites, definitely. It is a 1,100 miles long race of sled dogs through Alaska. Racers start in Anchorage with 12-16 sled dogs and cover the huge distance in ice and snow in about 9-15 days before they reach the finish line in Nome.

Iditarod trails sled dog race - the dogs

Iditarod sled dogs ©Alaskan Dude/Flcikr

Originally they have used Inuit sled dogs, but mushers now prefer mixed breeds of huskys and other dogs – even wolves. So cool and do not worry, at Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race all the dogs are well taken care of during and after the race!

Furnace Creek 508

Entrance to Furnace Creek

Furnace Creek ©benclark/Flickr

Those who think Tour de France is tough, should take a look at the route of Furnace Creek 508. As the name shows it is 508 miles long; it starts north of LA, goes through the Dead valley and ends at Twentynine Palms, CA. I think it is the ultimate bicycle challenge!

Marathon des Sables

Marathon des Sables starting

Marathon des Sables ©tent86/Flickr

It is simply hell itself on earth. Marathon des Sables is a self-sustained race which means that the participants have to carry their own supplies from tent to food, everything. Did I mention the race is 151 miles long and goes through the Sahara Desert for almost a week where temperatures rise to 120 F degrees…? You can guess the rest.

Barkley Marathon

Take off at Barkley Marathon

Start of Barkley Marathon ©Michael Hodge/Flickr

When you hear it is ‘only’ 100 miles long you might not think much of it, but Barkley Marathon held in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee goes beyond tough. Racers have to do some 54,900 feet of vertical climbing and find 9-11 books during the race at certain ‘check-points’ getting one page of each book as proof.  Should I add that since it started, only 7 of the 650 participants were able to finish the race within the 60 hours limit?

Do you have any favorites extreme races? I am eager to hear about more so please share, especially – but not exclusively – if you have already participated at one…


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