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How Much Can You Endure? Here Are Some Of The Toughest Races In The US

Top Toughest Races In The US

By Beni ResteaPublished 3 years ago 6 min read

It is incredible to see what the human body is capable of doing and sometimes people push themselves beyond their limits. Have you ever wondered how much you can endure? Have you ever tested your limits to see how far you can push yourself? Well, some people out there did and in fact, the scene has turned into a brutal competition to see which one is the strongest, the fastest, the most resilient human being in the world.

Some of the best American athletes compete in some of the toughest races in the US to see if they are fit for the challenge. In order to achieve our goals in life, we all have to sacrifice something and give something in return in order to reach the highest peak. Do you know what it takes to be able to compete in some of the races we're about to highlight?

Some people work a lifetime to be fit enough to even compete. Long hours of training and sweat are put in by each competitor, but reaching that finish line and getting to the top is the most rewarding feeling you will ever achieve. Here are some of the toughest races in the US and probably in the world.

Badwater 135

Have you ever heard of Badwater 135? This race is held in the state of California and it holds the title for the world’s toughest foot race. If you want to know what it feels like to run through the lowest valley and the highest peak in the USA, then the Badwater 135 is the race for you. But, do you have what it takes to complete it? Not everyone does since many athletes start the race but only a handful complete it.

Badwater is an Ultramarathon that extends for 135-miles, and it starts in California’s Death Valley, at Badwater Basin and the finish line is at an elevation of 8360 feet in Mount Whitney at Whitney Portal. It is an annual race that takes place in July when the temperatures reach extreme peaks of 130 degrees, therefore, very few competitors, even amongst the ultramarathoners, manage to finish the excruciating race.

Hardrock 100

Another race that tests your endurance both mentally and physically is the Hardrock 100. Runners have 48 hours to finish this 100-mile race and they will have to go through 33,000 feet of climbing with an average elevation of 11,000 feet through a loop course. This race takes place in the San Juan Mountains located in southern Colorado and it is definitely one of the toughest races in the world.

The difficult terrain and excruciating climbs will defeat most of the 145 participants, which is the maximum amount accepted for the event. Much of the race is taking place on old mining trails built by the miners who settled in the area a long time ago, and this race is dedicated to them. The name of the race comes from the ram head painting that is located on a large stone mining debris block at the finish line.

Unlike ordinary races where you have to go through the finish line in order to complete the race, the Hardrock 100 race requires you to kiss the painted ram in order to complete the race.

The Barkley Marathons

This race has been held for more than 30 years and only 15 athletes have managed to complete it so far, just so you can get an idea of how hard this race is. This ultramarathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest races in the world and athletes need to show incredible mental power and strength. This almost cult-like race is based on the story of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., and his prison escape back in 1977.

The course changes every year but the location remains the same, in the Frozen Head State Park of Tennessee. Compared to some of the best places to live in Tennesse, this race isn’t anything close to best, or comfortable. Racers have 60 hours to complete the race and only 35 runners are admitted in the race each year. The application process is a closely guarded secret and the secretive nature of the race is given by the history behind it.

While Ray covered only 8 miles in 55 hours during his escape from prison, Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell mocked Ray’s low mileage by pretending the fact that he could cover 100 miles in that time. That’s how the Barkley Marathon was born and since then it put many athletes through hellish conditions and physical strains making the race one of the toughest and most interesting races on our list.

Self-Transcendence 3,100 mile

We had 48-hour races, and we had 60-hour races, but how about a 52 day-long race. That sounds crazy, and it sure is one of the longest races in the world covering 3,100 miles in total. This race puts your body through torture for days but you at least get to enjoy the beautiful views of New York.

This race takes place in Queens, NY and it is organized by the Sry Chinmoy Marathon Team. Initially a 2,700-mile race the Self-Transcendence marathon was extended to 3,100 miles in 1997 at the ceremony award. Through this race, athletes are required to take the same circuit route of one extended city block in Jamaica, Queens and they would have to make roughly 5,650 laps for completion.

Runners would have to complete 3,100 miles in 52 days and usually, they would run an average of 59 miles per day starting at 6 a.m until midnight. This is definitely the race that puts the runner’s endurance to the test and only by exceeding their limits they are able to complete the longest and the most brutal race in the world.


If you consider yourself to be strong, athletic and feel like there is no obstacle you can’t overcome there are definitely a couple of competitions that are challenging and they might be just the right thing for you. We have conceived a list with some of the toughest races in the US and probably in the world that will be overcome only by the strongest competitors. Only those who have the ability to push themselves beyond their limits are able to complete these races.

Training for competitions like this is just as serious as the race and if you are looking for the right place to live in order to prepare for the big race, find a real estate agent that would help you find the right neighborhood for you.


About the Creator

Beni Restea

I'm a member of the content team at The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory®, producing countless informative and trendy real estate articles for RealEstateAgent.com and its many outlets.

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