Some people just like to be tortured. How else would you explain the desire to take part in some of the toughest obstacle races in the world? But if pushing your body past its breaking point is your thing, we have you covered. Below we’ve listed some of the toughest, body-challenging races around and, for those just new to the sport, some of the less challenging ones.

Top Obstacle Courses

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash

This is a good race for beginners because the obstacles are quite friendly and the distance short, with about 10 to 12 obstacles over about 3 miles. Its website says this is the obstacle race that “anyone can start and everyone can finish.” It says athletes will wade across wooded lakes and venture through mud-caked backroads. The obstacles are all designed to test the athlete’s physical and mental limits. If it proves too hard, you are allowed to skip any obstacle without penalty. At the end, athletes are rewarded with a medal that doubles as a bottle opener and magnet, a T-shirt, Warrior helmet and, of course, ice cold beer. In fact, this course is known to throw the one of the best after-parties of all races.

Sergei Bachlakov /