The world is filled with some impressive competitions nowadays. It seems that in the past sporting competitions were rather straight-forward, even if some of them were a bit time-consuming. As sports, the places were we play them, the people who play them and where they live all continue to evolve and development—despite some remaining stubbornly fixed on old rules—we see competitions becoming more diverse and in some cases more extreme.
Some of the most extreme competitions round today are those that involve wilderness and getting through it as much simply trying to be the fastest or lift the most and be the last person standing or whatever other form competition takes. Adding the sometimes very present element of survival to a competition makes it all the more intense for spectators and especially for the athletes.
The most extreme of these races often involve more than one discipline such as the triathlon, where athletes have to run, cycle and swim. Beyond the more obvious of tests about the body’s ability such as strength and endurance people are tested by having to compete in extreme and even dangerous conditions. Some races have people running through deserts or tundra where they are forced to endure extreme temperatures in addition to compete with other athletes. While most people would struggle with battling on just one front, these athletes have to train extra hard.
Often the most challenging of these extreme races are in the mountains. Where testing one’s endurance is concerned, there’s little that provides more of a challenge that dramatic gains and losses in altitude, the sudden weather changes for which mountains are notorious, and the fact that the courses run through remote places where infrastructure is crude at best. These dangerous races test athletes’ bodies far beyond normal competition.
While most of their competitions are designed for professional and amateur athletes alike to showcase their prowess and mettle, there are numerous races worth mentioning that are hosted for more altruistic reasons. ‘Fun runs’ and other fundraising charities events such as races are popping up all over the world. Generally not held as part of professional competitive circuits, these races are open to amateurs and held in order to raise funds for charities and other organisations that seek to do good in their communities.
No where near as extreme as some of the races that course through forbidding mountains or deadly deserts, charities races are certainly events worth playing attention to, if only for the social benefits they sometimes yield. And considering that races always need athletes to be fit—whether it’s in elite marathon or casual fun runs—their role in society is a crucial one.
If you’ve always wanted to test yourself with something like the Iron Man Marathon or the ROC Mountain Marathon, spending a bit of time in some easier events, might be the perfect way to raise awareness for important social issues and train your body at the same time.