Top 10 Toughest Running Events in the World

Interestingly it can be said that, the people have a general liking towards the toughest of challenges. Seemingly, the human population is always keen on taking up these challenges and making a mark with them. The toughest of all time races is predominantly inclusive of the premier challenges of making it through some of the most hostile terrains. Be it the scorching heat of the deserts, the shivering cold of the Antarctic or the most venomous animals across the Brazilian Rainforest, people seem to have no respite from taking on these challenges.

Here is a list of the toughest races on the planet, which you would surely think twice before participating in.

10. Spartathlon


This ancient Greek race has its origin to the days of History. However, the moderately challenging racetrack and a relatively easier terrain are a blissful opportunity for the racers to make it through with the event. The event is fast-paced as it is generally of around 36 to 40 hours. The fast-paced nature of the event makes it a pretty challenging one even though the terrain and race course is rather the easiest among all.

9. Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc

Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc

This is the toughest European racing event and it is held on Mount Blanc across the French Alps. This makes it 9th to the list, as it is a fairly easier event than the others are. The qualification levels are pretty difficult as the athlete needs to take part in a lot of the premier competition to make it into this event. The cool and pleasant temperatures of the alpine region make it an easier terrain compared to the others. But the long stretch is certainly not at all easy.

8. Jungle Marathon across the Brazilian Rainforest

Jungle Marathon across the Brazilian Rainforest

This race stretches across the Brazilian rainforest and is unlike the typical desert and snow landscape found in the former racecourses. The place is nevertheless not at all less challenging as the high humidity and the extremely high heat makes the racers sweat for their breath. The 200 Km stretch is ought to be completed in six stages across 7 days and this is indeed challenging. The terrain is perhaps among the most challenging since the avid moisture content is never a real help to the racers.

7. The Sahara Desert March

The Sahara Desert March

7th on the list is the Sahara Desert Marathon. This marathon stretches across the largest desert on the planet and therefore, it is ought to be tough. This is the last course within “Racing the Planet” edition and is generally conducted during the month of October. The race is 250 Kilometres long and has been known to pass through some of the greatest archaeological relics of the world. The race can thus be defined to be less competitive and more of a grand tour to world heritage. However, the racers are not provided respite from the scorching heat of around 40 to 50 degree Celsius.

6. Atacama Crossing

Atacama Crossing

This race is yet another fundamental part of racing the planet series and it stretches across 250 Kilometres through the Atacama Desert. The place is among the driest places on Earth and the arid conditions make it an extremely tough challenge for the participants. It takes place every year in March and during that period of time the temperatures have been known to go up as much as 30 to 35 degrees. The temperature is rather cooler when compared to the other places and this is owing to the cooling influence of the Humboldt Currents.

5. The Gobi March

The Gobi March

As the name suggests, indeed this is another race that requires the participants to cover up mass stretches of land covered in sand. It is a fundamental unit in “Racing the Planet” series and the entire race stretches across 250 Kilometres. The entry fees into the race are around 4000$ and the biggest threat to the racers is heat stroke. A fundamental surviving toolkit is provided and the checkpoints are the biggest aid to the racers. The temperatures in here have been known to spike as much as 45 to 50 degrees and during the night, they can be as low as 5 degrees Celsius as well.

4. Marathon des Sables

Marathon des Sables

This marathon race is all about racing through the desert sand. It is held in the Moroccan Sahara Desert where the temperatures can spike across 40 degrees as well. The inhospitable temperature conditions coupled with the most hostile of all environments make it among the toughest races on the planet. A basic survival gear aided with the fundamentals is provided to each of the participants. Checkpoints serve drinks and necessary refreshments. The entire stretch is around 230 Kilometres and the entire course is to be completed in 7 days across 6 stages.

3. Antarctica, until the end of the Earth

Antarctica, until the end of the Earth

Yet another icy track giving you the chills; how about running through the emptiness of the coldest deserts like Antarctica. The participation cost is around 4000$ and the participants need to be equipped with their instruments, support gear and survival kit on their own. The checkpoints are sparsely spread and warm drinks along with energy vitalizing drinks are supplied at these checkpoints. The arid course stretches across the icy sheets of Antarctica and calls in for a breath-taking view as well. It can be called as the hardest run in “Racing The Planet” series.

2. Badwater Ultra

Badwater Ultra

The race across the valley of death is second on the list. The race is commenced amidst the heat of the Mojave Desert and the extreme heating conditions are a common predator in the driest place on Earth. The race commences every year in July and stretches across 220 Kilometres through the desert. The scorching temperatures of around 50 degree Celsius accompanied with an acute shortage of water makes the course extremely challenging. The race ends at Mount Whitney, which is fairly a less dry place than the “Valley of Death.” Participation cost is around 1000$.

1. The Yukon Arctic Ultra

The Yukon Arctic Ultra

The most challenging race of all time, which will test the stamina and the survival skills of the person across an empty vastness of snow; this race stretches across the Arctic Circle, 700 kilometres in length. It covers the regions across Whitehorse to Dawson City. The biggest challenge in here has been the extreme temperatures, which have been recorded at -60 degree Celsius. Hypothermia and frostbite are among the biggest dangers to the athlete.

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