Ultra-racing is booming and has been on the rise for the last decade. Runners have traded in the traditional 26.2-mile marathon for extreme distances. Not only are ultra races challenging physically, but they provide a mental test like no other running race. The biggest horse race in the world is just around the corner as the Run for the Roses takes place at Churchill Downs. Racing fans can get the latest updates and information on Kentucky Derby betting before the race takes place in September.
Ultra races are not created equally. There are some that are more extreme, difficult, and challenging than others. So, what are the most extreme ultra races in the world?
1. Escape from the Jungle
The Escape from the Jungle is an extreme ultra marathon that combines the hazards of running long distances and dangers of the Belize jungle. Escape from the Jungle covers a distance of 254 kilometers. The course takes runners up close to some of the jungle’s most deadly creatures. Snakes, panthers, and piranhas are just some of the animals runners may encounter. Before the race even starts, runners must take a six-day jungle survivor course and spend a full night sleeping in the wilderness. Now, that is extreme.
2. Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
Cold weather runners will love the Montane Yukon Artic Ultra. At least, they will love it before beginning the race. The ultra covers 724km and snakes through Canada’s Yukon Territory. The ultra marathon follows the Yukon Quest Trail, which is known as “the world’s toughest Sled Dog race”. It can get downright cold on during the race. Temperatures can get below 50-degrees Celsius. The wind chill can make the race even more difficult to navigate. Runners must sign a release form before competing in ultra marathon.
3. Hardrock 100
The Hardrock 100 is a combination of difficult climbs and long miles. Comprised of 160km (100 miles), the Hardrock 100 is considered by many ultra runners to be the most difficult ultra marathon of them all. The course challenges runners with steep inclines and declines as well as altitude changes. Runners must complete the course in 48 hours and at the end, kiss the rock that sits at the finish line.
4. Montane Tor des Geants
Known as the Tor, the Montane Tor des Geants is run in Italy and features 24,000 meters of climbing. Runners will cover 330km while traversing over steep inclines and declines. The race becomes even more difficult due sleep deprivation and extreme weather, which can change in a matter of minutes. Runners have 150 minutes to complete the race, which, according to the Tor’s organizers, only sees 60% of racers do.
5. Hurt 100 Trail Race
The Hurt 100 Trail Race sends shivers up the spines of ultra runners from around the globe. Held in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Hurt 100 is a 100-mile race (160km) through the jungles of the island. What makes the race extreme is that runners must complete it in just 36 hours. Runners navigate single-track trails, rocks, and trees. The course is looped and runners complete five laps of it. Making it just a bit more extreme is the 20 stream crossings runners have to make.