Obstacle course racing, in German “Hindernislauf”, was once a sport which only the hardest of the hard knew about. In the United States of America or in the Netherlands there is a huge fan base who wade through mud, crawl under barbed wire and dive into icy water. Tens of thousands of people also take place in the events in Germany. The five races that are a must for men and women are introduced here:
The international promoter holds three events in the Federal Republic yearly. During the run in northern Germany on the riding and vacation farm Severloh, the starter field was filled with several thousand people. On the 16-kilometer-long route, they dove through mud and icy water, climbed over walls, jumped over trenches and received electric shocks. Tough Mudder is a team event. Times are not recorded.
As an obstacle course racer, you must have run the obstacle course at Nürburgring at least once. In May, when the participants are sent off on the 20-kilometer long race, they are cheered on by a gigantic crowd. The close to 40,000 spectators make for a thrilling atmosphere.
The runners race over the Karlshorst trotting course. There is a short- and a long-distance race. More obstacles are set up on the longer route. XLETIX has quickly established itself as the third largest promoter in Germany. The events stand out due to the great organization and wonderful atmosphere.
The event in Tendelburg is far less well know as the Tough Mudder or the Strongman series. Instead it really stands out due to its routes which remind one of heroic knightly feats. 25 kilometers along old paths which (according to the promoter) were only used by the most adventurous and courageous in the Middle Ages. Dark woods, deep lakes, stone quarries, swaying bridges and a sheer, insurmountable castle wall are laid across your path. Only the hardiest make it to the finish line.
“The RACE that destroys you!”, is the slogan of this extreme run. In the scene, the race in Rudolfstadt near Jena is deemed the hardest in Germany, even in Europe itself. The rest are a walk in the park in comparison. Here limits are tested. Hard men break here like matches. In December, the runners swim through ice-cold water. Afterwards, they have to jump over meter-wide trenches with frozen muscles, crawl under barbed wire, climb over dozens of wooden walls and hop on burning hay bales.