Running in Pittsfield

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Frogs aren’t exactly known for being fierce, but The Bone Frog Challenge’s namesake skeleton frog makes more sense when you know that it is the unofficial mascot of the Navy SEALs—the creators of the rigorous race. The mascot honors the SEALs’ predecessors: the Underwater Demolition Teams of World War II, who were dubbed “Frogmen” for their ability to work underwater.

The Bone Frog Challenge challenges everyday civilians to act like SEALs, with an emphasis on functional fitness. While the muddy, timed races measure up to 12 miles long, they require more than speed and endurance. The military-style obstacles force participants to draw on reservoirs of strength, agility, and creativity to scale walls, swing on ropes across trenches, and slither under netting through puddles of mud. Although the races champion hard work, they also focus on fun, welcoming competitors across the finish line with music-filled after-parties complete with spreads of food and beer.

66 Thunder Mountain Rd
Charlemont,
MA
US

In order to reach the finish line of the Raid Series obstacle course, participants must hoist a sandbag, leap over marine hurdles, and scale a cargo net. The course is designed to emulate a run through the city streets, right up to the finish line, which is actually a climbing wall. It's one branch of The Raid Series, a trifecta of terrain-inspired 5Ks that also include the Mountain Raid and Beach Raid. After racers complete the course, which is on the sand of Old Orchard Beach just one hour and fifteen minutes from Boston, they can jet to the after-party to enjoy beer and live music.

51 S Pearl St.
Albany,
NY
US

Surviving in the wilderness can be challenging—especially during the zombie apocalypse. But some of Wilderness Survival's courses prepare students for just this situation, incorporating practical lessons into a simulated battle between zombies and humans, complete with optional paintball warfare. Other courses focus purely on the practical aspects of survival, such as building a shelter, finding wild edible plants, purifying water, and learning how to roundhouse kick the wings off pesky mosquitoes.

1764 Route 9
Clifton Park,
NY
US

For those who dream of taking on some of the nation's toughest extreme mud runs, Your First Mud Run is the perfect soggy training ground. More family-friendly and less aggressive than the aforementioned gauntlets, the Your First Mud Run series still offers the thrills of a 5K mud run, just with a lowercase k. Every Your First Mud Run race features two miles of wily challenges, which typically include scaling a 6-foot wall, hopscotching through the tires of destruction, slithering through the treacherous tubes, and mud-sliding across the finish line. Proceeds from every race benefit charities such as the Family Reach Foundation.

303 Homestead Avenue
Holyoke,
MA
US

At YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea, 500 acres of forest encircle placid Harmon Pond?and during the Wa Wa Splash and Dash Duathlon, athletes make the most of the terrain. At the race's start, they swim the 400 yards across the pond. Next, they run 3 miles through the forest, earning extra points for running up and over trees. When they finally reach the finish line, they stop for festivities featuring refreshments, a raffle, and an awards ceremony.

408 Foley Hill Road
Southfield,
MA
US

You might see Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman running down the street at the speed of a locomotive during the Capes and Shields Race. But don't go expecting to get a laundry list of problems solved by these superheroes?the themed races invite runners of all ages to dress up like their favorite crime fighters (or villains), capes and all. And as a reward for crossing the finish line, participants can grab high-protein shakes and a customized finisher medal before hitting the after party for prizes and give-aways. Proceeds from the Capes and Shields Race benefit charities across the United States, including Square One and Fallen Patriots.

302 Sumner Ave.
Springfield,
MA
US