Choosing the Best Obstacle Course Race

With so many options to choose from these days, how do you find the best obstacle course races to participate in?  Within a 45-minute radius of my house, there are at least five upcoming races in 2013, and that is nothing compared to more populated areas of the country. So what makes a race worth your time and money? Here are four things to look for in races that you are considering.

Choosing the Best Obstacle Race

Suitable for Crowds

Nobody wants to wait in traffic for two hours for anything, but especially not when you are caked in mud and just want to get home to take a shower. However, waiting two hours to park and to leave the race venue seem par for the course these days.  And yes, there are many places that make for a good race venue, but that can’t handle the traffic. Make sure that if you sign up for a race that the race directors have a good plan for handling the expected traffic volume.


Races themselves can be expensive, but many races also have hidden fees that you may not realize.  Some races charge for parking, some races charge for spectators and some races charge for gear checks.  And all races charge a lot for merchandise and refreshments.  Make sure you check to see what hidden fees will accompany your race fee before you sign up.


Just like nobody wants to wait forever to park, nobody wants to wait in long lines to pick up their packets or check their gear, yet that is what happens when races aren’t organized well.  Participants can also find lines on the courses themselves when obstacles are arranged badly.  If the first few obstacles can’t handle many racers at once, then bottlenecking at the beginning of the course can be a problem.


Obstacle racing is inherently dangerous; however, participants should be able to trust that obstacles have been professionally designed to ensure that they are as safe as possible. There should also be sufficient medical personnel and course volunteers on site to ensure the safety of all participants.

While race websites themselves can help you decide whether it will be a quality race, it is also important to talk to people who have done these races or read reviews to get a more honest picture of the quality of the obstacle race.

What else do you look for in a good obstacle course race?

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