Are you part of one of these demographics?
    1) Bored of hitting the gym daily with no end in sight?
    2) A former athlete that has lost her way over the years?
    3) Tired of the lackluster drag of the work-a-day existence?

If you've answered "yes" to any of the previous statements, there's a new movement in endurance racing. Forget your local 5k fun runs or fund raising Turkey Trots.

"Mudding" is a growing trend in which the cardiovascular demands of a long-distance run is coupled with the physical demands of a military-style obstacle course and the carefree atmosphere of a summer-time musical festival.

Mud, Sweat, and Beers

While running a marathon used to be the hallmark of physical endurance, mud events from the smaller scale MudRun or Warrior Dash to the premiere name in mudding, Tough Mudder, have redefined what it means to push your body.

The race is from 5 to 12 miles with athletes ranging from your local gym rat to individuals looking to push themselves to an athletic height they have yet to achieve. Features like crawling through seemingly endless stretches off mud, traversing monkey bars, running up a ski slope in 90-degree heat, swimming (fully clothed) in forty-degree water makes these races a far cry from your typical road race.

And when you finish...forget worrying about your course time. Mud races are not about competition but instead, camaraderie. So, upon crossing the finish line, grab your free beer (which most races provide) and muck it up with your fellow mudder.

Why Get Muddy?

You may think that these events are geared for younger crowds. However, as Alex Loranger, 25, of New Jersey noted "it's incredible how many runners over 35 were at the event. It's inspiring to see so many people, of all ages, working to achieve one common goal."

So what's the appeal for older contestants? "I guess I just wanted to see what I'm still capable of," says Jim O'Nealy 52, of Connecticut. "I never thought I'd be able to complete such a mentally and physically demanding task. But I did."

Mary Ann Pratt, 43, of Pennsylvania feels that it gives her something to work toward. "Now that my kids are in high school and more-or-less self-sufficient, I needed something to inspire and push me. This event did just that."

If you're looking to up the ante in your training or simply looking to see what you're capable of, consider the following events:
Tough Mudder -
MudRun -
The Warrior Dash -
The Spartan Race -