Run, Jump, Climb: Obstacle Course Races

Jumpers, climbers, swimmers and mud-enthusiasts take your mark! Spring and summer in Southern California introduces a slew of races that defy any average run in the park. A handful of obstacle courses are coming to town in the next few months, as well as some creative races that make fitness fun.

The courses attract all types—costume-clad spirited teams, serious athletes looking for a new kind of challenge and those craving an upgrade from the mundane. Upcoming events include the Safari Park Half Marathon at the San Diego Zoo, VAVi’s Ridiculous Obstacle Course, a 5k Foam Fest in Temecula and the World Famous Mud Run at Camp Pendleton.

Discover unusual and extraordinary races coming to San Diego.

Safari Park Half Marathon – May 6

This half-marathon actually takes its route through the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, weaving along the park and wine country, farms and golf resorts in the San Pasqual Valley. The scenic half marathon gives runners a chance to sweat it out up close and personal with giraffes, rhinos, zebras, cheetahs, antelope and other safari animals. As a congratulations to all those who finish strong, all participants will receive free admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on race day. This year’s race raises funds for the endangered Sumatran tigers to have a home in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Get more details here.

Spring Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon – May 6

With a calm bay swim and a flat bike and run course, it’s the ideal triathlon and duathlon to start off the season. This thrilling event on Mission Bay catered to both beginners and advanced athletes includes a t-shirt, continental breakfast, beer garden, live entertainment, online results, awards and race photos. The Spring Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon benefits the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Get more details here.

ROC Race- Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge 5K– May 19 & 20

The San Diego ROC Race returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds with insane obstacles including giant inflatable slide, foam climbing walls, swinging ropes over water, cargo net climbs, a rope bridge, hills and plenty more surprises along the route. The race has been one of the largest running events in San Diego, and now it spans two days. Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each time slot as well as prizes to the winners of the costume contest. Plus, you’ll get entry into the ROC Fest after-party with live music, food, beer and a Vendor Village. Get more details here.  (main image)

Ethos – May 19

This Temecula race combines competitive racing with live music for a one-of-a-kind endurance festival. At the Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, runners will experience a family-friendly obstacle course with a partnership with local Navy SEALS.  But there’s more—the event will also feature a concert headlined by global sensation and Grammy-award winning band Ozomatli. Participants have a choice of two races: either the Ethos Grand Prix Aquathon, a swim-run-repeat style event; or Ethos SEAL Adventure Race 8k Course, a challenging race that invites athletes to test their stamina and skills against other elite athletes and members of the military. There’s even an Ethos Kids SEAL Scramble Adventure Race for mini-racers. After conquering new goals, reward yourself and get the party started as Ozomatli takes the stage. Get more details here.

Navy’s 26th Bay Bridge Run/Walk – May 20

This annual Navy-hosted event offers a unique opportunity to cross the Coronado Bay Bridge on foot. The 4-mile run/walk features panoramic ocean views as participants make their way to Coronado’s Tidelands Park from downtown San Diego, crossing over the iconic Bay Bridge. After courageously crossing the finish line, participants will receive T-shirts, Padres tickets and complimentary transportation to downtown via bus, trolley and ferry.  An after party will also be held at Tidelands Park, with an awards presentation, live music, refreshments and family-friendly activities. The event raises money for the Navy’s Morale Welfare and Recreation programs. Walkers are encouraged to capture the sights with cameras; baby strollers, wheelchairs and guide dogs are all permitted. Get more details here.

5K Foam Fest – May 26

All roads lead to foam: The 5k Foam Fest is an outrageous mixture of foam, mud and obstacles that instantly turns fitness into fun. Aside from racing through mud and foam, participants can prepare to take on enormous inflatable obstacles, army crawls, foam barriers, colossal walls, mud puts, cargo net climbs, slip n’ slides and water obstacles. This party on the run takes place at the Vail Lake Resort in Temecula and features activities for the entire family throughout the day. The festival portion features a foam pit, mud pit, pull up bar, hula-hoop contest, limbo contest and plenty of food and drink. You’ll also get the chance to win prizes for costumes, race times and a free beer just for participating. Get more details here.

Rock N Roll Marathon – June 3

This infamous interactive marathon supplies runners with a kickin’ soundtrack to cross the finish line to. The course runs through various attractions, starting at 6th Avenue and Quince Street. Live local and regional bands on 30 stages set the pace for the race, keeping you energized and spirited. Participants can expect entertainment stages with live music from the start to the finish and one free beer at the end. The course is mostly flat and scenic, with new music at every mile. Live bands will be performing a variety of music from alternative, classic and punk rock to blues, jazz and soul. Get more details here.

World Famous Mud Run – June 2, 3, 9, 10 & 16

The World Famous Mud Run at Camp Pendleton presents advanced runners with a challenging 10k race complete with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, a 3-foot deep reservoir crossing, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb and the final 30-foot mud pit. Individuals and teams are encouraged to participate, with a minimum age requirement of 13. The Mud Run is not for the faint of heart and will get all participants as muddy as possible. Afterwards, the Filthy Fun Fest will supply some lighthearted spirit with live music, food and drinks. Get more details here.

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