June 25, 2024
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June 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Not Your Father’s 5k Race

If you are tapped into social media, you must have seen a barrage of interesting races popping up as “suggested posts.” These races are not your typical sponsor your buddy going to Florida charity races. They are extreme and over-the-top team building life experiences. The races take place outdoors throughout the country, and contestants are subjected to a barrage of obscure and unpleasant obstacles. Most of the races were inspired by the UK Tough Guy, a 15-kilometer midwinter mud run founded by an eccentric former British soldier named Billy Wilson. Tough Guy is extremely dangerous. The U.S. versions have toned down most of the treacherous obstacles.

Are these events for everyone? No!

If you are in good shape and are adventurous they are worth looking into (definitely not for small children). Some of the photos I have seen remind me of the mud caves in Israel from Machach B’Aretz.  Don’t worry, not all the races below will leave you covered in mud. Some will cover you with water and foam, and some with just a neon glow. Intrigued yet? Are you interested enough to assemble a team from your local shul to compete? It would be cool to see how long we could keep our kippahs on while swimming through mud. Here is a list of the local races coming to our area which have races running on Sundays. Good luck!

Tough Mudder –October 13th – Englishtown NJ

What bracha do you say on dirt? Boreh Pri HaAdama. Yes, you may need to keep that in mind for this race. True to its name there is tons of mud and the wet kind that sticks to your shoes. Like all these races, be prepared get real dirty.  Recently my sister, Sybil Cohen of Englewood, ran the course with her husband Naftali and a group of friends. Sybil stated, “Tough Mudder was an amazing experience. It pushes you mentally and physically. The Artic Enema had to be the toughest to overcome. We jumped into a dumpster filled with ice water and had to dunk our heads under to avoid the barbed wire. After that you’re pumped and ready to take on the course; you’re like ‘Bring it Tough Mudder!’

“One of the other menacing obstacles is the electroshock live wires that dangle through the end of the course. As mentioned on ToughMudder.com, “You are guaranteed to get zapped with as much as 10,000 volts of electricity and it does NOT tickle. This is typically the last obstacle Mudders must overcome before they cross the finish line.”

If running through live wires and jumping in ice water are not your thing, then this race might not be for you. Open to those 18 years and older, this is not a race for kids.  For more info visit http://toughmudder.com/

5k Foam Fest June 23rd – Tuxedo, NY

This race is less than a month away and is suitable for ages 16+ (10-15 year olds can run as well with an adult). Don’t think that you will not get muddy because it is called a Foam Fest. As their website states: “5k Foam Fest is the ONLY obstacle mud race that doubles as a human car wash. We don’t just bring mud and obstacles; we throw more foam at you than a pack of toddlers in a bubble bath!” Expect to climb huge inflatable slides only to pummel down into a pool of foam. Spectators are welcome and there is a full day of festivities to enjoy. For more info visit http://5kfoamfest.com

Spartan Run June 2nd Tuxedo, NY

Spartan Run is one of the most popular races and very challenging. They are usually the first race to sell out completely. Three miles long with 15+ obstacles, this race is not for the faint of heart. The race is timed, and many runners take this race very seriously to gain national ranked status. Some obstacles will require swimming, but you can always skip an obstacle and instead do a set of burpees. There are $10 discount codes available if you sign up for their newsletter. Open to ages 15+ for more info visit http://www.spartanrace.com

Electric Run September 28th Brooklyn, NY

Probably the least messy of the races, Electric Run is just like it sounds, a 5k race in the dark with neon lights. It is also open to all ages, including strollers. One reviewer online wrote “Basically, you run to EDM music while enjoying all the glowing scenery. Looking around and seeing thousands of glowing runners is really cool.” Each contestant receives a Neon event shirt, LED bracelet, Glow necklace, and Glow sunglasses. There is one race scheduled for this summer in Brooklyn, but it is on Motzei Shabbat following the last days of Sukkot. It might be tough to get to Brooklyn right after Shabbat from Jersey, but f you are serious about this event you can spend Shabbat in Belle Harbor, Flatbush, or Far Rockaway. Both are quite close to Floyd Bennett Field where the race takes place. For more info visit http://electricrun.com

By Benjamin Cohen

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