Best Races In Philadelphia That Go Beyond Running

June 29, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

For the serious amateur athlete, the challenge of triathlons, mudders and other running competitions that feature a something-extra challenge, there are a number of events scheduled in Philadelphia and surrounding areas this summer. Each event features a unique set of challenges, such as terrain, types of race and varying classes of racers. Often the races also benefit a worthy charity. Here are five races that go beyond running.

Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint
Citizens Bank Park
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-1000
www.spartanrace.comDate: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8 a.m.

The Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint features a three-mile course that takes runners from 40 minutes to nearly two hours to complete. A chip-timed event, every 15 minutes, a wave of 200 runners comprising five groups – morning, afternoon, late afternoon, confirmed and elite are started. Featuring obstacles of mud, water, fire and even barbed wire, the event is designed to challenge all skill levels of runners. There are also two races for kids ages four to 13 – the one mile varsity Spartan and the half mile Junior Spartan, which are held between noon and 1 p.m.

Related: Top 4th Of July Parties In Philadelphia

Merrell Down & Dirty
Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, PA 19121
www.downanddirtymudrun.comDate: Saturday, July 13 at 7 a.m.

The 4th annual Merrell Down & Dirty, features a 5K race course that starts at Belmont Plateau and continues around athletic fields, crosses water and continues on a gravel path through woods. At the third-mile marker, the course winds its way from the recycling center, continues to the nursery and concludes after traversing hills and mud. A 10K race crosses a bridge and a creek. Children’s races are also available. There are also obstacle and pull-up competitions scheduled.

Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint
Blue Mountain Ski Area
1660 Blue Mountain Drive
Palmerton, PA 18071
(610) 826-7700
www.spartanrace.comDate: Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 at 8 a.m.

A five-mile course is featured in the chip-timed 3rd annual Reebok Spartan Race at Blue Mountain Ski Area. Mud, barbed wire, water and fire are common obstacles. Races are scheduled throughout the day. Contestants over 21 receive a free beer, in addition to a medal for finishing and an event t-shirt. Kids Spartan Tough races are available for kids ages four to 13. A Hurricane Heat Spartan Race starts at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Pennsylvania Savage Race
Skirmish USA Paintball Fields
211 N. Meckesville Road
Albrightsville, PA 18210
(800) 754-7647

Date: Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.

Featuring a challenging five- to six-mile obstacle course, the Savage Race includes 25 obstacles, such as fire, mud and barbed wire. For individuals or teams, the venue of the race was chosen for its rough terrain with various topographic features. An after-race party includes one free beer for those over 21, along with a barbecue and free musical entertainment – all included in the registration price. Competitors receive a Savage t-shirt, a medal and a decal.

The Great American Mud Run Pennsylvania
Pocono Raceway
500 Long Pond Road
Long Pond, PA 18334
(570) 646-2300
www.greatamericanmudrun.comDate: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.

For individuals or teams, the Great American Mud Run Pennsylvania features a 5K, mud-filled obstacle course. There is free admission for spectators, live music, beer and food. It also features a festival area and costume contest. Racers receive a free beer if over 21, a race headband and GAMR t-shirt. Each start time involves waves of a maximum of 300 runners. The event benefits Wounded Wear.

Related: Top Spots To Go Fishing In Philadelphia

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE