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3 Best Adventure Races for CrossFitters

Thirsty for a new challenge now that the Open's over? Think outside your box: Sign up for an endurance event that'll put your CrossFit skills to the ultimate test.

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The CrossFit Open is over, and if you’re like most guys, you didn’t make it to Regionals. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait ‘til next year to put your fitness achievements back on display. If you’re itching for more competition, set your sights on an adventure race designed to test your strength, endurance, and mental grit. After all, CrossFit is touted to get you ready to tackle any obstacle, and it’s about time we put that statement to the test. So, pick your poison. These three events are some of the toughest we could find.

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Civilian Military Combine

CMC starts in “The Pit” with a strength component, and is immediately followed by an intense run over a mountainous trail that’s littered with military-style obstacles.

The Pit portion of the event consists of three basic movements performed AMRAP-style; it’s designed to be the equalizer between athletes with high power outputs and athletes with high endurance outputs. The Pit for 2013: a 7-minute AMRAP of 7 push presses, 7 American kettlebell swings, and 7 burpee up-and-over box jumps.

Your goal is to accumulate as many reps as possible and get the best race time on the course. Athletes have the option of competing solo or joining a team of three or more. (Team scoring is based on average reps and average race time among teammates, so it’s like you’re competing as one).

Check out the four remaining events for 2013:

GORUCK Challenge

The GORUCK Challenge is more Special Operations training than it is a race. One person doesn’t win, and there’s no finish line to cross. Instead, you’ll join a team of 29 other participants to take on an 8 to 10-hour, 15 to 20-mile course led by a Special Operations Cadre (a group of military personnel able to establish and train a new unit).

The challenges in each course will vary, but expect to do things like push-ups in a freezing cold river, butterfly kicks in the dead of night, carrying a teammate up countless flights of stairs, and running…lots of running. The kickers: You’ll be lugging a backpack full of bricks for the duration of the event. Plus, you won’t know the route of the course until that day, so you won’t have a specific way to prepare, other than not skipping any your CrossFit WODs.

Challenges are held around the world. Click here to find an event near you.

Spartan Race

Unlike CMC and GORUCK, Spartan Race is not something you do for completion; you do it for performance and time. There are three levels of the Spartan Race: Spartan Sprint (3+ miles/15+ obstacles), Super Spartan (8+ miles/20+ obstacles), Spartan Beast (12+ miles/25+ obstacles) and Death Race (48+ hours).

The endurance race consists of mud runs, trail runs, and obstacles that challenge both your mental and physical resolves, but Spartan Race organizers don’t divulge a course map or a list of obstacles like some competitors do. They do, however, guarantee fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally hell on earth.

Spartan Races are held around the world. Click here to find an event near you.

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