Good, Dirty Fun: Merrell, Muddy Buddy Bring Obstacle Races to the Kids

The clean before the mud. Photo: Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run

Last year, more than a million people participated in obstacle-course races like Tough Mudder, Muddy Buddy, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash. These events market misery to the masses—requiring entrants to navigate ridiculously punishing courses of hills, mud, water, ropes, walls, and even, as the Tough Mudder website boasts, “electric shock and fire.”

Think of them as hyper-intense versions of the multiday adventure races of yore, the Eco Challenge and Primal Quest, perfect for time-crunched type A's who can relate to the Tough Mudder mantra “marathons are boring,” but need to be back at their desk on Monday morning. 

Or, in some cases, back at the playground. 

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