Things are about to get muddy in Connecticut.
In recent years, the popularity of obstacle races and “mud runs” has exploded across both the United States and the rest of the world – and this summer, Connecticut is getting in on the action.
This Saturday, June 22, Merrell’s Down and Dirty Obstacle Race kicks off the official start of summer with both three- and six-mile races.
Hartford will play host to the event, which takes place in Riverside Park and runs along the Connecticut River.
Obstacles like the Colossus Climb, mud pits and rock walls stand in the way of runners searching for the finish line.
Alongside the two main races, there are also two kids-themed races that take place over the course of the morning, including a 100-yard dash and a mile-long race.
The following weekend, on June 28, Mohegan Sun will be the setting for Reebok’s Spartan Race: a four-mile-long mix of mud and outdoor obstacles.
Voted as Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race, Spartan Race has been at the forefront of the mud-run phenomena in recent years, and its presence in Connecticut is expected to attract attendance in the thousands.
The event will also include the Jr. Spartan Adventure Race, which will be working to benefit the Kids Fit Foundation. The first heat begins at 8 a.m., with subsequent heats running throughout the morning and afternoon.
On July 12, Woodbury Ski Area looks to join in on the filth frenzy, with their Extreme Mountain Mud Race.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the event entails three miles of 20+ obstacles and elevations of over 700 feet. After participants conquer the likes of rope nets and wind tunnels, a barbeque and prize giveaways will be waiting at the finish line.
Finally, the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race in Hartford looks to break the mud mold with an inflatable obstacle-based 5K.
The race advertises itself as a “game-show inspired” event, and is home to both the world’s largest inflatable water slide and the world’s largest moon bounce.
Rather than take itself too seriously, R.O.C. Race prides on the silly, and encourages the same from patrons; take their merchandise for example, which features things like tutus and rainbow socks.
Throughout September at the tail end of summer, a few other obstacle races make their way to Connecticut’s soil: The Muddy Cheer Challenge will be held in Rocky Hill on Sept. 6, the Guts and Glory Quarry Challenge hits Hartford on Sept. 13, and the Warrior Dash closes out the season on Sept. 20 in Madison.
For a number of these races, it’s their first time in Connecticut – and, by the looks of it, there’s a little something for everybody.
Adventure enthusiasts, fun-seekers, and mud-lovers are all encouraged to apply.