Sporting challenges seem like something we should fully commit to, but many of us lack the freedom, free time and inclination to take on marathon-length swims or long distance triathlons, let alone the training they require. We might not feel fit enough, daring enough or even skilled enough to pull off a sporting challenge safely, despite craving the sense of accomplishment we know it will bring.
Luckily, there are plenty of tough challenges to crack in the sporting world, and not all of them involve years of training and dedication. If you’re looking for an event that will test your limits but not interfere too dramatically with your day-to-day life, then you’re in luck. Here are three low-risk, highly accessible challenges to try this year.
Don’t be put off by the name: The Spartan Race is essentially a challenging obstacle course that involves climbing walls, flipping tires, hauling around heavy buckets of gravel and concrete and outrunning Spartan warriors. It’s an incredibly fun team-building activity that comes in three different formats, ranging in distances from three to twelve miles. This activity is not to be confused with the Spartan Death Race, which is about as grueling as it sounds. However, the Spartan Race is still incredibly challenging and, at times, brutal, so it’s important to check your physical strength and cardiovascular health before taking on the challenge. If you think you could do with getting fitter in preparation, you should attend some local exercise classes that teach stamina and endurance to help you prepare.
The Boston Marathon is one of the most famous running events in the U.S. and one that attracts around 500,000 spectators. First held in 1897, the Boston Marathon is also one of the oldest organized races in the world. The race is held on Patriots Day (the third Monday in April), which is a Massachusetts holiday that commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War. The race does require participants to meet qualifying times, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re an experienced runner or you’ve taken part in marathons in the past. If you’re interested in taking part, you can find more information about the event and application procedure by visiting the Boston Athletic Association website.
Sea Paddle, NYC
Fancy seeing the sights of New York from a standing paddleboard? The Sea Paddle is a 25-mile charity paddle that takes most athletes around 5 hours to complete. The challenge obviously requires stamina and balancing ability, and the waves of the Hudson and East Rivers can get pretty choppy in the wake of boat traffic, but on the whole, the Sea Paddle is relatively calm in comparison to other endurance challenges. If you want to participate, you must raise at least $1,000 for autism and the environment, but there is the possibility of prize money for top finishers. The next event takes place in August 2018, and you can register to take part on the Sea Paddle NYC website.