The 'non-traditional' race has been all the rage lately, with events like Tough Mudder or the Spartan Race getting tons of headlines for covering participants in mud, sending them crawling under barbed wire, or clambering over two-story high obstacles.
That may be, but there's no substitute for the real deal — and they're adventure races that take place in truly wild and dramatic locations. Red Bull has four races coming up on the calendar, including the Dolomitenmann, one of the longest-running adventure races around.
Keep an eye out for upcoming photo galleries as these must-see outdoor battles go down!
Red Bull Dolomitenmann, September 7
The name is hard to say, and the contest is even harder to do. This multi-man team race claims to be 'the world's hardest relay race' – and the claim is well justified. Why? Three of the four disciplines – paragliding, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking – require not only fitness and endurance, but skill – and the fourth, mountain running, will test your lungs and legs like few other endeavours can.
One of the most impressive things about this multi-sport relay race, held in the city of Lienz, Austria? It's now in its 26th year, meaning it precedes many other adventure races by about a decade or so. While the entry field includes both pros and regular joes, it's generally world-class athletes who claim the title of 'Dolomitenmann'.
Red Bull Coast 2 Coast, September 7
The only step this race requires you to take is onto your board – your kiteboard, that is. Of course, to win, you'll have to ride that kiteboard to an entirely new country and back again, and do it faster than the pros. You'll be starting in Fehmarn, Germany, and kiteboarding to Lalandia, Denmark – and then back again.
“It's going to be hardcore and very challenging,” says Robbie Naish.
What the Coast 2 Coast lacks in diversity of disciplines, it will make up for in diversity of conditions – racers are likely to be challenged by both high winds and light winds, and variable sea states in the 40km round-trip journey. And yes, they'll be well out of sight of land.
Red Bull GerGetIt, September 13 - 14
Directly inspired by Dolomitenmann is a new event, held in the Caucausus mountain range of Georgia, in eastern Europe. Running for the first time in 2013, the event swaps out the paragliding segment for rock-climbing, adding arguably another level of danger and difficulty to the course. The finish line is Georgia's famous Gergeti mountain – hence the name of the race.
Red Bull Elements, September 14
In Talloires, France, adventure and endurance athletes will compete in another incredible one-day relay. Paragliders, bikers, runners and endurance rowers will be sprinting through three different elements (air, water, and ground) in a multi-sport battle.
With a strong emphasis on physical fitness and endurance in the rowing, running and biking categories, Red Bull Elements is a true test of willpower and training dedication. Check out the video below, and get inspired.