Yough Xtreme Adventure Race
Ohiopyle, Penn., April 26

Set in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, this adventure race is comprised of four disciplines: paddling, running, mountain biking, and rappelling. In under 10 hours, solo racers or teams will be expected to, in total, run 20 miles  in between sections, peddle 25+ miles of steep singletrack and fire roads, paddle 9 miles of the classs III section from Ramcat to the Middle Yough River takeout, and descend a 140-foot rappel (just for good measure). americanadventuresports.com

Odyssey Wild, Wonderful 24-Hour Adventure Race
Oak Hill, W. Va., May 17

Ever wanted to do an adventure race but didn’t know how to do one of the sports? If it’s kayaking you don’t know, this wild and wonderful race just might have the solution you’re looking far. Go solo or as part of a 2-,3-, or 4-person team. Expect to trek through the woods with only map and compass as your guide, shred the recently developed singletrack, and hop on board an experienced guide’s raft as they help you navigate the class IV+ New River Gorge. oarevents.com 

Sierra Nevada Silverback
Saluda, N.C., September

Even for the most seasoned adventure racer, the Silverback is one of the most difficult multi-sport events in the world. A solo-competitor event, this adventure race starts off with whitewater kayaking on the Green River, an 8-mile course that includes the world-class Narrows section of whitewater. From there competitors will don mountain bikes and cruise for another 8 miles through a challenging loop in the Green River Gamelands. Finally, the race ends by trail running that same 8-mile loop. Needless to say, finishing this thing will surely put some hair on your chest. greenrivergames.com

King of the Smokies Triathlon
Lake Junaluska, N.C., August

Since launching the race four years ago, race director Bill Wilkins has sought to continue providing triathletes with a challenging yet well-organized event every year. Wilkins has worked diligently to establish a training program for local athletes who want to get serious about tris, citing the King of the Smokies motto “courage, commitment, challenge” as the tools for success. The triathlon itself attracts beginners and professionals alike and includes both sprint and international distance courses with an open-water swim, a back road bike ride, and a run around Lake Junaluska. kingofthesmokies.com

Red River Gorge American Classic
Slade, Ky., November 1

Known as The Fig XI, this adventure race is the last in Kentucky’s Unbridled Adventure series, three adventure races that are hosted by Flying Squirrel Adventures and Kentucky State Parks. The Fig is not recommended for inexperienced racers or racing teams, as it requires competitors to run, pedal, paddle, and scramble their way through some of the steepest terrain in and around the Red River Gorge. flyingsquirreladventures.com

Best of the Rest

DUATHLONS

Jerry’s Baddle
Saluda, N.C., April • jerrysbaddle.org

Amphibious Duathlon
Charlotte, N.C., August 2 • usnwc.org

Russell Fork Baddlun
Elkhorn City, Ky., October 11-12 • rfbaddlun.blogspot.com

TRIATHLONS

Winter Challenge XI Off-Road Triathlon
Springfield, S.C., February 15 • winterchallenge.net

Great Greenbrier River Race
Marlinton, W.Va., April 26 • wordpress.greenbrierrivertrail.com

Inaugural Laurel Lake Half Ironman Triathlon
London, Ky., July 12 • laurellaketri.com

New River Trail Challenge Triathlon
Foster Falls, Va., September 20 • dcr.virginia.gov

ADVENTURE RACES

Palmetto Swamp Fox Adventure Race
Charleston, S.C., March 15 • kandoadventures.com

REV3 Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race
Luray, Va., April 26 • rev3adventure.com

Special Operations Adventure Race
Highlands, N.C., June 21 • soarhighlands.org

MUD RUNS & OBSTACLE COURSES

Mad Anthony Mud Run
Waynesboro, Va., February 22 • runthevalley.com

Carolinas Spartan Sprint
Charlotte, N.C., March 22 • spartanrace.com

Superhero Scramble
Union Point, Ga., April 26 • superheroscramble.com

Warrior Dash
Mechanicsville, Md., May 10 • warriordash.com

Mad Mountain Mud Run
Hendersonville, N.C., May 31 • madmountainmudrun.com

Tough Mudder
Doswell, Va., June 14-15 • toughmudder.com

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Check Out Our Other Race Ahead Guides

Trail Running

Road Running

Road Biking

Mountain Biking

Climbing

Paddling

Multisports

Snowsports