An Obstacle Race Expert Picks Her 3 Favorite Events

For runners who like a side of strength to go with their speed, one extreme-race queen shares her favorite events.

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dirty girl

By day Massachusetts native Jeannie Tamayo is a property manager, but when she is off the clock, she’s an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) specialist. And she doesn’t just compete in the races. She helped create her hometown club, the Lawton Mudders, full of fitness junkies addicted to getting dirty and running hard. With the 38-year-old “Boss Lady” (as her team affectionately named her) at the helm, members train, race and volunteer at OCR events all over the country. So we thought no one was more qualified to share which obstacle races you should try.

“With a variety of distances, the Spartan Race series has something for every level. The Spartan Sprint (4ish miles) is the perfect race to test your strength. Spartan Super (8ish miles) challenges team camaraderie and your ability to push past comfort zones, and Spartan Beast features 30-plus obstacles over 12-plus miles, making teamwork and conditioning crucial. Complete each of these distances during a one-year period and you’ll join the ranks of the illustrious Spartan Trifecta Club.”

“The Tough Mudder race series is every daredevil’s dream. Who doesn’t want to try electroshock therapy or a water slide through fire? An adrenaline rush straight from the start, this race promises obstacles kicked up to a whole new level. Teamwork is essential to complete this journey.”

“The Dirty Girl Mud Run is the most rewarding race I’ve ever run. Each of the women’s-only events is in support of those battling breast and ovarian cancer. My team’s participation had a dual purpose as we honored the memory of a friend who lost her fight with cancer while racing alongside another friend who kicked cancer’s a$$! Running for women who are true warriors makes this event a must-do race for any OCR girl!”