The ironman is a piece of cake when you’re made of platinum; we understand. If you’re too tough for Tough Mudder and looking for other ways to get your competitive kicks, check out these 10 Crazy Competitions Around the World.
World BASE Race
Norway and Switzerland
Basically, all you have to do to compete in this one is dress up like a flying squirrel and throw yourself head first off a cliff. Who needs parachutes when you’ve got a really flimsy jumpsuit with extra fabric in your armpits? Twice a year, fear-lovers gather at a tiny platform on the top of a 1300 meter (4,265 ft) cliff from which they all jump with nothing but the specialty clothes on their backs. The winner, determined by whomever gets to the bottom first, is crowned “The Fastest Flying Human”. Luckily, these suits are roomy enough for you to crap yourself all the way down
Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Every year, a wheel of cheese is pushed off the top of Cooper's Hill and up to 2,000 people gather to chase that cheese down the steep, slippery slope. The first person to cross the finish line at the bottom gets to keep the cheese. Sounds like an event fit for your grandma's knitting club. Well, the competition has never gone off without an injury, with 33 people needing treatment last year for anything from minor scrapes to broken bones. The thing is, this hill is a bitch, there are a bunch of cheese fiends running on top of each other, and every now and then, some unlucky bastard gets run over by the cheese wheel (which can reach speeds of up to 70 mph).
OTP Fun Fact: The same lady, Mrs. Diana Smart, has been producing the cheese for the competition since 1988.
International Regatta of Bathtubs
We don’t know about you, but whenever we take baths, images of turning the tub into a submarine or steamship always come to mind. Make your bathtime boat fantasies into reality by entering the International Regatta of Bathtubs. This contest is a test of logic and creativity. Every craft that enters the regatta must be built around a bathtub and cannot have a motor. People come up with nutty ways to keep their tubs above water and most turn them into row boats. The race takes place in the Meuse River during the summer. Contestants are allowed to throw buckets of water at each other. Good to know when your rubber duckies start jumpin’ ship.
Fuck wind power! In Kerala, India, raging bull-power is the way to go. After the Maramadi harvest festival every August, the local rice paddies are moistened-up to maximum slippery-ness, a few bulls are tickled until they’re pissed as hell and let loose on the field. The object of the competition is to grab onto a pair of bulls, first with a rope, then advance closer using their tails, and ride those muthafuckers all over the paddies. The only prize given at the end of the competition is a new set of bigger and badder balls.
Siberian Ice Marathon
At 39 degrees below zero, even taking a brisk walk in Siberia is challenging. The Siberian Ice Marathon is actually only a half marathon but nobody’s really complaining. Running along the snowy Irtysh River in the dead of winter, this race is not for the hot chocolate drinking, fireplace-enjoying type. If you like your ice cubes dipped in liquid nitrogen and wear a speedo while ice fishing, this is your jam. The race organizers give you a free warm cap to keep your brain from freezing; you’re responsible for keeping the rest of you frost-free.
Fat Man Contest
What sounds like the laziest competition on this list is actually the most dangerous. The thing is, you don’t just show up fat (which would be too easy for most Americans). Instead, during the months following up to the competition, normal-sized people gorge themselves on fatty foods, avoid movement to make sure all of the calories are stored as fat and put their bodies through metabolic hell until they start packing on the pounds. Come game time, these guys are stuffed, sick, and ready to bring home the big fat gold.
Marathon du Medoc
If you’ve grown too classy for your average pub crawl, kick it up in France with a wine-and food-fueled marathon. Most people prepare for marathons by, you know, running, not eating cheese and chugging wine. Well, this one’s a little different. The objective of Medoc’s founders was to introduce the sport of marathon running to people in a palatable way. As such, the course runs through 50 chateaux in the Bordeaux region of France, where stands are set up with fancy food and wine. You’ll be running a full, timed, marathon but it’ll feel like just another drunken Saturday night.
World Sauna Competition
Running from 1999 until 2010, as relaxing as this may sound, this competition was actually a fierce test of endurance. These guys weren’t just steaming their pores. The winner here had to outsit everyone in a 230F chamber, with water being poured over hot coals every 30 seconds, then be able to walk out of the hot and humid death trap, unaided. Contestants reported feeling like their ears were on fire and some actually got skin burns from the extreme temperatures. The competition was canned after a man sauna-ed himself to death in 2010.
Worm Charming Competition
Scared shitless of snakes but want to try charming something wiggly? Start small at the Worm Charming Competition in South Cheshire, where you’re given a small plot of rain-soaked land and 30 minutes to do whatever you think will work to charm the worms to the surface. Previous techniques have included pitchforking, playing a didgeridoo, tap-dancing, and trying to simulate rain conditions. Winners are determined by a team of volunteers that have been trained in worm-handling and titles are awarded for not only the most, but the longest and thickest worms brought to the judgement table.
“Broadway Bomb” Skateboard Race
Every year, groups of up to 2,000 skaters from all over the world whip out their longboards and bomb down the entire stretch of busy Broadway, from 116th street to Bowling Green, in Manhattan, swerving through people traffic and pissing off pedestrians and motorists alike. Although there’s a BBQ and prizes upon completion of the race, the point of it is really just to skate your heart out with like-minded outlaws. Despite the October 2012 court order banning the bomb, 30 skaters still participated in the event, keeping the tradition alive.
WIth enough training, anyone can run a marathon or do a triathlon. These 10 competitions require a little more panache. Hit up any, or all, of these crazy competitions and find out if you’ve got the worm-charming, cheese-rolling,and bull-surfing skills it takes to be a real champion.