World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges

From the Badwater Ultra-marathon in Death Valley, Calif., to the frigid South Pole Race in Antarctica, a new book from VeloPress, “The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges,” profiles the most extreme events in the U.S. and to far points across the world.

One of the toughest: La Ruta De Los Conquistadores

Authors Richard Hoad and Paul Moore culled this bucket list from interviews and research with top endurance athletes. New this fall, the 208-page book is full color and costs $29.95 at

In all, 50 events are profiled. They include a few that members of our staff at GearJunkie have had the privilege (and severe pain!) of participating in, including the Patagonian Expedition Race, the Arrowhead 135, and the Adventure Racing World Series.

A bible to extreme pain or ultimate glory?

The full list is below. What races have you done? Which are on your list, and what’s missing from the chosen events?

Comment on this article, and also buy this book if you have plans or want to motivate yourself to a serious challenge somewhere far-flung and epic around the globe.

“The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges”

Adventure Races and Triathlons
Norseman | Enduroman Arch to Arc | Ultraman World Championships | The Red Bull X-Alps | Coast to Coast New Zealand | Patagonian Expedition Race | Ö Till Ö | Adventure Racing World Series

Bike Races
Race Across America | Furnace Creek 508 | La Ruta de Los Conquistadores | La Haute Route | Race Around Ireland | Iron Bike | Cape Epic | Tour d’Afrique | Yak Attack | Crocodile Trophy

Iron Bike

Winter Sports
Arrowhead 135 | Iditarod | Yukon Arctic Ultra | Yukon Quest | 6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon | The Extreme World Races South Pole Race

Trans Europe Footrace | Al Andalus Ultimate Trail Race | The Mountainman | Spartathlon | Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon | Comrades Marathon | 4 Deserts | Great Wall Marathon | Leadville 100 | Western States 100 | 24-Hour Track Race | Badwater Ultramarathon | Self Transcendance 3100 Mile Race | Jungle Marathon | Marathon des Sables

Pull your own weight: Yukon Arctic Ultra

English Channel Swim | Cadiz Freedom Swim | Catalina Channel Swim | Manhattan Island Marathon Swim | Freediving | Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race | Dusi Canoe Marathon | Woodvale Challenge | Volvo Ocean Race | Vendée Globe | Tevis Cup Ride

Vendée Globe Race

—This article excerpts from “The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges” by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore, available at

Are you tough enough? Not even snot-cicles stop this man in the Yukon Arctic Ultra

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.