Long Distance Extreme Sports

Long distance extreme sports from around the world

When it comes to distance, there’s levels. And those levels are seriously elevated when it comes to the world’s toughest sporting events…

In this Article:
Racing the sun? We’re in!
500+ kms in -20 degrees and 70km+ winds? Maybe not…
More than 5000 laps of the same block in NYC? Checking out!

Race The Sun, Queensland

We’re kicking things off with one close to home: one of Australia’s newest running challenges. Race the Sun is a 24-hour team event in which teams of six cover 300km and take in 6000m of elevation. It starts at South Mission Beach and finishes at The Pyramid at Girraween National Park –with the objective of reaching The Pyramid before sunrise!

6633 Arctic Ultra

Another test of endurance here, this time in the Arctic. The 6633 Arctic Ultra has the reputation of being one of the most difficult races in the world – and when you consider the 350 mile distance (563km), the wind (70km+) and the cold (-20ºC) it’s a reputation well deserved. The event crosses the Arctic Circle, with competitors pulling sleds with everything they need – food, cooking equipment, sleeping kit and everything else – on there, and there’s a 191-hour time cap to complete the race.

For those who want an easier (!?!) option, there’s a 120 mile version, too.

Sunraysia Safari Cross Country Rally, NSW

Another homegrown event, the Sunraysia Safari Cross Country takes place over four days in the NSW outback, and is the largest rally in Australia. Motorbikes, quad bikes, sidecars, cross-country cars, rally cars and off-roaders tackle 1200km over the event’s duration. Each day is a loop, starting and finishing at Wentworth Showgrounds, and attracts competitors from across the world, including Asia and Europe – as well as a strong local contingent, too.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Alaska

6633 Arctic Ultra

The Iditarod is an annual dog sled race over 1510km, beginning in Anchorage and finishing in Nome. Teams including between 12-16 dogs battle it out in sub-zero temperatures and windchill reaching -73ºC, tackling the sparsely populated interior of Alaska through rugged terrain, forests, mountain passes and even sea ice.

The course can take anywhere between eight and 15 days to complete, with the course record set in 2021 a pretty nippy 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds.

24 Hours of Le Mans

When you’re talking motor racing, the Le Mans 24 Hours is an absolute classic, taking place over a gruelling day-long battle on the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. Covering over 5000km, teams race through day and night, testing both the mental and physical endurance of the drivers, as well as the capability of the vehicles themselves.

Self-Transcendence, New York

The Self-Transcendence is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Taking place over 52 days, runners tackle the same block in Queens, New York, again, and again and again. And, for good measure, again. Over the almost two months, you have to complete 3100 miles (5000km), which equates to 5649 laps. To hit the target, you need to cover almost 100km per day, seeing exactly the same things, again, and again, and again.

It attracts runners from all over the world, with around 10,000 calories being burned off every single day.

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