Spartan Race Types: The Full Guide to Finding the Right Race for You

Spartan Race Types: The Full Guide to Finding the Right Race for You
Presented by Spartan Training®

More than 10 million people across the world have completed a Spartan race, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are Spartan race types for racers of all abilities. Find yours now.

Yes, Spartan races are hard, but they're achievable if you commit to a date on the calendar and do the hard work. In fact, if you can do one of these seven things, we guarantee you can crush a Spartan race.

There are Spartan race types for every kind of athlete, whether you're an endurance runner, a gym rat, or you work out on occasion, there's a race type for you. Here’s everything you need to know about the various Spartan race types to help you choose the right event for you.

Related: The 2024 Spartan Race Schedule: Dates, Details, Venues, and More

Spartan Race Types: Which Race Is Right for You?

The Spartan Sprint

The Spartan Sprint is a 5K (approximately 3.1 miles) trail run, held on off-road terrain and featuring mud and water. Racers have to overcome 20 unique obstacles — including walls, the Barbed Wire Crawl, Monkey Bars, and the Spear Throw — or face a 30-burpee penalty.

When you finish, you'll receive a finisher T-shirt and medal, a Spartan Sprint Trifecta wedge and lanyard — one third of the Sprint, Super, Beast combination that makes up the Spartan Trifecta — and professional photos of you carrying buckets and jumping over fire.

Sprints are great for first-time racers, but they're also short enough where competitive racers can set some pretty impressive personal bests. Before you take on your first Sprint, check out these four important training tips.


Related: The 10 Best Venues to Conquer Your First Spartan Race

The Spartan Super

The Spartan Super is double the Sprint’s distance — approximately 6.2 miles — features 25 obstacles, and will be the most challenging 10K you’ve ever done. You can also count on some incredibly demanding elevation gain.

This race type is a true test of speed and endurance where you’ll face obstacles like the Helix, Olympus, the Rope Climb, the Beater, and Stairway to Sparta. The best training you can do for this race is a Sprint, but we also recommend training with heavy carries and working on grip strength to ensure a penalty-free finish.


Related: 5 Tips to Train for Your First Spartan Super

The Spartan Beast

You’ve never run a half marathon like this. The final piece of the Spartan Trifecta puzzle, the Beast is exactly as it sounds: beastly. We're talking 21K — a little over 13 miles — and 30 obstacles. Our Beasts are rarely on flat ground, so you can expect your legs to burn as you traverse brutal ascents and descents.

Beast racers are generally Spartan veterans who are familiar with the distances and the obstacles, but we’ve seen first-timers ambitiously conquer the Beast without fail. 

To have a Beast under your belt, you’ll need to be comfortable regularly running road distances from 4 to 15 miles, or at least being on your feet for five or more hours. Bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and push-ups, and weighted functional training will prepare your body for the obstacles, but we also highly recommend testing your nutrition and hydration strategies during training runs. 


Related: ​​30 Days to Spartan Beast: The First-Timer’s Training Plan to Survive

The Spartan Ultra

The Spartan Ultra is our hardest obstacle course race, and the ultimate test of endurance. The course is 50K (just over 31 miles) and pits you against 60 obstacles. The distance is daunting, the obstacles are relentless, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the course of what is essentially two laps of the Beast (and then some), you'll face formidable elevation gain, darkness, extreme weather, and unexpected challenges that will test your physical and mental limits. Strong bonds are formed on this course, and lives are changed.

You'll be out on the course for many, many hours before you earn the coveted Ultra belt buckle, so it's critical that you come prepared. We recommend bringing a halfway-point drop bin, waterproof layers, spare footwear and socks, sun protection, a hydration pack or vest, nutritional fuel, a headlamp, a small medical kit, and other long-haul items.

Think you have what it takes?


Additional Spartan Race Types: Kids, City, and Stadion

Spartan Kids Races

Spartan Kids races range in distance from a half-mile to 2 miles, and they're open to children ages 4-14. They'll run, jump, climb, and crawl, and older kids have the opportunity to compete in timed heats.

Spartan Kids finishers earn a T-shirt, a finisher medal and lanyard, and a numbered headband with a matching adult wristband. Additionally, every kids ticket comes with two free spectator passes, so friends and relatives can cheer their little ones on at the finish line. There are always adult races the same weekend as kids races for a full family experience.


Spartan Stadion Races

Spartan Stadions are the same distance as Sprints (5K, 20 obstacles), with the added benefit of being in some of the most iconic ballparks and stadiums in America.

The race itself is fast and intense: You'll climb stairs, tackle functional fitness obstacles, run on the warning track and through the concourse, and, in some cases, run through professional teams' clubhouses. 

With a majority of the race distance set on bleachers and stairs, climbing will be your best pre-race prep.


Related: Every Obstacle You'll Face at a Spartan Stadion Race (+ How to Train for Each)

Spartan City Races

Held in the middle of major metropolitan areas, our rare City races are generally flat, range in distance from 3K to 5K, and feature 20 obstacles, including the Gauntlet, Jump Rope, Paracord, and the Memory Test. They're easily accessible, and the dirt-free, urban terrain makes them ideal for road runners and sprinters, so you can leave your water-proof shoes at home for these races.


Beyond Obstacle Course Racing: Trail Running, Functional Fitness, and Tests of Endurance

If you're looking for a different kind of challenge beyond Spartan and Tough Mudder obstacle course races, there are a host of incredible options. We have trail running, functional fitness competitions (DEKA), long-distance hiking (HIGHLANDER), 60-plus-hour cultural immersions (Agoge), team-based events (Hurricane Heat), Peak Races (including the famed Death Race), mountain bike races (La Ruta), paddleboard races (M20), and wrestling tournaments.

Related: The 2024 Spartan Race Schedule: Dates, Details, Venues, and More