While the 2021 Spartan race season brought thousand and thousands of hungry racers back to the obstacle course in droves, 2022 brought an explosion of excitement and progress to the sport of obstacle course racing as a whole. The new Spartan North American Elite Series and the U.S. National Series, which took an Age-Group focus for the first time this year, sparked and squashed rivalries across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Earlier this year, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) approved obstacle course racing to replace equestrian in the Olympic Modern Pentathlon in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, so we began testing a shorter, faster, 3,000-meter race format on which Elites will compete at 2023 series and championships. Plus, we signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with World Obstacle, the Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles (FISO), including the sanctioning, hosting, and broadcasting of elite-level events. (Plus, we even announced the removal of burpees as a penalty for Elite and Age Group racers, beginning in 2023.)
In 2022, Spartan and Tough Mudder records were broken, bonds were built, and more lives were changed than ever before. Here's what you missed out on if you chose to stay on the couch this year instead. (And when you're done, check out the top photos of 2021 and 2020.)
The 15 Best Photos From the 2022 Spartan and Tough Mudder Race Seasons
1. Inches to Go on the Cage Crawl
There's nothing like the suspense of your first Cage Crawl. Hang in there, keep breathing, and prove you've got the grit to make it through the 60 feet of freezing.
2. Finishing an Ultra by Headlamp Light
When you leave the start line of an Ultra 50K race, shrouded in the breaking light of sunrise, part of you expects to cross the finish line an entirely different person at the end of the day. When this racer finished his 30-plus miles just after sunset in Vernon, New Jersey, his look of pride said it all.
3. Eyes ALWAYS on the Prize
When you hit the Bucket Carry mid-climb on Big Bear's nearly 2,000 feet of elevation gain, all you can do is keep your efforts — both physical and mental — focused solely on pushing through to the finish.
4. Feeling on Top of the World
Spartan and Tough Mudder races go down in the some the planet's most picturesque locations: world-renowned stadiums, top-rated ski resorts, and even out in the middle of nowhere. Next time you summit the A-Frame Cargo, take this rather unconventional advice: Don't forget to look down.
5. Learning the True Value of Teamwork
Spartan and Tough Mudder races shape young kids into unbreakable adults, and instill values in them at a young age. These kids know the true meaning of "No Mudder left behind."
6. Climbing to Cloud 9
Sometimes, the climb can feel endless. But the feeling of conquering it all is simply unmatched.
7. Cheering From the Stands
We're proud of whoever they were cheering for; Fenway is no joke.
8. Soaking It All in
If you've ever climbed to the top of Killington's Green Mountains, you know that the 1,800 feet of elevation gain is enough to take you to your knees. But if you forget the finish line for a second and take a chance to reflect, you might just change the game entirely.
9. Working Through the Bucket List
Not only is the Hawaiian Spartan race one of our most bucket list-worthy events, but it's also arguably the most stunning venue on the entire race schedule.
10. The Coldest Golden Hour Ever
As the sun rose on 2022's World's Toughest Mudder, racers shut off their headlamps and peeled off their mittens (which were crusted with mud and frost) for their final dunks into the Augustus Gloop obstacle before closing the book on an outstanding ultra-endurance event.
11. Fighting Through the Demons
Sometimes, it can get insanely spooky out of the course. When you haven't seen another racer in a half hour, the fog is heavy enough to cloud your vision, and your inner demons are creeping in, having iron will and unbreakable grit is what will get you through to the finish.
12. Kris Doing What Kris Does Best
At this year's World's Toughest Mudder, hybrid and ultra-endurance athlete Kris Rugloski made history when she became the first-ever female racer to complete 100 miles during the 24-hour event.
13. Lou Seal Witnessing the Proposal of a Lifetime
At the final Stadion race of the 2022 race season at Oracle Park, the San Francisco Giants' mascot, Lou Seal, witnessed true love take form right on the infield.
14. Lindsay Making History ... Again
There's absolutely no doubt about it: Lindsay Webster is the single greatest Spartan racer of all time. At this year's Spartan World Championship in Abu Dhabi, she not only won first place, but she became the first Spartan racer to ever win a World Championship four times, as well as the racer with the most consecutive race wins of all time, 17.
15. Competitors Becoming Champions
And just like that, the world's toughest kids became 2022 World Champions in Sebring, Florida.
Ready to start making commitments and memories? Find your 2023 Spartan or Tough Mudder race here!