For those seeking thrills and adventure beyond your average marathon or triathlon, take a look at the Water Tribe Everglades Challenge.
Competitors will have eight days to complete a course that is roughly 300 miles from Tampa Bay to Key Largo using a canoe, kayak or small sailboat.
On average, only 40 percent of the participants complete the grueling course, which meanders down the coastline of west Florida and through the 10,000 Islands. From there, racers must navigate through the wild Everglades’ backcountry and overpowering tidal currents that stop you cold. Once they find their way to Flamingo, they will have to cross Florida Bay to get to the finish line at the Bay Cove Motel in Key Largo.
There will be no safety boats and is not for beginning paddlers or sailors. Participants will have to bring all of their equipment, food and water they will need to survive — without outside help.
Past winners have finished the race between two and four days depending on the type of vessel.
The Everglades Challenge is a qualifying race for the 2014 Ultimate Florida Challenge, which runs 1,200 miles around the coast of Florida.
For those interested in participating in the Everglades Challenge, the fee is $395 per person, and registration closes Jan. 31. For more information: www.watertribe.com
The eight-mile Super Spartan Race obstacle course, scheduled for Feb. 23 and 24 at Miami’s Oleta State Park, is designed to test wits and courage and push participants past their normal limits.
Although this is one tough course, you don’t have to be born in Sparta to compete.
The Spartan Race got its start in 2004 in New York and now has races around the world.
Each year the course details are kept secret until race day, but participants can expect to be pushed past their comfort zones while crawling through mud, under barbwire, going over walls and through water.
The finishers receive a medal and the bragging rights of being a Super Spartan.
The race has grown so big the past several years that an extra day has been added. Registration is $145 for the Saturday race, and $135 for the Sunday race. There is a discount for early registration. For more information: www.spartanrace.com.
Last weekend, several hundred competitors came out to Bayfront Park for Wodapalooza, a CrossFit-style competition in which participants had to run, bike, paddleboard, lift weights, do pull-ups, squat and participate in other exercises.
The competition is divided into six events designed to test the strength and endurance of the athletes. Points are awarded based on time and the umber of repetitions during each event. The participant with the lowest number of points in each class wins.
Julian Serna won the elite men’s division with 28 points, and Talayna Fortunato won the elite women’s division with 12 points.
If you would like your upcoming participant events showcased, email Corey Campbell at Campbell.firstname.lastname@example.org.