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Culture

Running Beyond Marathons: Obstacle Races In South Florida

Millions of runners are searching for a new challenge. They want something with more danger and fun than a traditional marathon event.

In the past year an estimated 4 million people found that challenge: obstacle races. Well, obstacle races better known for their tough names, like Spartan, Tough Mudder and BattleFrog

They range in distance from 5K to 15K. But they're unlike marathons in that runners will have to clear dozens of obstacles that will force them to climb, crawl and get muddy.

The Battle Frog race was held recently in Miami and Central Florida. Click through photos from the race in the slideshow above.

Runners pulled themselves through roped courses even in the face of inclement weather, wading through the mud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eBNkr_e2oc&feature=youtu.be

Before the race started, Dewayne Montgomery prepared the group. His pump-up speech would make any drill sergeant proud.

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Credit Luis Hernandez / WLRN

Hear what racing in the BattleFrog is like below:

The very first obstacle runners faced at the Battle Frog Miami race was a swim in cold water. Like any obstacle, runners always have the option to skip the obstacle. But, most ran into the lake at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPfVyYJtRS8&feature=youtu.be

The rope traverse challenges endurance and strength. Can you hold on with hands and feet as you pull yourself 70 feet or so to the other side?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgovH8vbq2g&feature=youtu.be

The wall has no gimmick. It's just a wall. Some people can make the leap to the top, pull themselves over and slip down the other side. Organizers did set up steps for those who need help getting over.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN1Byu3IZPA&feature=youtu.be

One of the final obstacles is the monkey bars. These are unique because of their incline. For extreme racers - those competing for prize money - they have to do it all over again if they fall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xihhC3J8nuk&list=UURsIGRkKx6kUF03jo9eHO_A

Deanna Hedigan sits atop the slide waiting for her turn. Volunteers are supposed to make sure that traffic at the top and bottom of any obstacle doesn't become overcrowded, which could lead to injuries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p3jxsIyNsM&feature=youtu.be

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Like all other racers, if you finish the race you get bragging rights. Deanna Hedigan has crossed these finish lines many times before.