First Look at Men’s Health Urbanathlon

I am very excited to share with you that I will be participating in the 2013 Men’s Health Urbanathlon.  I was invited to come run the event and cover my training and experience leading up to the race.

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of this event before they contacted me.  My first reaction was, “Will I be the only girl at the race?”  It is Men’s Health Urbanathlon after all.  But as I researched, I realize that men and women participate in this event, and I got really excited.  Since I did Urban Warrior Dash down in San Diego, I was really excited to be able to do the same type of race, but with a longer distance.

There are going to be three US races this year: Chicago (10/19), New York (10/26) and San Francisco (11/24).  I have decided to do the San Francisco event November 24th since it is within driving distance.  It is a long drive from Los Angeles, but I can make a weekend trip out of it and visit some family friends while I am there.

This is a true road race in that it takes place in the city and has OCR obstacles sprinkled throughout the course.  Unlike the Urban Warrior Dash, which is about 3 miles in length, this is an 11 mile course with about 10 obstacles.  There appears to be an obstacle at every mile which is spaced out more than normal obstacle races.

San Francisco Course Map

I was able to go online and view a Google map of the course.  It was very cool to actually get a Google Earth street view of what I will encounter.  And since this is San Francisco, I full anticipate the race to take advantage of some of those famous San Francisco hills.

The obstacles themselves seem to be pretty similar to other obstacle races.  I saw monkey bars, walls and cargo nets to name a few.  Some of the more unique obstacles include climbing over buses and crawling under cars (something Urban Warrior wasn’t able to pull off in San Diego).

I did notice that although there are no penalties for not completing an obstacle, their website does say that racers who cannot complete an obstacle will be issued a DNF.  This scares me a little as I have yet to be able to make it across the monkey bars or wall alone.  Since I will be running this race solo, I definitely need to increase my strength training and hope that I will be able to find a kind soul to give me a boost if I need it.

If you think any distance over a 5K is unreachable, the Urbanathlon offers a relay option.  This is something you don’t see very often in obstacle races.  Teams are made up of three members, and each member runs 1/3 of the course.  This is a great option for those who are not at the level to complete the full race.

Registration is open for all events.  The price is at $125 for the full race and $200 for relay teams of three.  That’s not too bad considering the distance of the race.  If you are interested in running this race, I have good news!  The folks at Urbanatalon have been kind enough to offer a discount code for me to share with you.  As soon as I have the code in my hot little hands I will be sure to share with everyone.

Have you participated in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in the past?  Tell me your experience with the race and offer up any advice you may have for me and others doing it for the first time!


  1. Eric Hansen says

    Awesomeness!! Will be doing the Chicago course this October! We can compare notes!

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