Fans of mud run/obstacle course races who live in and around Missouri have a lot to look forward to in 2018. Tough Mudder, an international company that hasn’t held a race in the Show Me State since 2013, will return with a weekend of events on August 11 and 12 in Wright City, about a 45-minute drive from downtown St. Louis. Cedar Lake Cellars, home of the permanent The Battlegrounds mud run course, beat out contenders Columbia, Sedalia and Wildwood, to host the 10-mile, 20+ obstacle event.

The agreement provides Tough Mudder a five-year option on the venue, and as a result, The Battlegrounds will host its final race on the property on May 19 of this year. “It’s been bittersweet. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into hosting eleven races here,” said Bob Holm, The Battlegrounds race and operations director. “But this deal provides a lot of opportunity.” Holm said other competitive events like cyclocross and cross-country running are still allowed under the agreement, and Cedar Lake is also considering adding an outdoor concert venue on the grounds.

Warrior Dash, another big-name mud run/obstacle course organizer with races held throughout the U.S., will offer two Missouri events this year: on June 9 at Big River Ranch in Lexington, about an hour from Kansas City; and on August 4 at the Blackhawk Valley Hunting Preserve in Old Monroe, about 45 minutes from St. Louis. Each race will consist of a 5k course with 12 obstacles, an all-day festival atmosphere and swag including the company’s signature fuzzy, Viking-style helmet.

Spartan Race will descend on Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis on August 11 with a sprint race delivering 20+ obstacles over 3 to 5 miles. It’s the perfect distance for those looking to start their Spartan journey.

Terrain Racing invites participants to conquer an all-new 5k course when it comes to Madison, Illinois, for the first time ever on September 1. More than 20 muddy obstacles will be created at Gateway Motorsports Park, about 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, with pricing options for one lap or unlimited laps — plus a half-mile mini race for kids 2 to 10 years old. Terrain Racing has 12 events across the U.S. in 2018.

The Rugged Maniac obstacle race series will descend on Snow Creek Ski Area in Weston, Missouri, on September 22. Located about 40 minutes from Kansas City, the course will feature 25 obstacles spread over 3 miles, including water slides, trampolines, underground tunnels and the Pyromaniac — a leap of faith over rows of flaming logs.

The homegrown Crusher Race will return on June 24 to Brookdale Farms in Eureka, Missouri, a 25-minute drive from downtown St. Louis. Here, 5k, 10k and Colossal options await. (The Colossal Crusher is 10k+ and includes additional CrossFit-style fitness stations.) Crusher Kids lets youngsters 7 to 13 tackle a 1-mile course with obstacles either by themselves or as part of a parent/child team. Swag includes a finisher’s medal, custom pint glass, T-shirt, free race photos and unlimited post-race beverages.

Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine.