This ain't your summer camp's obstacle course

Running a race can be a grueling proposition, especially if you're an orphan in a Charles Dickens novel, and only the winner gets lunch. For a race that'll never have you begging for more, sign up for Warrior Dash.

Dash's a costumes-encouraged, beards-even-more-encouraged, 3.5mi hell-romp through the backwoods of the Poconos, where you'll get seriously muddy as you climb, jump, and scurry your way through 14 obstacles -- so, kinda like a grown-up Double Dare, only Marc Summers is even more terrified of the dudes in costumes and beards than he is of normal people. The pain-inducer's broken up into two parts, the first sending you through a series of barricades inside a castle and through blackout conditions in dug-out muddy trenches covered in tarps and the repurposed drainage "Tunnels of Terror", before you navigate "Deadweight Drifter's" dank water and floating logs, or as Motel 6 guests call it, "swimming". If you're fatigued/ really love potassium, you'll then get a water/ banana break before running down a low-flowing river, crawling through a muddy bog underneath a barbed wire ceiling, and navigating a field of rusting abandoned cars, which's also how folks in West Virginia walk to school. Haha, just kidding -- no one in West Virginia goes to school.

After you've staggered across the finish line, they'll hose you off and give you a completion medal (finish high enough in your age bracket for a steel warrior's helmet), a snack, and a much deserved beer. Then, hit the after-party for more beer and giant turkey legs, which is what they started calling the vibrant and robust Oliver after he ate two whole bowls of gruel.