The Top 5 Toughest Physical Endurance Challenges on Earth

If you've got the itch for adventure, we've got just the fix! We've scoured the globe to bring you the top 5 physical challenges that will redefine your limits and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Slight caveat, these challenges are not for the faint of heart... From crossing scorching deserts to conquering dense jungles, each of these gruelling challenges will test your resilience and determination. Are you up for the challenge? Of course you are!

1. Marathon Des Sables, Morocco: The Mother of all Marathons

Known as the ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth’, the Marathon Des Sables is a multi-stage ultra-marathon that unfolds over six days, covering a staggering 250 kilometers (155 miles) through the searing Sahara Desert. *Gulp*. Runners endure blistering heat, shifting sand dunes, and arid landscapes that stretch for miles. And just to make it a teeny bit harder (because obviously it wasn’t hard enough), each participant is required to carry all their own food and water, sleeping gear and other supplies on their backs, to survive the 6 day event. This marathon will test every fiber of your being, but also comes with side-effects of becoming an absolute legend if you complete it! 

2. The Great Wall Marathon, China

If you’re a fitness buff with a penchant for history, the Great Wall Marathon is the one for you! This one-of-a-kind event takes you on a thrilling 26.2-mile journey along the majestic Great Wall of China. I mean, how often do you get to run on a wonder of the world, right? But let's be real, it's not all scenic views and selfies, folks; you’ll be climbing more than 5,000 grueling steps that will have your quads begging for mercy (and here we are getting out of breath trying to get upstairs!). The upside is you’ll be taking in breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside which will make it all worthwhile.

3. Jungle Marathon, Brazil

Calling all adventurers who've ever dreamt of being a modern-day Indiana Jones! The Jungle Marathon in Brazil will take you on an unforgettable journey deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. With snakes, jaguars, piranhas, oh and the staggering 254 kilometers (158 miles) of wild terrain ahead, you'll need to muster your courage, agility, and a good dose of bug spray! But the sense of triumph when you conquer the Amazonian wilderness is absolutely priceless.

4. Norseman, Norway

Forget about your typical triathlon courses because Norseman takes it up several notches. This extreme challenge begins with a jump off a ferry into the icy-cold waters of the Hardangerfjord, and the journey from there is nothing short of epic. The course will have you cycling through Norway's stunning mountains and finishing with a marathon run that climbs a mountain! Yeah, you read that right – you'll be conquering the peak of Gaustatoppen. Norseman is an invitation to embrace the raw beauty of Norway's landscapes while pushing your physical and mental limits to the edge. Crossing that finish line is a victory like no other, leaving you with a sense of triumph that will last a lifetime.

5. Ramsay's Round, Scotland

For the most audacious mountain runners, Ramsay's Round in Scotland is an unparalleled mountain endurance challenge. This feat involves summiting 24 of Scotland's highest peaks in under 24 hours. With rugged terrains, unpredictable weather, and over 28,000 feet of ascent (not far off the size of Everest!), this endeavor is the ultimate test of mountain-running prowess. Only the boldest souls take on this incredible Scottish adventure.

Whether you seek to prove your mettle or simply embrace the thrill of the unknown, these five top-notch challenges promise to redefine your limits and leave you forever changed. And if you want to make your daring feat even more meaningful, why not turn your adventure into a force for good by fundraising for a worthy cause?

When you fundraise on givestar you’ll be joining other legends like Russ Cook(AKA the Hardest Geezer) who is currently running a mind-blowing 360 marathons in 240 days, across the continent of Africa! Gear up for your physical adventure with your ultimate fundraising sidekick and download the givestar app today. 

Adventure for Good Grant

Want to take on an adventure of your own but struggling to get the funds together? We’ve got a £20,000 pot, which will be divided up amongst successful applicants and used to cover any costs associated with making your challenge happen - whether that be buying specialist gear, paying for flights, accommodation, camera equipment or something else!