NEW DATES ANNOUNCED! Balance Festival 19th – 21st May 2023
19 - 21 May 2023
The Truman Brewery
19 - 21 May 2023 / The Truman Brewery
30 July 2019
5 of the Most Epic Fitness Challenges Around the World
From the perfectly pleasant to the absolute extremes, these are the epic fitness challenges you’ll want to get fit for…
With the rise of body neutrality, we’re seeing a shift away from focusing on what our bodies look like and instead focusing on what they can do, whether that’s holding the perfect warrior II, run an ultramarathon or simply keep your brain working on a particularly bad hangover.

Increasingly though, we’re also incorporating our fitness endeavours into our everyday lives, and we don’t just mean by attending the odd HIIT class with a friend. Instead, we’re taking that motivation with us when we travel, attending yoga retreats, seeking out the best surf spots and choosing detox breaks over hedonistic holidays. But what about the one-off events worth travelling for?

From the perfectly pleasant to the absolute extremes, these are the epic fitness challenges you’ll want to get fit for…

Nevis to St Kitts Cross Channel Swim, Saint Kitts and Nevis - March

Open water swimming is all the rage right now, but the cross-channel swim between the islands of Nevis and St Kitts offers the dream way to do it: in warm water, with the possibility of spotting turtles and the promise of a post-swim rum waiting for you. At 4.1km, it’s an achievable distance and there are categories for those chasing trophies and for people who just want to enjoy a gentle swim in paradise.​

Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, UK - April

A canoe race might not sound like much at first glance, but this non-stop race covers 125 miles from Wiltshire to Westminster and is considered one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. Taking approximately 24-hours to complete, one third of those who will begin drop out. If you do make it to the end you’ll be in good company – among the medal holders are Olympians James Cracknell and Helen Glover, and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, US - June

Located on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Penitentiary was, for over thirty years, considered impossible to escape from. Now, every June, competitors line up to do just that, taking on a 1.5-mile swim from the island across the bay, followed by a tough 18-mile cycle, then an eight-mile run through the Golden Gate Recreational Area. Characterised by steep hills and challenging terrain, this is one for badasses only.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea - July

A celebration of all things mud, Boryeong Mud Festival was initially designed to showcase the powerful cleansing qualities of the region’s mineral-rich mud. Okay, so that one still isn’t technically a fitness festival, but you try running an obstacle course while caked in mud, playing a football match on a mudflat or indulging in some fearsome mudwrestling without working up a sweat. Believe us, your muscles will ache afterwards.

Athens Marathon, Greece - November

Starting in the village of Marathon and following the route that Pheidippedes reputedly covered during the run that gave the challenge its name, the Athens marathon is a notoriously difficult undertaking. The course gains ground for over 20km, right in the middle, before trundling downwards again as you arrive into Athens, ending in the stadium that served a stage for the 2004 Olympics.

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