Extreme races, obstacle events, mud runs, and assorted challenges of all kinds have quickly grown exponentially more popular. From the originals to new spinoffs appearing on a near-constant basis, the Washington, D.C., area has an incredible spectrum of events to participate in and choose between.

That doesn’t mean that they have been without controversy, however. In the most recent Tough Mudder race held in West Virginia, a 28-year-old competitor drowned. This was not the first casualty at one of these events, either.

Still, the popularity of these races isn’t waning, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into and what you can expect at these various events, which range from lighthearted to intensive.

Here, you’ll find the complete guide to Washington, D.C., extreme races, challenges, obstacle courses, and more. While a few of these competitions already held their 2013 event, there’s still an amazing array taking place in the coming months, and you can plan ahead for next year.

Coming Up

Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash will be held in Mechanicsville, Maryland, on May 18 and 19. Current prices are $75, eventually increasing to $90. Race length is 3.16 miles with approximately 17 obstacles along the way.

The Color Run

The 2013 Washington, D.C., Color Run will be held on May 19, and it’s the third of these competitions to call the National Harbor in Maryland home. The Color Run is a 5K event open to people of all ages and fitness levels. There’s an all-white dress code at the start of the race, then you’re doused at color stations across the course. The spring race is already sold out, but The Color Run will be back in the fall on September 22. Registration is between $45 and $60.

Savage Race

The Mid-Atlantic Savage Race will be held on July 20 at the Hopkins Game Farm in Kennedyville, Maryland. It features a 5- to 6-mile course with about two dozen obstacles, including mud, fire, and barbed wire. Registration prices are currently $69, eventually increasing to $99 before the race.

Spartan Race

The Mid-Atlantic Super Spartan race will be held in Leesburg, Virginia, on August 24 and 25. Prices are between $95 and $145, depending on registration date. Course length is approximately 8 miles, with 20 or more obstacles. The Spartan Race also holds Sprints and Beast races in various locations throughout the year; the Super Spartan is their intermediate level competition. Their website describes their races as “pure primitive craziness that you’ll never forget!”

Electric Run

The Electric Run will be at the National Harbor in Maryland on September 7. This is more of a party than a race, featuring a 5K running/walking course with between five and 10 different lighting experiences, artistic elements and stages, DJs, interactive art and music, and more. Registration begins at $45 and increases to $70.

Run for Your Lives

Run for Your Lives is a zombie-themed adventure run. It will be held on October 5 in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, at the Wicomico Motorsports Park. Enter the infected zone of a zombie apocalypse and battle your way out through obstacles, adventures, and surprises. Pricing is currently at $87 and will increase to $97. You can even sign up to be one of the zombies — a “chaser” or a “stumbler.”

Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder hosts a spring and fall Mid-Atlantic challenge. The spring event took place in mid-April, and Super Bowl-winning coach John Harbaugh was among the notable participants. Unfortunately, it also featured the tragic turn of events mentioned above.

The fall event will be held on October 19 and 20 at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Gerrardstown, West Virginia.The total distance will be between 10 and 12 miles, with between 20 and 25 obstacle stations and an average completion time between three and four hours. Current prices are between $105 and $115, but will eventually rise as high as $180 before the event.

For Next Year

DC Challenge

Billed as “the ultimate urban scavenger race,” the DC Challenge was held on April 20. It’s a team-based event with clues, tasks to complete, things to find, and so forth. Race length is between 3 and 4 miles, with completion times between 90 minutes and three hours. This year was the fourth annual running of the event, and it seems to still be growing, so be on the lookout for the Challenge back in 2014. Registration is typically about $50.

The Glo Run

The Washington, D.C., Glo Run took place on April 20 at Maryland’s National Harbor, but don’t worry — the event plans on returning in 2014. It’s similar to the Electric Run, as it’s a nighttime 5K race filled with on-course DJs and dancing tents, black lights and lasers, fluorescent glow shirts, and similar gear. Registration this year was between $40 and $50.

Which extreme race or challenge is your favorite? Are there other local events in and around Washington, D.C., that weren’t included in this list? Did you or a friend have a bad experience at any of these events? Get in on the conversation and share your thoughts below.

*This article was first published on Yahoo News on April 25, 2013