Toughest 100 Races In The World

Toughest 100 Races In The World

Peak 100 is conducting an online poll of the Toughest 100 Races in the World.

These are unbelievably difficult challenges, all around the world both on land and in water, that requires physical exertion, mental toughness and emotional fortitude.

But we believe that none of the athletes who do non-open water swimming events in the world face similar dangers and risks like open water swimmers.

In the original list of 100 events – many of which involve water (e.g., triathlons, canoe racing), the St. Croix Coral Reef Swim (listed as #21), the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (listed as #36), the Coastal Crawl 10K Swim (listed as #48), the Nike Swim Miami 10K (listed as #57), the 10K Golden Gate Bridge Swim (listed as #64), the 32K Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean (listed as #72), the Big Swim in Australia (listed as #75), the Horsetooth 10K Open Water Swim (listed as #76) are the only pure open water swimming events.

Vote and rank these events here.

Although these races are difficult, we would have personally included the Oceans Seven that comprise of seven of the toughest channel swims in the world: (1) the cold-water, jellyfish-strewn North Channel (between Ireland and Scotland), (2) the rough and treacherous shark-infested Cook Strait (between the North and South Islands of New Zealand), (3) the wildly rough and shark- and Portuguese man o war-filled Molokai Channel (between Oahu and Molokai Islands in Hawaii), (4) the tidal flows of the iconic cold-water English Channel, (5) the challenging Catalina Channel, (6) the continental-crossing Strait of Gibraltar and (7) the relatively unknown Tsugaru Channel where jellyfish and currents flow fast between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan.

Only in the open water swimming world do human competitors face the dreaded Portuguese man o war and sharks. While the Great White Shark, tiger shark, bull shark and oceanic white tip sharks are to be feared, it is more likely that open water swimmers are felled by their tiny, usually unseen, marine predators, the Portuguese man o war. These small creatives give a sting so hurtful and so debilitating that most swimmers cannot continue and retire due to the pain and venom.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones