World's Wackiest Races

On your mark, get set, check out the world's wackiest races. Racers compete in wild feats of strength and speed -- sometimes even in stilettos -- carrying brides and pushing hospital beds.

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The Lost Girls -- Amanda, Holly and Jen -- get ready to run at the starting line in the first-ever Runaway Bridesmaids race in New York City. 960 1280

  

Lost Girl Holly Corbett proves that you can wear that bridesmaid dress again -- and for a good cause! She created the charity along with her fellow Lost Girls to raise money and awareness for sex trafficking. 960 1280

  

And they’re off! The Runaway Bridesmaids surged ahead for the fun run. The 5th Avenue Mile in New York City attracts top runners from around the world, but this year was the first time a team of men and women ran down the iconic street wearing bridesmaids dresses. 960 1280

Ed Haas  

The Runaway Bridesmaids team ran in dresses to collect pledges for Village Volunteers‘ partner New Light—an organization providing shelter, healthcare, education, and HOPE for the children of sex workers in India’s largest red light district. They raised more than $10,000 on Crowdrise for the shelter so far. 960 1280

  

Lost Girl and Runaway Bridesmaids Amanda Pressner is getting married this year, and is supporting the Runaway Bridesmaids cause by signing up for TheKnot.com’s first ever charity registry. She may have gotten a few ideas about what kind of dresses she wants her own bridesmaids to wear from the event. 960 1280

VICTAH SAILER  

Would you run in a dress for charity? Darren Garnick, one of the brave male runners, took one for the team and donned a bridesmaid dress for the cause. 960 1280

  

First place finisher: Congrats to Matthew Daniele, the guy in the green dress who, despite all the cat calls from the women on the sidelines, persevered to win first place in the Runaway Bridesmaids heat with a 5:54 mile. (And that's Lost Girl Holly Corbett just moments behind him, taking the win for first place female runner). 960 1280

Victah Sailer  

The Lost Girls -- Amanda, Holly and Jen -- celebrate after running The Runaway Bridesmaid's Fifth Avenue Mile. 960 1280

  

Five of the Runaway Bridesmaids (including Lost Girls Holly and Amanda) are going on to run 26.2 miles in dresses for the New York City Marathon. Check out the Crowdrise page to find you how YOU can help fight sex trafficking and make a real difference in kids’ lives without having to even leave home—or wear a poufy dress. 960 1280

Ed Haas  

Lost Girls Holly and Jen get a little pick-me-up from their fellow Runaway Bridesmaids. 960 1280

  

Matthew Daniele and fellow male 'maid show the crowds along New York's Fifth Avenue how to run like a man…in a dress. 960 1280

  

Runaway Bridesmaid Heather Parcells has fun with the photographers. Crowds gathered on Fifth Avenue to watch the first-ever Runaway Bridesmaids race in New York City. 960 1280

  

Ironman World Championship Kona
Ironman World Championship Kona

Ironman World Championship Kona

The Ironman World Championship is the ultimate test of mind, body and spirit. Only the best triathletes converge on Kailua-Kona, HI, to embark on this 146.6-mile journey. Officially, there are 63 half-Ironman triathlons and 31 full-Ironman triathlons held around the world -- the biggest competitions are the Ironman World Championship, Ironman European Champion, Ironman US Championship and Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship. 960 1280

Bakke-Svensson/Ironman  

Ironman Lake Tahoe

Ironman Lake Tahoe

In California, Lake Tahoe’s Ironman competition begins with a 2-loop swim at historic Kings Beach. Athletes hop on their bikes and then finish competition with a run along one of the most scenic stretches in the world. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ironman New Zealand

Ironman New Zealand

Head to Taupo, a 45-minute flight or an easy 3 to 4 hour drive from Auckland, New Zealand. This Ironman competition attracts international athletes from more than 35 countries. Taupo has become an increasingly popular venue for sporting events because of the town’s compact size, clean environment, central location and friendly community. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Ironman UK

Ironman UK

In the summer, hundreds of athletes head to Bolton, England, to challenge themselves in the Ironman UK. Triathletes must embark on a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and run 26.2 miles to the finish line. In case you didn’t know, Bolton is located 10 miles northwest of Manchester. 960 1280

Frances Barton, Wikimedia Commons  

Ironman 70.3 Panama

Ironman 70.3 Panama

Before running 13.1 miles through the Panama City’s Amador Causeway, triathletes must swim 1.2 miles in the Pacific Ocean -- at the entrance to the Panama Canal -- and bike 56 miles, crossing the Bridge of the Americas en route to the Pan-American Highway. 960 1280

Reuters  

Ironman Lake Placid

Ironman Lake Placid

Ironman Lake Placid is the 2nd oldest Ironman competition in North America. It’s usually held mid-summer in the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, NY, where more than 20,000 people converge on the town. Athletes take a 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake, a challenging 112-mile bike ride through the Adirondacks Mountains and a 26.2-mile run, circling the downtown area 4 times. 960 1280

Brian Desrosiers, Flickr  

Ironman Melbourne

Ironman Melbourne

The Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Melbourne -- the sporting capital of Australia -- is usually held in March. With the spectacular city as the backdrop, athletes take a 2.4-mile swim in Frankston, a 117-mile bike ride on the EastLink Tollway and a 26-mile run along Port Philip Bay to finish the grueling challenge. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ironman 70.3 Racine

Ironman 70.3 Racine

If a full Ironman is too much, then head to Racine, WI -- located 30 miles south of Milwaukee -- to participate in the half Ironman. Triathletes must swim 1.2-mile along North Beach in Lake Michigan, bike 56 miles through the rolling countryside of Racine County and run 13.1 miles through the Zoo and surrounding Lake Michigan coastline. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ironman Los Cabos

Ironman Los Cabos

Los Cabos -- located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula in Baja California, Mexico -- is known as a great place to relax and unwind, but on March 17, 2013, athletes will converge on the resort town for its first Ironman competition. Nearly 1,500 participants from more than 50 countries are expected for the inaugural event. The course will include a swim in the Sea of Cortes, and then a bike ride and run along a 20-mile corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ironman Wisconsin

Ironman Wisconsin

In Madison, WI, more than 45,000 spectators line the Ironman course through Wisconsin farm land and the downtown streets of state capital. The finish line is the most recognizable of all the US Ironman events; it is located in front of the Wisconsin state capitol in the heart of Madison. 960 1280

joelrivlin, Flickr  

Ironman Cozumel

Ironman Cozumel

Cozumel -- located in Quintana Roo, Mexico -- is often a port of call for many cruise lines, but this fun travel destination is also host to the Ironman Cozumel and Ironman 70.3 Cozumel. Like many Ironman competitions, the Cozumel Ironman awards a predetermined number of slots that will allow athletes to participate in the “granddaddy” of all Ironman challenges, the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ironman Arizona

Ironman Arizona

Ironman Arizona, set in Tempe, begins with a swim in the Tempe Town Lake, followed by a challenging 3-loop bike course through the Sonoran Desert and then competition wraps up with a spectator-friendly run around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park. 960 1280

Jan Miller, Flickr  

Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Welcome to Coeur d’Alene, the 2nd largest metropolitan area in Idaho. While wiping the sweat from their brow, athletes take a dip in beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene and a become eyewitnesses to spectacular views of rural northern Idaho by bike and on foot. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Ironman Louisville

Ironman Louisville

In August, the Ironman Louisville, KY, takes triathletes on a course through some of the city’s most scenic areas, including Waterfront Park, Oldham and Henry Counties and the city of LaGrange. Their journey ends with a finish line celebration at Fourth Street Live, an exciting entertainment and retail district in downtown Louisville. 960 1280

Timothy J, Flickr  

Ironman Western Australia

Ironman Western Australia

Busselton -- a 2.5-hour drive from Perth, Australia -- hosts 2 Ironman competitions, Ironman 70.3 Busselton and Ironman Western Australia. Ironman 70.3 Busselton is held in October as part of a big festival, which includes the Kids Triathlon. Ironman Western Australia is held in December, when athletes swim Busselton Jetty, bike through Tuart Forest and run along Geographe Bay and through the heart of Busselton Township. 960 1280

  

Ironman Switzerland

Ironman Switzerland

More than 2,000 athletes compete in the waters of Lake Zurich during the swimming leg of the Ironman Switzerland Triathlon in Zurich. In the 2nd leg of the race participants hit a challenging bike course with a breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps before ending the competition with a run on the shore of the lake. 960 1280

Reuters  

Runners cross from Staten Island into Brooklyn over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge after the start of the New York Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Medals are prepared in New York's Central Park near the finish line of the 2006 New York City Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Wheelchair racers cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge after the start of the New York Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Runners on the course along 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, near the 3-mile mark. 960 1280

EmilyRides through Flickr Creative Commons  

An overhead view of marathon participants, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 960 1280

Fortes through Flickr Creative Commons  

A bystander cheers on runners by McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 960 1280

Reuters  

A mass of runners on Manhattan Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, heading for Queens. 960 1280

SpecialKRB through Flickr Creative Commons  

These runners have just passed the mid-way point of the marathon and are about to cross the Pulaski Bridge into Queens. 960 1280

SpecialKRB through Flickr Creative Commons  

A runner tries to catch his breath after finishing the marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Runners cross the Queensboro Bridge during the New York City Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Spectators cheer on runners in Manhattan during the New York City Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  

Runners pass by discarded water cups at the 20-mile mark in Harlem. 960 1280

ThomasClaveirole through Flickr Creative Commons  

Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland pumps her fist after winning the Women's Wheelchair division in the 2009 Marathon. 960 1280

Reuters  


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