Navy Seal Hell Week and 7 Other Hell Weeks

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 02, 2011

Below you will find 9 weeks of extreme examples of races or physical feats of endurance that push contenders to the absolute limit. Most people typically think of Hell Week from the Navy Seals. After all, the Navy Seals coined this term right? I’m not sure. Though I have found hell weeks of all different forms. This is my top 9 of all time. Few people on the face of this planet have gone through these. For those that have, I, and the community solute you.

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Navy Seal Hell Week and 7 Other Weeks of Hell

8. Absa Cape Epic

Absa Cape Epic is an 8 stage annual mountain bike team race through South Africa’s Western Cape. The teams consist of two riders. This race is the largest full-service mountain bike race ever and also the most televised. Entrants include some of the best mountain bikers in the world which shows it extremeness. The race is limited to 1,200 riders.

Hell Week: 8 days

7. Crocodile Trophy Stage Race

First created as a “Tour de France” but for mountain bikes, this race is incredibly intense. It takes place over 9 days and 10 stages throughout Australia. This one is crazy if you love mountain bikes.

Hell Week: 9 days


6. The Iditarod

Annual dog sled race over 1,150 miles of the roughest terrain natures has to offer. The terrain includes jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast. The temperatures go far beyond sub-zero and include terrible visibility, hazardous overflow, long hours of darkness and difficult climbs. This races takes place in Alaska.

Hell Week: 9-15 days

5. Jungle Marathon

This crazy hell week includes a 200-kilometer race through the Amazon Rainforest. All racers must carry their own equipment and food. This races is engineered to be one of the most physically demanding races on the planet with humidity nearing 100% and steep inclines throughout the course.

Hell Week: 7 days

4. Yukon Arctic Ultra

“The World’s Coldest and Toughest Ultra”, this races follows the Yukon Quest trail. There is a 100 mile race, 300 mile race, and 430 mile race. The ultra-marathon temperatures can drop down to -50 degrees plus wind chill.

Knee health score 3

Hell Week: Must finish race within 8 days (300 miler)

3. Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon

This race takes place in South Africa over 7 days with daily treks taking place from 28km to 75km. Total race covers 250 kilometers. Night temperatures can drop to single digits and day temperatures can rise to 40 degrees Celsius. This race is known to be well organized and by many considered crazy.

Hell Week: 7 days

2. Marathon Des Sables

One of the most extreme races on the planet. Covers a total of 151 miles through the Sahara Desert in Morocco – equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons. All racers need to carry everything on their back. Mid-day temperatures rise to 120 degrees F and the running takes place on uneven rocky, stony ground and sand dunes.

Hell Week: 6 days

1. Navy Seal Hell Week

And of course we come to the Navy Seal Hell Week! Navy Seals have been an inspiration to me for many years now. These guys during hell week go for 5 days straight of getting totally beat and are only allowed 4 total hours of sleep for the entire week. Intense training evaluations are occurring frequently that include both physical and mental tests. Navy Seals truly are my heroes.

Hell Week: 5 days

Have you found any other extreme hell weeks that push your body to the limit? Post them here!

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