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11 Thrilling Competitions From Around The World

Feeling competitive? Turns out there's a whole bunch of events all around the world where you can prove your prowess.

1. Greasy Pole Competitions — Various Locations

Romeo Gacad / Getty Images

If you’d like to try your hand at climbin’ an old greaser, you shouldn’t have to look too far. Greasy poles are climbed everywhere from Gloucester, MA, to Indonesia, where it occurs as part of independence celebrations.

2. Running of the Bulls — Spain

Infrogmation of New Orleans / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: infrogmation

Not much should get you going faster than being chased by bulls. Can't make it to Spain? Head to New Orleans instead. NOLA pays homage to the original with a yearly festival called Nola Bulls, where runners give chase to "bulls" on skates.

3. La Tomatina — Spain

Graham McLellan / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: gforce

Head to Buñol, Spain, on the last Wednesday of August and prepare to fight. This has been called the World's Biggest Food Fight, and it features 20,000 people throwing tomatoes at each other.

4. Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest — NYC

dinnercraft / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: dinnercraft

Every July 4, hopeful hot dog eaters flock to Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs on Coney Island. It's a good bet that this New York tradition will go on forever, but if you decide to take part, do be aware that you'll have to qualify first.

5. Shovel Racing — New Mexico

Lynn Eubank (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: lynneubank

Just what it sounds like, "shovel racing" is a sport where participants race down a snowy hill while riding on a shovel. Its roots are in New Mexico, and the annual World Championship is held there every February.

6. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling — Gloucestershire, U.K.

michael warren (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: mikewarren

Like cheese and hills? Then you'll love this annual event at which a seven- or eight-pound round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down a very steep hill. Competitors chase after it, and the first one to cross the finish line gets the cheese.

7. World Beard and Moustache Championship — Leogang, AT, and New York, USA

Jeff Hitchcock (CC BY-NC http://2.0) / Via Flickr: arbron

Hipsters and beard aficionados come together to celebrate facial hair in all its glory. The U.S. competition takes place in — where else? — Brooklyn, and winners go on to the World showdown in Leogang, Austria.

8. World Toe Wrestling Championship — Derbyshire, England

Jm Teychenne / Getty Images

"One, two, three, four / I declare a TOE war." Yep, such a thing exists. Venture across the pond and LITERALLY go toe-to-toe with some of the toughest feet in the world at the World Toe Wrestling Championship.

9. Baikal Ice Marathon — Siberia

Louise Murray / Getty Images

This is a marathon on ice! Bonus: Because of the featureless Siberian landscape, runners can nearly see the finish line from the start line, giving them nothing to do but think about how far away it still is as they run those grueling 26.2 miles.

10. Carnivale di Ivrea — Italy

Farah Serra (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: faserra

Every year, the city of Ivrea celebrates Battaglia delle arance — or Orange Battle — during which they celebrate the town's "right to decide for itself." Teams throw oranges at one another, filling the city with color and the smell of citrus for days.

11. Lawn Mower Racing — Worldwide

Peter Black (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: peterblack2007

Lawn mower racing events take place all over the globe, from England to Czech Republic to New Zealand. What's unknown is whether or not participants later go into business together. Seems like it'd be good for the neighborhood— er, world.

And, finally, the el Jimador Tequila Your Shot at $1 Million promotion — Las Vegas, USA

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Yep, if you can score a goal on legendary goalkeeper Tim Howard, you could go on to win a million dollars.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of the United States of America to participate. Promotion void wherever prohibited or restricted by law.