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    Ten Of The Most Extreme Challenges Around The World

    From rowing the Atlantic Ocean to running six marathons in a desert, here are the top ten extreme challenges around the world.

    Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

    Who can row across the Atlantic in the fastest time? The record currently stands at a mere 40 days but the challenge must be completed within 90 days. Participants can be solo, in pairs, fours or open. They'll be living off ration packs and rowing naked to avoid sores, although sore bums are still a common problem. Dan and Will, from Atlantic Row 2013 have capsized twice, suffered technical difficulties and been hit in the head with flying fish. They've fared well, three teams were air-lifted to safety after a severe storm.

    The SUP 11-cities Tour

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    What better way to see eleven beautiful cities in Holland than on a paddleboard? The annual SUP 11-cities tour is a 220km trek over the Friesland canals and usually lasts five days. This test is mental as well as physical; it's all too easy to be caught up in the beautiful scenery around you and remember, you're in it to win it.

    Race across America

    It may be a dream of yours to travel across the US but have you thought about doing it on a bike? The 3,000 mile Race Across America takes participants 3,000 miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland. They'll have to contend with mountains, nightfall, dogs and other vehicles. It's common for people to fall asleep at the wheel due to exhaustion and saddle sores cannot be avoided.

    Yukon River Quest

    The Yukon River Quest is the longest annual non-stop canoe or kayak race in the world. It's a marathon that sees solo, tandem or voyageur canoes paddle 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada. Challengers navigate rapids and only have two rest stops, meaning that they are battling exhaustion as well as obstacles.

    The Simpson Desert Bike Challenge

    Challengers spend five days cycling across 590km of the remotest parts of the Australian outback. They need to put up with scorching heat until it rains, but the rain brings little relief, only bogs. As with every Australian challenge, they'll also need to put up with the risk of running into killer spiders or other insects. Completion time is normally 40 hours.

    The Tough Guy Challenge

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    Think you're tough? Take the Tough Guy Challenge obstacle course of a mere 12km. Based on obstacles taken from the Vietnam War and the TV show 'Gladiators', participants run through fire pits, worm their way through sewers and crawl under barbed wire. Before you take part, you'll need to sign a waiver in case of death as two people have been killed whilst taking part.

    The Barkley Marathon

    Once referred to as a'satanic running adventure', the Barkley Marathon is a 100-mile, 18,000 metre climb across Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. Since 1986, only nine people have completed the challenge in the 60 hour time limit - not surprising seeing as the course record is 55 hours and 42 minutes. Challengers clamber over thorns and collapsed trees and are rewarded with scratched and aching limbs at the finish line.

    Yukon Arctic Ultra / Via Michael Hartley

    Dubbed the world's coldest and toughest ultra, the Yukon Arctic Ultra sees challengers surviving extreme weather conditions whilst battling hypothermia, exhaustion and frostbite. You can choose from covering 100, 300 or 430 miles on foot, bike or skis but don't forget, you'll need to tow your survival gear behind you.

    Tor des Geants

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    Tor des Geants (Day of the Giants) is a week-long endurance trail, quite possibly the toughest in the world. Challengers race up and down through Italy's Aosta Valley and are rewarded with some beautiful scenery. The steep climbs and treacherous slopes can result in injuries to the ankles and knees. Sleep deprivation is also common.

    Marathon des Sables

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    To some people, running a marathon is a challenge. Imagine running six marathons over six days, over the sand dunes of South Morocco. With your sleeping bag, food and supplies on your back; you'll need to cook for yourself every night. Expect to suffer from heat exhaustion, aching limbs, dehydration and hunger, unless you are an expert in outdoor cooking.

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