Curious which events are actually happening this year? Hoping to run a marathon that isn’t virtual? And what about the Olympics? We’ve got the scoop here on which races and events to watch for in 2021.
Run, bike, swim, ski — if this year’s event list is any indicator, 2021 is the year to get back outside! Here are some of the most iconic and anticipated events of 2021. We’ve scoured the internet and chatted up our sources to get the scoop on everything from marathons to desert gravel races to elite comps on the world stage.
Here are the categories you can browse below:
To help you navigate the list, we’ve marked each event with notes on details like location, date changes, and whether an event’s registration is still open or sold out. We’ve included only events that have been officially scheduled.
Editor’s note: While these events are currently scheduled to happen, cancellation or postponement is possible due to COVID-19. Be sure to check with each race organizer or check state and local guidelines for the most up-to-date information. We will update this list as more events are announced, postponed, or canceled.
Run and Ultraraces
- Gran Fondo Las Vegas, Nev. (April 3): 44-, 76-, or 100-mile distances
- Seven Trails Ultra Festival, Damascus, Va. (April 23-24): registration open; 25K, 50K, 100K distances.
- “The Non-Cancelled Marathon,” Oconomowoc, Wisc. (May 1-2): As evident by its name, the non-canceled marathon is happening no matter what
- Riverrock Outdoor Festival, Richmond, Va. (May 15-16): 5K, 10K, and half-marathon races, plus MTB, kayak and SUP cross events
- Grand Teton, Wilson, Wyo. (June 4-5), and Yellowstone Half Marathons, Jackson, Wyo. (June 11-12): Registration open
- Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half (June 19) and Leadville 100, Colo. (Aug. 21-22): Registration open
- Twisted Fork Ultra, Park City, Utah (June 26)
- Western States Endurance Run, Olympic Valley, Calif. (June 26-27): Registration full, no lottery for 2021
- Hardrock 100 Ultra, Silverton, Colo. (July 16)
- Badwater 135 Ultra, Furnace Creek, Calif. (July 19-21): “The World’s Toughest Foot Race”
- Cirque Series, Snowbird, Utah (Aug. 28)
- The RAD Dirt Fest, Trinidad, Colo. (Oct. 2-3): 50K and half-marathon option (see bike options below); registration opens April 13
- The Barkley Marathons, Wartburg, Tenn. (October 2021, dates not yet announced)
Bike and Triathlons
- Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Colo.: (Aug. 14): Registration open
- Waterloo Gravel Road Race, Grass Lake, Mich. (April 17): Choose from fat bike, tandem, or single-speed as well as 50K or 100K courses
- 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Series: Texas (April 11), Florida (April 18), Utah (May 1), and more: Registration open, multiple locations
- Dirty Turtle Gravel Grinder, Souris, N.D. (May 1)
- CO2UT: Salsa Cycles Desert Gravel Race, Grand Junction, Colo. (May 22): Registration open, limited spots available
- Riverrock Outdoor Festival (May 14-15): MTB trial, plus other outdoor events like 5K, 10K, and half-marathon
- Badlands Gravel, Medora, N.D. (May 30): 40-, 80-, and 120-mile distances
- Garmin Unbound Gravel Race, Emporia, Kan. (June 5): Unbound (formerly Dirty Kanza) offers a total of six race distances
- Elephant Rock: Ride the Rock, Castle Rock, Colo. (June 6): registration open; race consists of three road distances (44, 60, and 100 miles) and one gravel distance (28.5 miles).
- Tour Divide 2021, Alberta, Canada to U.S.-Mexico Border (June 11): Confirmed, start location subject to change
- Ride the Rockies, Durango, Colo. (June 13-18): Registration open.
- International Granfondo La Fausto Coppi, Italy (June 27): Registration opens Feb. 25; 900 rider spots available
- BC Bike Race, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (July 4-10): Confirmed, with backup dates in September
- Dead Man Gravel, Nederland, Colo. (July 31): Registration open; first week of registration open only to women and BIPOC athletes
- SBT GRVL, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Aug. 15): Sold out
- TransRockies Gravel Royale, Nipika, British Columbia, Canada (Aug. 23-26): Registration open
- Pedal the Plains, Colo. (Sept. 10-12): Registration opens in the fall
- Yeti Cycles Beti Bike Bash, Lakewood, Colo. (Oct. 3): “the nation’s largest women’s-only mountain bike race,” with 8, 12, and 16-mile distances; registration is open.
- The RAD Dirt Fest, Trinidad, Colo. (Oct. 2-3): New gravel race with 38-, 90-, and 165-mile options; registration opens April 13 (inaugural event)
- Sea Otter Australia, Canberra, Australia (Oct. 1-4): 3-day bike festival and expo; registration now open
Skimo and Nordic Races
- 2021 Alley Loop Nordic Marathon, Crested Butte, Colo. (Feb. 6-7)
- American Birkebeiner, Cable, Wisc. (Feb. 24-28): Birkie is also encouraging participants to consider its virtual options; the race has 32 Birkie Partner locations across the U.S.
- Red Bull Raid, Olympic Valley, Calif. (April 2-3): Tahoe locals only, free to enter
- Expedition Oregon, Bend, Ore. (May 11-16): Sold out
- Eastside Adventure Race Festival, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (June 5-6)
- GoPro Mountain Games, Vail, Colo. (June 10-13): Athlete registration opens April 9. (This is not an adventure race, but it includes races across a variety of sports: run, road cycling, MTB, SUP, kayak, fly fishing, disc golf, and more.) Spectators can watch via livestream this year.
- Wisconsin Adventure Racing Series, Wisc. (ongoing)
- Rocky Mountain Adventure Series, Colo. (ongoing): Registration open
Spectator Events and Festivals
- Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 27)
- O2 Outdoor Women’s Festival, Carbondale, Colo. (Sept. 16 – 19): festival with clinics on various topics: climbing, backpacking, trail running, yoga, biking, and more. Registration open (limited to 250 participants).
- Red Bull Rampage, Virgin, Utah (canceled in 2020, returning Oct. 25)
- Eco-Challenge Patagonia (fall 2021, not confirmed): If you thought 2020’s Eco-Challenge Fiji was epic, just wait and see what this year’s race has in store