Hi! Several major spring marathons have announced pushing the regular race date into the fall. The Boston Marathon (usually in April) and the Los Angeles Marathon (usually in March) are just two of the races that decided to host a personal event while delaying race day to fall.
It’s exciting to hear that the “real” personal races are back soon! But it’s important to keep in mind – most of the big marathons (in terms of runners) still don’t make any guarantees. If you will be registering to run for these races – read the terms carefully so you know exactly what your options are in the event that the event is canceled, changed to default, or postponed.
Dates for the 2021 Marathon (as of March 2021)
Here is a list of marathons you can run in 2021! As of now, personal events have been organized for these races for this year. Some follow the regular racing schedule and others postpone the normal race day from spring to fall or winter 2021.
Make sure to double-check the race date, the event is in person and their policy in case the race is canceled, and postpone it to switch to default. (I’ll link to as many as possible to make it easier. But also check social media and / or any ads on the site for Covid19 updates and policies.)
List of marathons that will take place in 2021
Boston Marathon – October 11, 2021 [Postponed from the usual April date. Open for a smaller field – 20,000 runners. Also, new virtual race option open to 70,000.]
Rock and Roll Marathon Series Most of the 2021 races are canceled and some others rescheduled for later in the year. You can register for 2022 races in Arizona, Las Vegas and New Orleans now. Check the site for updates.
Myrtle Beach Marathon – May 1, 2021 [postponed from usual date]
Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon – September 11, 2021 [postponed from usual February race date]
San Francisco Marathon – 18-19 September 2021 There is a personal race and options to run a virtual race. Distances include: 5km, 10km, half marathon, full marathon and ultra race options. The site has information about their plan to get back into play in the FAQ.
The Twin Cities Marathon – October 3 Race includes several distance options – full marathon, 10 miles, 10 kilometers and 5 kilometers.
Chicago Marathon October 10, 2021 [Race entry is based on a lottery and now closed]
Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon October 10, 2021
Flying Pig Marathon Virtual but may open for a personal event on October 31, 2021
Garmin Marathon – November 6, 2021 [Postponed from usual date.]
Los Angeles Marathon November 7, 2021 [Postponed from usual March date.]
Orange County Marathon November 7, 2021 [Postponed from usual May date.]
New York City Marathon November 7, 2021 [Race entry based on lottery]
Run Disney Marathon and Half Marathon – Walt Disney World Marathon (Half and Goof challenge), Disney Princess Half Marathon and Star Wars Half Marathon (usually run at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida) are all virtual races for 2021. All Run Disney events currently listed on the site have been sold out as of March 2021. The Wine and Dinner Half Marathon usually takes place in November – it is not listed on the site yet, so there’s a chance it’s a personal event. I will update here when they release the announcement.
Marine Corps Marathon – Virtual race only as of March 2021
California International Marathon – December 5, 2021, this race is usually in December and will be held as usual.
Honolulu Marathon – December 12 … Christmas in Hawaii anyone?
Below I have made a short list of the California Half Marathons that have not been canceled and have held personal events this year. The rules and regulations regarding what types of events are permitted, what size and sanitary requirements – differ depending on the location. California is on the more restrictive side of things, so 99% of the races and running events are canceled together. But I’ve seen on social media that other countries have had personal races since the summer. (I am leaving my opinions and only sharing the facts.)
Check your local running store, running clubs, city websites, and event listings to see if there are races or races in your area. Some small local ethnic organizations seem to have a little more freedom to accommodate social distancing, pre-start masks, and other health regulations since they coordinate a much smaller group of the big city marathons with more than 30,000 runners.
Plus – many running clubs and racing organizations have taken a heavy financial hit due to the pandemic (basically unable to do business at all in 2020). So, supporting local racing and running is a great way to make sure it’s going to be the next year.
Most of the races held to date are smaller events with rules about social distancing, wearing masks, and strict help station protocols (or no auxiliary stations at all, and your water fetch requirements). Make sure to look at all the information about the race before registering and double-check before the race in case the race organizers have added any reminders or requirements.
This is a list of mostly the 2021 California Half Marathon. Many races haven’t decided (or announced?) Event plans for this year yet. Check their website and social media posts for updates.
Note: Some race information and registration sites have 2021 dates for these races but when you go to the actual race site, you notice that the race will be virtual. Make sure the race you are registering for is a Live / Personal race if that is what you want. The fees for some virtual races are very similar to personal events, so it is not clear based on what you pay that it is a “virtual” race only.
Here are some additional resources to help you prepare to live your life better!
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