Hello! Many big spring marathons have announced they’re pushing their usual race date to the Fall. The Boston Marathon (usually in April) and the Los Angeles Marathon (usually in March) are just two of the races that have decided to host an in person event while pushing back race day to the Fall.
It’s exciting to hear that ‘real’ in person races will be back soon! But, it’s important to keep in mind – most of the big marathons (in terms of number of runners) are still not making any guarantees. If you are going to register to run on of these races – read the terms carefully so you know exactly what your options are in case the event is cancelled, changed to virtual or postponed.
2021 Marathon Dates (as of March 2021)
Here’s a list of marathons you can run in 2021! As of now these races have in person events scheduled for this year. Some are on their usual race schedule and others have pushed back their normal race day from the Spring to the Fall or Winter 2021.
Be sure to double check race date, that the event is in person and their policy in case the race ends up being cancelled, postponed to switched to virtual. (I’ll link to as many as possible to make it easy. But also check their social media and/or any announcements on the site for Covid19 updates and policies.)
List of Marathons Happening 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 N Roll Marathon Series – Most of the 2021 races have been cancelled and a few others have been rescheduled for later in the year. You can register for the 2022 races for 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 & Half Marathon – Sept 11, 2021 [postponed from usual February race date]
San Francisco Marathon – Sept 18-19, 2021 There’s an in person race and options to do a virtual race. Distances include: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Ultra race options.
Chicago Marathon – Oct 10, 2021
Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon – Oct 10, 2021
Flying Pig Marathon – Virtual but may open to an in person event for Oct 31, 2021
Garmin Marathon – Nov 6, 2021 [Postponed from usual date.]
Los Angeles Marathon – Nov 7, 2021 [Postponed from usual March date.]
Orange County Marathon – Nov 7, 2021 [Postponed from usual May date.]
New York City Marathon – Nov 7, 2021
Run Disney Marathons and Half Marathons – The Walt Disney World Marathon (Half and Goofy Challenge), Disney Princess Half Marathon and Star Wars Half Marathon (usually run at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL) are all Virtual Races for 2021. All Run Disney events currently listed on the site are SOLD OUT as of March 2021. The Wine and Dine Half Marathon is usually held in November – it’s not listed on the site yet, so there’s a chance it may be an in person event. I’ll update here when they make the announcement.
Marine Corps Marathon – Virtual Race only as of March 2021
California International Marathon – Dec 5, 2021 this race is usually in December and scheduled to be held as usual.
Below I put together a short list of half marathon races in California that are not cancelled and holding in person events this year. Rules and regulations on what types of events are allowed, what size and health requirements – vary based on location. California is on the more restrictive side of things so 99% of races and running events have been cancelled all together. But, I have seen on social media that other states have had in person races since the summer. (I’m leaving my opinions out and just sharing the facts.)
Check with your local running store, running clubs, city websites and event listings to see if there are runs or races in your area. Some small, local race organizations seem to have a little more freedom to accommodate social distancing, masks before the start and other health regulations since they’re coordinating a much smaller group than big city marathons with over 30,000 runners.
Plus – many running clubs and race organizations have been hit very hard financially by the pandemic (basically unable to conduct business at all in 2020). So, supporting local runs and races is a great way to make sure they’ll be around next year.
Most of the races that have been held so far are smaller events with rules on social distancing, mask wearing and strict aid station protocols (or no aid stations at all and requirements to bring your own water). Be sure to look over all the information for a race before you sign up AND check again before the race in case race organizers added any reminders or requirements.
This is a list of mostly California Half Marathons for 2021. Many races have not decided (or announced?) event plans for the year yet. Check their website and social media posts for updates.
Note: Some race info and registration sites have 2021 dates for these races but when you go to the actual race website it notes that the race will be virtual. Be sure that the race you are registering for is a live / in person run if that’s what you want. The fees for some of the virtual races are very similar to in person events so it’s not obvious based on what you’re paying that it’s ‘only’ a virtual race.
Here are some more resources to help you get ready to run your best life!