Ok, let’s just get this out of the way first: no one wanted 2021 to be another year of virtual races. Nope, nope, nope. We accepted (begrudgingly!) 2020 as the year we received countless cancellation notices. But, 2021 had such promise! While parts of the world are back to in-person racing (I’m looking at you, Western States), for those of us in Ontario at least, it’s virtual for the time being.
A great way to beat the “emergency break” blues is to sign-up for a virtual race! Sure, there are cons to the virtual thing (i.e., no courses to follow, crowds to cheer, or lines to cross). However, there are also many pros. First of all, a virtual race frequently comes with a mailed race kit, which is definitely something to look forward to! Second, supporting our local and national (and, in some cases, international) race organizations is essential if we want these companies to be around when the pandemic finally passes. Virtual races also help us keep up with our training when motivation can be hard to find.
Check out the following virtual races – there really is something for everyone! This list is by no means exhaustive, so please share with us races we’ve missed. Race directors, feel free to get in touch so we can add your event to our post!
Under Armour Spring Run-Off
With 8km, 5km, and Thaw-Out 13km options, this race is the perfect event for those coming out of hibernation. Part of the Canada Running Series circuit, this race is on now so register quick! Details here.
Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal
The spots are going quick for this event (which starts April 23rd), so pop over to their website for details. With a variety of options, this is a great spring opportunity for the whole family.
A unique take on the backyard-style race, Tail Chaser is put on by the folks at Crazy Cat Adventures. Taking place in May, the premise is simple: 8km every 3 hours, on the hour. The catch? You pick your pain by hours: 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48. And yes, the 48hr challenge amounts to 136km over two days. Yiiiikes!
5Peaks Trail Running Series
For those who love to Get Off the Road! 5Peaks has a great 5-race virtual series available this year. Pick your category: Sport, Enduro, Grit, or Ultra and prepare to increase your distance across each of your 5 races. Comes with super sweet swag so head over to their site to get in the game.
Peak Run Performance
Another amazing 5-race virtual series, Peak Run Performance kicked off their event in March, but you can still signup for the remaining 4 races. This incredible organization is also partnered with Bigger Than The Trail, which uses trail running as a means of advocating for mental health. They are also part of the Endurance Tap Changemaker program – there is a whole lot of good going on in this series!
Pride and Remembrance Run
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Pride Run TO is kicking off the build up to their virtual race period (June 19-27) with registration opening April 25th. There is the usual 5km distance, as well as a Kids Race and a 25km Relay option this year. Join the fun here. Three members of our team are ambassadors this year, so please let us know if you are able to join us!
Happy Trails Racing Series
The creativity of this crew is unparalleled! Head to Happy Trails for a peek at how they transformed races into challenges over the course of the last few months. No doubt they have even more in store, so stay in the loop here.
Boston Virtual Race Series
Hotly debated, this iconic event is doing things a little different this year. While the in-person race is still set to go in October (instead of the usual April), there are a variety of virtual options for anyone interested in that elusive unicorn. Head to the B.A.A homepage to get started.
Coast Mountain Scavenger Hunts
For something totally unique, check out the Scavenger Hunt events offered by Coast Mountain Trail Series. These hunts involve a number of a challenges (or badges) to be completed across two months. The challenges range from the creative (Roll the Dice: whatever it says, that’s what you run!) to the quirky (Back Asswards: 500m of backwards running in the middle of your run). The finisher’s medal is a lanyard of pins, one for each challenge. This will definitely inject some fun into your training!
The Million Reasons Run
This free event invites participants to signup to run and fundraise for the 13 children’s hospitals in Canada. Taking place for the month of May, this experience lets you create your own challenge. As they say on their website: “We may have our own reasons to run, but the health of every kid in Canada is the ultimate one.” Head here for details.
And many more!
Hit us up with your favourite upcoming virtual race and we will add it to the list.