With the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, many outdoor sporting events and running marathons have been canceled or rescheduled. However, it’s still important to set new goals and that could mean finding a big race on your bucket list that you want to join this year. While the 2021 race calendar is not entirely clear, there is still a chance that you could plan a new adventure this year and for runners, it may be ideal to find a new destination for a race.
Looking ahead at the schedule, we’ve highlighted some of the most exciting races, both in the United States and across the globe.
If you enjoy large crowds, the Paris Marathon, located within the beautiful architecture of Paris, France, completely takes over the streets. Runners start at the Arc de Triomphe and then continue down the Champs-Elysees. Even if you have visited the French capital before, it’s a great way to take in the scenery and landmarks. Runners also get to pass by the Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the beautiful Seine River. The diverse race brings more than 23,000 runners and people from over 145 nationalities together.
The marathon combines personal challenges through seven districts, eleven timing points, 60 displays across the route and 250,000 spectators with the opportunity to discover one of the world’s most iconic cities. The race will be held on Sunday, October 17th. Although the event is now sold out, you can still view it online!
Rescheduled from its typical June date, the Stockholm Marathon will be held on Saturday, October 9th. Canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race will celebrate its 42nd anniversary this year. The scenic race begins in Stockholm Stadium, home to the 1912 Olympics. The route then meanders runners throughout fourteen islands in the city, including Gamla Stan, an old town in Stockholm that was established in the 13th century. Participants will see sights, including lively town centres and ancient structures. Runners have the opportunity to complete the course back at the stadium, which was the home of 83 officially recognized world records in athletics, making this race a very unique and memorable experience.
Dedicated runners keep coming back to this race each year and now that it’s rescheduled for October, they can take advantage of the crisp weather too. If runners don’t have the opportunity to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, participants can join virtually and register their time with their app.
With the opportunity to complete a full or half marathon, Sydney Running Festival offers some great competition; however, it’s now virtual for 2021. Traditionally, Sydney’s running route takes participants across the Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the Sydney Opera House. The virtual path will still include 42.195 km, 10 km of bridge runs, and more. Family members can also join the virtual 3.5 km Blackmores Family Fun Run. All participants have between midnight AEST Sunday, September 19th, 2021 and 23:59 AEST on Sunday, October 17th, 2021, to complete their virtual run and submit their results.
While it doesn’t compare to being there in person, Sydney plans to give this event great meaning and reflect all the moments that participants love about the running festival, including the same sense of community as runners complete the distance of their choice.
SDCCU OC Marathon Running Festival
If you’re looking for some calm weather, the 2021 SDCCU OC Marathon Running Festival represents the best views of Southern California. The first mile of the OC Marathon includes a stunning panorama view of the Pacific Ocean, then winds through seaside villages and boasts cliffside views of Big Corona del Mar State Beach. Marathoners also run through the heart of Orange County, Costa Mesa and the Santa Ana River trail for 1.5 miles before finishing on the Gisler footbridge.
The total distance of the full marathon is 26.2 miles, with an overall downhill elevation from start to finish. With only one significant hill and a few smaller hills and inclines, this course is very enjoyable for those participants who want to take in the scenery. This year’s participants can run in person on November 6-7th or virtually, with the 5k hosted on November 6th and the half-marathon the next day.
Philadelphia Marathon & Half
Held on November 19th – 21st, the Philadelphia Marathon is still planning on hosting a memorable weekend of its iconic marathon. The beautiful course takes runners past historical landmarks, through urban neighborhoods and along Philadelphia’s picturesque waterfronts, including Boathouse Row. The fast, flat and scenic running atmosphere is engaging and it’s consistently ranked among the top ten courses in the United States, thanks to the calm weather, easy terrain and enthusiastic fans. Take in the views from Fairmount Park and engage with the crowds on the sidewalks of University City. For many, it’s inspiring running past the historical monuments and running past the majestic Art Museum. Along the course, participants will find digital splits at the 10k, 13.1-k and 30k marks, along with fluid stations throughout the course. It then crosses the Newport Harbor yacht Clubs and Newport Harbor.
Despite this year’s many marathon cancellations, we hope you get the opportunity to participate in these lively events!