COVID-19 Race Updates: Cancellations, Postponements, and Races Still On

At the prompting of many longtime readers and supporters, we’re making our best attempt at maintaining a resource of not only what trail races and ultramarathons have been canceled or postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also which races are still on, at least for the moment. We’ve tried to include pertinent information, such as when a postponed race has been rescheduled for, as well as interesting information, such as when any postponement or cancellation decision was first publicized. At the least, the project provides a snapshot of the current state trail and ultramarathon racing.

For more on what we can do as trail runners and ultrarunners to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, read our article, COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide.

We’ll take this opportunity to respectfully point out to race directors in doubt or frustrated would-be racers that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance calls for no gatherings larger than 50 people until mid-May, and the Ultra-Endurance Sports Science & Medicine, a non-profit group of sports researchers and physicians, calls for all events over 50 people to be canceled until at least mid-June. Elsewhere and increasingly in the U.S., group-size recommendations are lowering to 10-or-fewer people or even shelter-in-place requirements. While we’re all a part of a sport in which we’re proud to push many boundaries, this is not one of them.

Assistance with the Project

As long as the COVID-19 pandemic affects our community’s racing schedule, we’ll continue to build out this project in an orderly manner, and could really use your help along the way. Notify us:

  • To update the status of a race in this table;
  • To submit a trail race over 10 kilometers in length or a road ultra from the U.S. or Canada as well as internationally focused race from the rest of the world within the timespan that we’ve covered that’s not yet in the table; or
  • If you find an error in the table.

 

When sharing information with us, please supply a public link to any information, especially news regarding cancellations and postponements. Emails sent to race participants can also be helpful.

Race Inclusion

Presently, we’ve included all trail races in the U.S. and Canada from March 18 through April 30 that we found on UltraSignup.com (some previously canceled races to be held in this time span may have already been removed), others we came across as part of our research, and races we’re simply aware of. We’ll continue to become more exhaustive in our near-term tracking as well as expanding out the time scope of our collection in the coming days.

We’ve initially collected a much smaller pool of races outside of the U.S. and Canada that were scheduled to occur within the next three months. These races are primarily from international-race series or are of similar international status. They are intended to be representative as well as to inform aficionados who are familiar with iRunFar’s coverage (both in-person coverage and in our This Week in Running column) which of these races may or may not be happening. We intend to expand the scope of this international section in time, but never intend for it to become exhaustive. This international section will remain representative only. (This is due to the scale of international trail running and ultrarunning, difficulty in finding comprehensive international race calendars, difficulty in accessing and navigating race websites solely in foreign languages, and the lack of utility in publishing comprehensive lists in English of races run almost entirely by local non-English speakers in other countries.)

By and large, we include only events that have at least one race longer than 10 kilometers.

Interpreting the Table

Where an event spans several days, we use a single date from that range to allow for sorting.

We use U.S. date format–month/day/year–throughout.

For races noted as postponed but without a date in the status column, we’ve not yet seen a makeup date set for that race.

We’ve color coded races by current status:

  • Green=Still On. The events are still on as far as we know. (However, confirming cancellations and postponements is more certain than confirming a race’s continuation.)
  • Yellow=Postponed or It’s Complicated. These events are officially postponed as well as a few cases for which “it’s complicated,” where the race organization has indicated uncertainty regarding the race’s status.
  • Red=Canceled. These events are canceled with no indication of being rescheduled.

Global-Series Status

As a quick aside, here’s an update from some of the global trail running circuits.

With many early season races, the Ultra-Trail World Tour has now seen six postponements and five cancellations. You can find all the details of the first six postponements and two cancellations in their COVID-19 update of March 18. The Laveredo Ultra Trail was canceled on March 25, while the Western States 100 and Volvic Volcanic Experience were canceled on March 27. [Updated 3/27/20]

All eight races in the 2020 Skyrunner World Series (SWS) through the end of June have been canceled or postponed per a March 20th announcement. The 2020 SWS will not begin until July 26th at Skyrace Comapedrosa in Spain. [Updated 3/23/20] [The 2020 SWS season was canceled June 10, 2020.]

We’ve not seen any official statement from either the Golden Trail World Series (GTWS)or the Spartan Trail World Championships. This is not surprising as the series have been minimally affected so far, with Spartan Trail losing only Patagonia Run to postponement and Golden Trail remaining unaffected for the moment. [On May 27, the GTWS announced a 4-stage race in October as its championship with local qualification.]

Last Updated 4/20/20 (Full Table Last Updated: 4/17-20/20)

[We are no longer maintaining this table and, so, have taken it down.]

Large Scale Updates:

  • 3/18-19/20: Initial addition of U.S. and Canadian races from March 18 through April 30, primarily via current race listings on Ultrasignup and internal knowledge, and high-profile international races from March 18 through June 17.
  • 3/20/20: Added races from May 1-4 via race listings on Ultrasignup and internal knowledge.
  • 3/23/20: Added races from May 5-17 via race listings on Ultrasignup and internal knowledge.
  • 3/24/20: Added races from May 18-31 via race listings on Ultrasignup and internal knowledge.
  • 6/11/20: Removed race table. Added updates to SWS and GTWS.

There are 73 comments

  1. Markus

    Thank for keeping everybody updated about Covid 19 and races which have to be cancelled.
    We only get through this together.

  2. Pixie Ninja

    Thank you so much for doing this. Your graph is put together so well and it’s easy to read and infer. PS: Can we just go back to the Canary Island now and forget any of this happened? Life was so good then…

    1. Bryon Powell

      No kidding! To think back to the totally normal decisions I made less than two weeks ago that would be abhorrent today!

      Ps. Thanks for encouraging me to do this! There’s more to come, but I’m working on 2.5 hours sleep… so I should probably wait until tomorrow!

  3. Amy

    I’m slightly shocked (and appalled) that there are a few races out there still planning to proceed in the next couple of weeks. And slightly ironic that the one on 4/4 is called “Will to Live.”

  4. Jonathan Gardner

    It’s going to make for a crowded autumn schedule with all these postponements. The knock-on effect will be fewer entrants/starters at some of those races, unfortunately.

  5. Buzz Burrell

    This is a very surprising if not shocking list. Essentially every health organization in the world and most governments are stating “No more than 10 people should gather”, and many countries and states have passed emergency declarations mandating that. So there cannot be any races. Those deigning to continue will be shut down soon. And finally, to publicize the irresponsible behavior of people gathering is … sorry; I really can’t fathom this. This is a worldwide pandemic with a cost of trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives – Social Distancing is our best tool to fight it – so how can you publicize gatherings of people? Even more alarming, is countries where the pandemic is further along than the US have banned outdoor recreation altogether – people risk fines of 3,000 Euros if caught – so us runners really need to be responsible partners in solutions, rather than looking like bad actors who need to be controlled by government mandate.

    I recommend:
    1) Eliminate this chart immediately. There are no in-person races this spring.
    2) Publicize virtual races and other forms of safe recreation.
    3) Re-start the chart when health agencies have deemed it safe for groups to gather. That will June at the earliest, Spring 2021 possible.

    Thanks! Let’s pull together on this – outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do, so let’s protect it – no races, no groups!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Buzz, but we’ll keep this chart up for a variety of reasons. First, I think it’s generally informative. Second, it shows both RDs who might be on the fence about a race weeks out as well participants that a vast majority of races are being canceled or postponed. I think that’s a good thing (i.e., you’re not alone in postponing/canceling your race X weeks out). Races should absolutely be adhering to all governmental requirements and guidelines, which we point out in the article.

      If you look closely at the chart, there are no races scheduled for next weekend. Of the three race that may or may not have happened this weekend, one was a virtual race and the other two had less participants than any major trail in Boulder at the moment.

      For what it’s worth, we won’t be covering races held in TWIR in the coming weeks.

      Respectfully,
      Bryon

      1. Michael Owen

        I agree with Bryon’s thoughts on it helping RD’s in their decision. I didn’t hesitate in postponing/canceling my three spring races, but it was helpful to see some “industry standards” in when races were being postponed too. This chart is a good resource for runners looking for fall races, and now seeing all the new postponed races landing in the fall (let’s just hope there are fall races).

        I would also think that this chart would serve as a form of “positive peer pressure” to those races still trying to host, to make them realize THEY NEED to cancel, which is a good thing.

  6. Buzz Burrell

    Thank you for your reasonable Reply, and for allowing my contrary Comment, which is a display of openness and good discussion.

    I’m getting first-hand comments from Europe, where people had to make their Activities “Private” on Strava to avoid a 3,000 Euro fine for recreating outdoors – let’s stay ahead of the curve and not give the authorities reason to restrict recreation more than they have. Exercising outdoors is the single best thing anyone can do for their physical, emotional, and mental health.

  7. Karl Magnus Westphal

    Hey Bryon,
    first thank you and Meagan for Irunfar. You are amazing. I follow you since 3 years now.
    Second thank you for this list, even in this dark times it is a bright light on the running scene. I did not know there are so many races in the US every weekend. The community feels much bigger now. From Europe to the US and around the world, we are in this together and as healthy runners we need to support our communities now more than ever. There will be many races after covid-19 again. Till then Stay save! #socialdistancing #flattenthecurve

    Kind regards
    Karl

      1. Jeff Zenger

        I’m not sure when it went public, but I received a personal message from the RD on March 22nd that they decided to cancel. A few days before that they hadn’t made the call yet

  8. Ashley

    Thank you–amazing resource! FYI received a message from Bighorn organizers on 03/23/2020, they are monitoring and will provide ongoing updates.

  9. Sven Horlemann

    Well, this all doesn’t affect me directly, but in all this covid-19-induced drama it is great to feel the global running spirit. And what would we do without the effort irunfar puts into that mother of a list? I am sure it is greatly appreciated all around the world. I am also glad they found a solution for the olympics, as I cannot imagine how hard it must be for pro athlets to prepare… without knowing WHEN their race will be due. A year later seems reasonable. Cheers from a home office in Germany!

  10. Jeffrey A Zenger

    Angeles Crest 100 (August 1st) was just cancelled. Has anyone heard any indication of what races requiring qualifiers (WS, HR, UTMB) are planning on doing for 2021? Hoping my guaranteed entry in UTMB for 2021 doesn’t get lost in the mix of things if UTMB gets cancelled this year!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Jeff. That’s one of the furthest out races that I’ve heard of being canceled yet.

      I’ve not heard anything from Hardrock or UTMB regarding modifying qualifiers. I’m pretty sure that Western States has spoken on the topic… but I don’t readily see it on their website, and blocked myself from social media for a bit while I get work done. I’m pretty sure they’ve made it a two year qualifying window (or something close) for the 2022 lottery (like if you’d already qualified for 2021, it’d still count for 2020), but I’m not 100% sure.

      1. Jeff Zenger

        This was announced yesterday after WS posted their cancellation on Friday.

        Updated entry process for 2021 and 2022. Summary:
        1. There will be no lottery for the 2021 race.
        2. Those 2020 entrants and wait listers who accept to enter the 2021 race will not be required to run another qualifier.
        3. The next lottery will be held in December 2021 for the 2022 race. The qualifying period for the 2022 race lottery will be two years—November 4, 2019 through November 6, 2021.

  11. Ben Lewis

    I must say that I agree with Buzz here, although I’m agnostic as to the net effect of maintaining this list at present insofar as encouraging more races to be cancelled, as they clearly should be. Thanks to irunfar for their support of virtual races / activities and being out in front in advocating for the current recommended standards and for engaging on this issue. To even consider holding public events / races this spring strikes me as massively irresponsible and reckless. The ultra running community owes it to the community at large to be consistent and unified in this message. There are more pressing issues at stake than running events. Our current government has given extremely mixed messages on this front and there is good reason to be concerned that social distancing and shutdown measures may be prematurely lifted, with more lives lost as a result. The heterogeneity on this list with a number of events still ‘on’ even in the next few weeks indicates that not all race directors are on the same page here which I find very disappointing. This, in and of itself, is a mixed message to the running community which is unfortunate given our current circumstances. It would be reasonable for irunfar- as a respected and valued platform for this community- to be even more direct about the immediate need to cancel upcoming events. Thanks for this consideration.

  12. Kate Covey

    Byron, your book was my guide when I began running ultras in 2011. Thank you for a solid basis for training that I still use to this day. Thank you guys for this resource as well. It’s so fun to follow the footage that you put out for races.
    I never post on these forums but feel compelled to on this one.

    The following comment is not a rant but a little fodder if RDs are on the fence about cancelations.

    I strongly feel that the whole season should be canceled. It blows. I love racing and I understand the big impacts to our community and economy, but how can anyone safely show up for these bigger efforts without causing more strain on medical professionals? If we are truly following the current mandated guidelines, we should all be undertrained. That puts your volunteer medical staff at races in a compromising position.

    I don’t believe that anyone should be running 40+ mile solo efforts right now and don’t love that some companies are encouraging it. This deeply affects me as my mother is a 68 year-old nurse at a hospital who treats Covid patients each day and having ultrarunners jeopardizing themselves at all during this time is a slap in her face. To quote her, “It’s a really bad time to have anything other than Covid wrong with you.” The medical system can’t handle your broken leg right now. Outside magazine will put you on blast like they did for the people who triggered an avalanche outside of Ophir.

    That brings me to the fact that I’m terrified to attempt UTMB without my training races. It’s too hard. Families are not joining runners because they are afraid to travel after this. Not only will we turn up undertrained but without support. We can all run our dream races another year. We are facing a much bigger and scarier situation. So RDs, if runners are giving you sh!t for canceling, that’s their problem. I’m behind you 100%. Thanks for protecting people inside and outside of our community. I can’t wait to tear it up when it’s safe to do so!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks for the update, Jason. I hope to get on these updates again first thing next week. Our virtual race has blown up and we’re doing all we can to hold it together at the moment. :-)

  13. speedgoat

    great job on this list Bryon. I think it’s informative, and that’s good. Now you can start on 6/1 as we move forward. It would be interesting to see what RD’s are cancelling now, in lieu of what’s been happening.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Brian. We’ll make sure to include it if/when we add June. The fact that you and Karl both commented about the chart this afternoon suggests its still a useful resource.

  14. Pierre

    Eiger Ultra Trail, part of Ultra Trail World Tour, scheduled for Grindelwald Switzerland mid July, was cancelled today. ;(

  15. Tommy B

    I find it unbelievable UTMB has not come out with a plan, postponement, or cancellation of their UTMB races in August. The races only involve 10,000+ runners from all over the world getting to a small village/town! From what I can find online, France has banned all large sporting events until September. It starts to get cold in Chamonix area soon-thereafter…

    1. Kate Covey

      UTMB is making a decision on or by May 20th. These are their 3 scenarios: Maintain the UTMB Mont-Blanc® as scheduled and adjust it to the situation
      Postpone the UTMB Mont-Blanc® and adjust it to the situation
      Cancel the UTMB Mont-Blanc®

      They sent us a survey to ask what we’d like to see happen and took into consideration that some of us have lost our jobs, some of us could barely train, or simply don’t want to travel. I put in my comments that postponement could mean snow. We will see!

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