Continual Updates about the COVID-19 Outbreak and our 2020 Race Season

Editors Note: As of March 16, 2020 the body of this post has been edited and updated with the most up-to-date information. You can view additional updates and resources at the bottom of the post.

We have an update for you regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and our race season this year. Unfortunately, due to escalating conditions surrounding the coronavirus, the 2020 Zion Ultras is officially canceled. All registered runners should have received an email earlier today detailing their options. If youโ€™re registered for the 2020 Zion Ultras and didnโ€™t receive this email, please contact Robin at, and sheโ€™ll make sure you get it.

Iโ€™m registered for a different race this year. What does this mean for me?

With things continuing to change daily, we are taking each race on a case by case basis until the outbreak is resolved. Aside from the 2020 Zion Ultras, no other races have officially been cancelled. However, we have landed on a schedule for making a final decision one way or the other.

We figure most people have a 30 day window to receive full or partial refunds on lodging and other travel expenses. Because of this, we will make our official decision to hold or cancel each race on the corresponding dates below, roughly 35 days before the event. All registered runners will receive communications outlining their options at that time. Until then, assume the race is on unless youโ€™ve heard differently from us. 

*These are the dates by which we will decide if the race will have to be canceled:

  • Yosemite Half Marathon - April 6
  • Bryce Canyon Ultras - April 27
  • Grand Teton Half Marathon - May 4
  • Yellowstone Half Marathon - May 11
  • Glacier Half Marathon - May 25

For all events after the Glacier Half Marathon, itโ€™s simply too early to say. However, right now we plan to make our final decision ~35 days before each race.

What does this mean for the 2021 race season?

We will be opening registration for our 2021 race season just as we do every year. While we are doing our part to follow health and safety recommendations and contain the spread of COVID-19, our plan is still to bet against the apocalypse. ๐Ÿ™‚We expect to still be here in 2021. We plan to make some adjustments in the short term, but are looking forward to a return to normalcy as soon as possible. We have extended some of our price jumps, and will continue to adjust those and communicate to you as needed.

If you have questions you can also reach out to us at We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and emails, but are working our hardest to get back to you in a timely manner. I promise we will respond, please be patient. It will probably be 2 or 3 days to get a response.

Thank you for being a part of our community. We will see you out there!

-VR Team

3/11 UPDATE: For those interested there is an up-to-date website that only shares facts on the spread of coronavirus. View the website here.

3/12 UPDATE: Salem, founder of Vacation Races, went on Facebook Live to discuss COVID-19.

3/12 UPDATE: We will be waiving any deferment or transfer fees during the outbreak. We will be automatically refunding these deferment and transfer fees for anyone who has already paid them. We should have done that from the beginning and we're sorry for the oversight!

3/15 UPDATE: We are extending our price jumps for the Grand Teton Half Marathon, Yellowstone Half Marathon, and Grand Circle Trailfest for 3 weeks. At that point we will reevaluate and send communications.

3/16 UPDATE: Gathering restrictions and escalating conditions have made it necessary to cancel the Zion Ultras. Please visit this page for details about Zion and other upcoming events. 

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Robin is our resident social media maven, email marketing ninja, and all around friendly gal. She lives in Los Angeles, CA where she enjoys pleasant weather and puts up with the crazy entertainment industry. She's also an Army Brat who recently graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications, a recreational runner, and a recent fan of half-marathons.

  • Marlin says:

    The 50 percent refund seems pretty unfair. How are the other options any better?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Marlin – I’m sorry that a 50% refund seems unfair. To clarify, we are not keeping the other 50% in our pockets – this close to the race 100% of your registration fee has already been spent for your spot in the race. Most everything that needs to be paid for has to be paid months before the actual race occurs. So at this point, a 50% refund is coming directly out of our pockets, not from your registration fee. The other options can be viewed as ‘better’ in that you get more than the value of what you paid for by getting credit for future events, which we will still have to put on but will not be generating money from because registrations will be paid, at least partially, with a coupon code.
      We really do want the best for our runners and hope you are able to find one of these options that works for you.

      • m says:

        Thank you for your quick response. To ask for clarification about the “credit”, are you saying that the credit will not cover the full cost of registration say if I want to do the same race next year, but it will only pay for half of that, and I will be responsible for paying for the rest? As for the registration fee that already covered the “my spot for the race”, do you mind further explaining what exactly did it pay for?

        • Kaelee Clifford says:

          If you defer your registration, you will get a deferment code worth the amount you paid. When you apply that to next year’s race it will cover it in full (as long as you register during the same pricing period that you did this year). In addition to that code, you will get another $50 code to apply to any of our other races.
          Registration fees for races are spent long before the actual race occurs. Some of the things that registration fees pay for are as follows:
          Race Shirts
          Finish line food – chocolate milk, snack box
          Aid station supplies
          Gels and Electrolyte powder
          Porta Potties

          I”m sure I’m missing some, but hopefully this sheds some light on the preparation that goes into an event long before that event occurs.

  • Michele says:

    Since I deferred my Zion registration just a few days ago before you posted your decision on canceling- Am I eligible for the race credit?

  • A says:

    Why did you guys remove the 3/16 update?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi – We updated the whole post, which is why that was removed. We will add it back in to avoid any confusion.

  • Emi says:

    Additionally, what will be done for those of us whose workplaces are denying leave/mandating that we self-quarantine if we travel for personal reasons within the current, eight-week recommendation? I work in Public Health, so this is very important to me that you heed the CDC’s recommendations, but also that people like me who would be penalized for breaking those recommendations aren’t penalized by the race. Thank you for your response and time. I’m sure this situation is very hectic for you all.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Emi – We will absolutely be following the CDC recommendations. With changes coming daily, we are taking each race a day at a time and will announce each race’s decision 35 days prior to that race, hopefully giving runners enough time to cancel reservations if needed.

  • Emi says:

    I understand that you said you would decide about Yosemite by April 6; however, given the latest CDC recommendations and closures, do you have an update? The CDC is recommending mass gatherings and non-urgent travel be canceled for the next 8 weeks.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Emi – We are taking each race a day at a time. Things are changing daily – sometimes hourly – so we will be making the final decision on the Yosemite Half Marathon on April 6th. Previous to that date, runners are welcome to defer or transfer to another race with all fees waived.

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