July 1

2021 Race & Event Outlook

19  comments

Like many of you, 2020 blindsided us, resulting in several race cancellations early in the year. However, even during the midst of the pandemic, we spent the better part of the year successfully, safely, and responsibly holding races. In some instances, we had no option but to cancel. In most cases, we were able to work with health departments and permitting agencies to modify our operation plans and hold races on a case by case basis.

We would all like to breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 is behind us and get back to pre-covid normalcy. Unfortunately, it won’t be that simple. Even though vaccines are being administered, it would seem that things will probably get a little worse here in the first couple months of the year before they get better.

We are an optimistic bunch by nature. We keep moving forward, planning events, and taking it one day at a time. The alternative is to close up shop and call off all races. But if we called off the whole thing based on those few instances where we were unable to hold a race, then we would never have the chance to hold all the races we were able to successfully put on!

While we don’t love the uncertainty, we think some patience and hope is worth having for those moments of triumph.

Uncertainty will continue into 2021. Uncertainty is the price we all have to pay in order to get to hold and participate in events this year. We will do our best to keep you informed on the process and the status of each race. We have policies that allow you to be confident in your registration choices and afford you some flexibility. In the few instances where that uncertainty results in a worst-case outcome, we will do our best to take care of you. But by signing up for a race you acknowledge that uncertainty is the name of the game, and that is a price you are willing to pay.

If you are not comfortable with any degree of uncertainty, you should not sign up for any races for the foreseeable future. We will be ready for you when you are comfortable to return!

We're still in uncharted waters and don't pretend we can see the future, but we're confident that we'll be able to solve problems as they arise.

Here is a race-by-race breakdown on the status of each race, how it might be changed, and a confidence rating on if the race will be held or not.

Need to Defer/Transfer your race entry? Jump to our policy page here.

Zion Half Marathon  |  February 27

2/9/21 - UPDATE 4: ...and we're live! Follow this link to download the 2021 Zion Half Marathon race guide or listen to the podcast and follow along! The race guide includes everything from course info to directions and recommended activities, everything you need to have a memorable run. We highly recommend taking a look prior to race day.

2/2/21 - UPDATE 3: Zion Half Marathon is fast approaching! We expect to have our race guide available by the end of the week. We'll post a link here and on the event page when it's ready.

12/30 - UPDATE 2: Somewhat unexpectedly, the town of Springdale has denied our permit to finish our race in their town. The 2021 Zion Half Marathon is not being cancelled, but it is being drastically changed. We have a new course and some important logistical updates you should be aware of. We go into great detail to explain the circumstances that led to this decision and the changes to the event on this blog post.

12/1/20 - UPDATE 1: We have been in communication with our main permitting entity - the Town of Springdale. Per usual we have ben discussing a few improvements to our operation plan based on last year's event. We are confident we will be able to work with the town and Washington County come Feb. 27th and be able to execute an operation plan that takes COVID compliance into account. The two main areas of concern would be the shuttles and the start line. Our plan will likely include small group staggered starts throughout the morning (which would effect shuttle times) and required face coverings on shuttles - just for starters.

The reason for a lower confidence level (75%) is the unknown. Looking forward, I would think conditions would be more stable. But the current climate has everyone on edge. Utah is finally seeing higher cases (which it hadn't for most of 2020), people are waiting to see how the holidays and gatherings will impact the number of cases, the inauguration in January, etc. So there is a lot of uncertainty. I think we will get through all this and be in an okay position come February, but the uncertainty has to be accounted for when making a projection.

IF we are forced to cancel (for reasons outside of our control like a shutdown or our permit getting pulled) there will be no refunds. We have tried to be very clear about this by including strong wording on the registration, communicating what to expect on the website, and sending out emails letting runners know. There will be no refunds, but there will be full deferments to the 2022 race or any of our other races. 

Under our normal refund policy, runners can STILL get a refund now if they request it. The refund window will close on December 7th. Any runners uncomfortable with this level of uncertainty or risk and who will be happy with nothing short of a full refund should make that request before Monday. There will be no refunds offered after that.

------------------------

We are hopeful that we will be able to host the Zion Half Marathon in Springdale as usual, though likely with adjustments for social distancing and other preventative measures for COVID if things stay the way they are now.

We will post updates here once we get them, and inform registered runners.

2021 Zion Half Marathon Logo

VR Confidence: 75%
More info

Zion Ultras  |  April 10-11

2/12/21 - UPDATE 3: Start/Finish and Staging Area Change!

We needed to change the location of our staging area due to parking capacity in Virgin. Our original location was nestled in the small town of Virgin with limited street parking. Parking would have been so tight that we were going to have some satellite locations to park at, then shuttle runners to the city park where the start/finish location was. 

We have shifted to staging out of Apple Valley (South of Virgin, on the other side of the mesa). Moving the staging area is actually a positive thing for multiple reasons. First, we will have endless parking space, and won’t have to be quite as quiet as we cheer runners in during the late hours of the night. Second, this makes for an easy staging area for crew/pacers to access their runner doing the 100mile or 100k later in the race.

The trails we are utilizing for the course are not changing, but moving the location of the start and finish will affect the order of how these trail loops are strung together. Please reference our course section of the website to review an updated course description, as well as the new maps and elevation profiles. You can also view the adjusted minimum pace times.

We anticipate updating our Avenza maps very soon as well as GPX download options. 

Though this change is a little sudden, we believe that it should be a positive impact overall. So keep training, and we’ll see you soon!

2/2/21 - UPDATE 2:  Our confidence is high for the Zion Ultra race. We are still keeping an eye out for positive changes and have no reason to believe that the Zion Ultra race won't go ahead as planned.

12/30/20 - UPDATE 1: The Zion Ultra is SOLD OUT of ALL distances! Nothing in the planning of the event has given us any real cause for concern. Our permitting agencies are open with us, and having just put on a modified version of this event in September, we are confident planning will go smoothly. There *may* be some changes to start/finish and course staging if some things we are working on go our way. But otherwise - all systems GO!

------------------------------

We don't know what April will look like pandemic-wise. However it is not difficult to accommodate social distancing at ultra running events. We expect we'll be able to hold this race in April. 

We will post updates here once we get them, and inform registered runners.

VR Confidence: 90%
More info

Saguaro Half Marathon  |  March 27

3/3/21 - UPDATE 7: We have received word from Pima County that our event has been approved to be held over two days with a participant cap of 500 runners per day. The health department has stated that there is a possibility of the participant cap increasing to 800 runners per day if there is a continued decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Based on the data and conversations with the health department, we are hopeful that our daily participant cap is raised to 800 runners. We are going to plan for this case. If the participant cap is not raised and is restricted to 500 runners per day, we will have to cancel the event. 

We know this raises a lot of questions, so we’ll answer questions below. Because there is a lot to review, we cover the full details of everything on the Saguaro Half Marathon Important Updates blog. Please visit this blog for complete details.

Which days will the two day event take place?

The race will be held Saturday March 27 and Sunday March 28.

How will we decide which runners participate on which day?

We will set a cap for each day and allow runners to choose which day they can run. Based on initial feedback we collected from runners, we believe participants will divide into the two days naturally, and most everyone should be able to choose their preferred day. We are hoping that runners who have the flexibility to run on Sunday opt to do so.

How do we select our day?

We have created an “add-on” question to your registration. On Thursday, March 4 at 6:00 am MST this option will be available. At that time, you can go to your RunSignup account and edit your registration to select the add-on. Full instructions on how to do this are available on our latest blog post. You can also watch our short video on how to complete this step on desktop or mobile

What happens if the daily participant cap is not increased?

If the cap is not raised to 800 runners per day, we will have to cancel the event. In the event of a cancellation, we will not offer refunds but we will defer registration fees to the 2022 Saguaro Half Marathon (or to a different race in our series of your choosing). 

What if I don’t like this uncertainty or the day I want to run isn’t available?

If you are not comfortable with this uncertainty, we urge you to cancel your registration for this year. If you choose to cancel, there are three options you may take:

  1. You can defer your race registration to the 2022 Saguaro Half Marathon or any of our other races.
  2. Complete the race virtually! You can run this race virtually, receiving your bib, race shirt, and medal in the mail. We will also issue you a $50 race credit you can use (or gift to someone) on any of our future events. The race credit is good for two years.
  3. Get a full refund. Our refund deadline was January 31st, but we have reactivated the refund option given the current circumstances. The new deadline for requesting a refund is Monday, March 8th. You will receive a full refund minus a small processing fee.

A note about refunds: if you deferred into this race from a previous event or used a coupon, you are not eligible for a refund. You still have the options of deferring to next year’s race or transferring to any of our other races, but we will need to help you with that. Please email info@vacationraces.com for assistance.

To make any changes to your registration (defer, transfer, run virtually, or receive a refund), you will need to make those changes in RunSignup. We walk through each possible change on our Saguaro Half Marathon Important Updates blog.


 

2/26/21 - UPDATE 6: Hi all! We want to let you know where we are at with the Saguaro Half Marathon. We have an open line of communication with Pima County and the Health Department, and following our conversation with them last week, we still don’t have a definitive answer from their team. They have been incredibly helpful and we know they are continuously evaluating case numbers to ensure the safety of the community.

While we do not have a definitive answer, we have an idea of what may happen. Based on our positive conversations to date, we think the county may raise the cap for outdoor events so that we can host the Saguaro Half over two days. Please see our update below to read what a two-day event may look like. This is the most likely case, but we will hope for our normal set-up of hosting the race on one day.

If we offer a two-day race, the race would be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 - 28. Runners will be able to select their preferred day. However they are not able to select their day at this time. We will send further details on how to make this selection when we have confirmation that this will be the format of the event.

We believe this decision will continue to evolve on a week-by-week basis. We know this can be frustrating for scheduling your travel plans. Because of this unique situation, we are offering runners a few options:*

  1. Transfer your Saguaro 2021 registration to another race, or defer** to the 2022 Saguaro Half Marathon. Please see directions for this below.
  2. Choose our virtual race option. You still receive the contents of a normal registration pack: bib, medal, etc. In addition, you will also receive a $50 credit toward another VR event. This credit will be emailed to you afterward and is good for two years.
  3. Receive a refund. We are out of our normal refund window, but this particular situation is a special case. As such, we are opening refunds today and are offering them through Friday, March 5. Requests for a refund will close at 11:59 pm on March 5.

Should you choose to ride it out with us and then we have to cancel the event altogether (we don’t anticipate this happening), then options 2 and 3 will be available to you.

RunSignup transfer and deferral instructions:

  1. Login to RunSignup
  2. Select "My Registered Races" > Select your event > Select "Manage Registration" 
  3. If transferring, select “Transfer to Another Race.” A list of upcoming races will appear that you may transfer to. Full transfer process details can be found here
  4. If deferring, select “Defer Registration.” This is all you need to do for now. You can read about the full deferment process here. You will have the option to transfer or defer to another race. 

*If you used a coupon to register for the 2021 Saguaro Half Marathon OR you deferred into the 2021 Saguaro Half Marathon from another race, we will need to help you with these three options. Please email info@vacationraces.com for assistance.

**We do not have a date for the 2022 Saguaro Half Marathon, so if you choose to defer into this event, RunSignup will not allow you to complete deferment. However, you can still initiate the deferment process in RunSignup and complete it once we announce the dates for the 2022 event. If you choose this option, we will email you when the 2022 date is announced so you can complete this process. Thank you!

2/19/21 - UPDATE 5: Our conversation with Pima County and the Health Department on Wed (2/17) was very positive, but it was not definitive. The County is coming from a place of “we want to get to YES”. Which is awesome! However, they don’t have a crystal ball and are uncomfortable approving something TODAY based on what they think/hope conditions will be like in 5 weeks, which we get. This is the uncertainty we have been talking about. This is the world we live in. Last year, when we first had to start cancelling races, we set a 35-day deadline - 35 days before the race we would make an official decision on cancelation. We wanted to give the races as much of a fighting chance to happen as we could. However, back then it seemed like as each day passed that chance lessened. In this instance, we feel that with each day that passes, our chances of being able to hold this event the way we want to (at least close to it) increase! 

So, what does that mean? The Health Department is currently discussing internally what they are comfortable approving and what that timeline looks like. We are discussing internally what our worst-case scenario is where we still hold the race. From where we sit, we see three likely outcomes. Learn more here

2/16/21 - UPDATE 4: We are following up with the county health department tomorrow, February 17, to review the details of our operations plan. We are remaining sensitive to the initial feedback they provided and are hoping that tomorrow's meeting provides us with clearer direction to move forward. Keep sending out good thoughts that we get the green light! 

2/5/21 - UPDATE 3: Although planning has been going well with the county, things took an unexpected turn this week when we received some feedback from the county health department on our submitted operation plan. They made some suggestions and imposed some restrictions that seem (to us) a little arbitrary. We are sensitive to their concerns, but are also working hard to show how the plan we submitted is proven and will allow us to conduct the event safely and responsibly.

One of their suggested restrictions was a participant cap much smaller than is feasible. They have been open to conversation which is encouraging to us. We are hopeful we can get them to have more confidence in our plan and come to an agreement. However, we are ultimately subject to their decision and so we have adjusted our confidence level accordingly. Keep your fingers crossed!

This event is also SOLD OUT. Thank you so much for your support and excitement!

1/26/21 - UPDATE 2: We have spoken with the Department of Transportation and they are reviewing our permits at this time. The revision process for our traffic control plan is under way. We have yet to officially hear back from the health department on our modified operation plan and how it complies with guidelines (which makes us a little uneasy), but as far as we can tell our modifications are in compliance. We feel positive that this will race will go ahead as planned.

12/16/20 - UPDATE 1: Permits have all been submitted and communication with the county has been positive. We are very optimistic this event will go off as planned and we can't wait to host the inaugural Saguaro Half Marathon in Tucson! 

The main unknown for us now is what guidelines will be in place at the time of the event and how it will affect us. Our best guess is that we will have staggered waves and assigned start times, drive thru bib pickup, etc. - the usual modifications. But we won't know the nitty gritty details until it gets closer to the event. We will be sure to update everyone as we go along. Registration opens Friday, 12/18!

VR Confidence: 70%
More info

Yosemite Half Marathon  |  May 8

2/23/21 - UPDATE 5: With cases in California going down, our confidence in this race is increasing. We've received positive feedback from the county and are hopeful that the Forest Service also gives us the go-ahead. We will do our best to give everyone our final decision 35 days before the race.

2/2/21 - UDATE 4: The Yosemite Half Marathon is SOLD OUT! Thank you to everyone who is trusting us with putting on this event. We'll do our best to continue updating you so that you can make your travel plans with confidence.

-----------------

We don't have a waitlist but you can still signup for a charity bib! You can also find runners selling their bib on our Friends of Vacation Races Facebook page. We usually see more bibs for sale the closer we get to the event.

1/27/21 - UPDATE 3: California has moved to lift their stay at home order and is now in a "purple tier", meaning recreational sports are permitted, including running, track and field, and cross country activities. We are cautiously optimistic about these developments, but will leave the confidence level at 50%. We are continuing to monitor things locally and work with our contacts to show we are putting on a safe event.

1/6/21 - UPDATE 2: We have been in communication with our Local contacts in Oakhurst. Currently Madera County is on a mandatory quarantine of 14 days for anyone traveling into the area. They are re-accessing things every 2 weeks based on confirmed cases in the area. At this point, we are at the mercy of what the local permitting agencies will allow us to do. We are confident we will be able to execute an operation plan that takes COVID compliance into account. The two main areas of concern would be the shuttles and the start line. Our plan will likely include small group staggered starts throughout the morning (which would affect shuttle times) and required face coverings on shuttles - just for starters.

The reason for a lowered confidence level (50%) is the unknown. Looking forward, I would think conditions would be more stable. But the current climate has everyone on edge. The vaccine is finally being administered to people. This will hopefully be a turning point for this Pandemic to allow for larger gatherings to start happening again. We will still likely implement several changes to keep all of our participants and locals safe- Such as eliminating our expo and implementing a drive-thru bib pickup the day before the race. There is however, still a lot of uncertainty. I think we will get through all this and be in an okay position come May, but the uncertainty has to be accounted for when making a projection.

IF we are forced to cancel (for reasons outside of our control like a shutdown or our permit getting pulled) there will be no refunds. We have tried to be very clear about this by including strong wording on the registration, communicating what to expect on the website, and sending out emails letting runners know. There will be no refunds, but you may defer to the 2022 Yosemite race, or any of our other races on the calendar. It's your choice. 

Under our normal refund policy, runners can STILL get a refund now if they request it. The refund window will close on January 24th (Refunds are only available to new runner registrations, meaning, if you are deferred from a previous race, you will only be able to defer your registration). Any runners uncomfortable with this level of uncertainty or risk and who will be happy with nothing short of a full refund should make that request before January 24th. There will be no refunds offered after that.

12/1/20 - UPDATE 1: We have started talking to the Forest Service and Madera County. Madera County is open to events on a case by case basis - which is very encouraging. The Forest Service, like a lot of organizations, is unsure how to manage the opening of some of their facilities - like campgrounds and such. We have a five year permit with the Forest Service, but our finish line and campground are under Forest Service jurisdiction while being managed by the office of California Land Management. So as there are a lot of cooks in this kitchen... and it is California. :) As of right now we are cautiously optimistic and working with all our permitting agencies and will update you as we go.

--------------------------------

California has been hesitant to hold any kind of event. However we are in contact with local authorities and will continue to update you as we get more info. We're hopeful that by May, we will be able to safely hold this event.

We are a part of the California Coalition for Endurance Sports and have been working aggressively with other race directors, county supervisors, and county health departments to encourage the state to recognize endurance sport as an industry and to help build a road map to return to holding events. Up until now, the state has been ignoring events. We are hoping to change that by showing there is a way to safely and responsibly hold these events. Both we (event organizers) AND runners are willing to make compromises and adjustments in order to do just that!

Yosemite Half Marathon Logo & Medal Design

VR Confidence: 50%
More info

Bryce Canyon Ultras  |  May 29-30

2/16/21 - UPDATE 2: We are SOLD OUT for the Bryce Canyon Ultras. You can still register through our Charity Bib program

2/2/21 - UPDATE 1: After being able to host the Bryce Canyon Ultras in 2020, we're confident that the measures we've taken will allow us to host this in 2021.

VR Confidence: 95%
More info

Grand Teton Half Marathon & 5K  |  June 4-5

Runners on path with snowy teton mountains in the background

2/16/21 - UPDATE 4: The Half Marathon distance is officially SOLD OUT. Which means any event that includes the Half Marathon is also be unavailable. This includes the Moose Double, Grizzly Double, and Grand Quad events. You can sign up for a charity bib here!

We are working with the county and everything is looking good. Any operational changes that will need to be made to successfully host this event will appear in the coming months as we see how COVID guidelines change as we approach June.

2/9/21 - UPDATE 3: The late registration period begins FEBRUARY 15TH! This includes a price jump and means that after the 15th no refunds will be granted under any circumstances. If you feel comfortable registering for the race, we encourage you to do so before late registration begins!

----------------

Although conversations with local permitting agencies for both races are going well and we are fairly confident we will be able to hold these races as planned, anything can happen. Often when things go sideways with planning it isn't until the last month or two before the race, which is unfortunately after the refund deadline. That isn't deliberate on our part, that is just the deadline we have always had to set for our refunds and the unfortunate nature of planning amid COVID. 

2/2/21 - UPDATE 2: No news is good news! Planning continues to go smoothly for the Grand Teton Half Marathon and we have no reason to to believe that permitting will work much differently from 2020.

12/1/20 - UPDATE 1: Our event in 2020 was permitted, but under the condition that at the time of the event we would comply with all guidelines. But despite our pressing the county, they were never able to provide us with clear instruction on what those guidelines were (hey, they were doing their best and making it up as they went along - just like everyone). So we felt it wasn't prudent to hold the event. In hindsight I think we could have, but it felt rushed and forced and we weren't confident then that we could do the race safely and responsibly and didn't want to jeopardize our runners or the future of the event. So we cancelled.

Our 2020 permit rolled over to 2021, so we are most of the way there. We will be issued our permit on the condition that we meet health guidelines at the time of the event (whatever they may be). I am confident we will be able to, with event adjustments.

I expect that will be common for most of these later of the year events - permits issued conditionally.

Grand Teton Half Marathon Logo & Medal Design

VR Confidence: 90%
More info

Yellowstone Half Marathon & 5K  |  June 11-12

2/16/21 - UPDATE 4: We are speaking with the Gallatin County Health Department to review our event plan. 

2/9/21 - UPDATE 3: The late registration period begins FEBRUARY 15TH! This includes a price jump and means that after the 15th no refunds will be granted under any circumstances. We will always allow you to transfer a bib to another runner or another race. If you feel comfortable registering for the race, we encourage you to do so before late registration begins!  Register here.

----------------

Although conversations with local permitting agencies for both races are going well and we are fairly confident we will be able to hold these races as planned, anything can happen. Often when things go sideways with planning it isn't until the last month or two before the race, which is unfortunately after the refund deadline. That isn't deliberate on our part, that is just the deadline we have always had to set for our refunds and the unfortunate nature of planning amid COVID. 

2/2/21 - UPDATE 2: Planning continues with no major updates. We will post any updates as they unfold.

9/21-1/26/21 - UPDATE 1: While we were unable to hold this race in 2020, we were able to host a small group half marathon later in the summer. We are confident we will be able to hold this race in June.

VR Confidence: 95%
More info

Glacier Half Marathon  |  June  26

2/9/21 - UPDATE 4: Race Director Lyle is currently up in East Glacier meeting with members of the Blackfeet Nation. Both the reservation and town are struggling from the shutdown and eager to open up, but they are remaining cautious. We are still confident and optimistic we will be able to host this race as planned. However, Lyle is also scouting a backup course on the west side of the park in case things fall through for our current course. 

2/2/21 - UPDATE 3: We have no updates at this time, but we continue to plan and listen to the safety measures that the Blackfeet Tribal Council have implemented. 

12/30 - UPDATE 2: There was some misinformation spreading online that East Glacier would remain closed until September. This is not the case. The Blackfeet Tribe has extended Tribal Order 121 until September of 2021. Tribal Order 121 is basically social distancing guidelines (following CDC recommendations) and the authority of the Blackfeet COVID Incident Command Unit to make decisions and enforce these guidelines. The closure of East Glacier is a separate issue. It very well could continue or be effected by this, but both we and our contacts at the tribe do not foresee this interfering with the race in June. The Blackfeet tribe has a unique set of concerns that we share and are sensitive to. The protection of this country's Native populations is very important to us and we will continue to follow the tribe's lead. We just wanted to clarify that some posts circulating abut Order 121 dos not mean East Glacier will remain closed.

12/1/20 - UPDATE 1: We are hopeful this event will go on as planned. However, the entire race takes place on the Blackfeet Reservation. We are mindful of how the pandemic has impacted our brothers and sisters on reservations around the country. Ultimately, we are at the mercy of the Blackfeet Tribal Council and what actions they feel they need to take in order to protect their people. We have gotten the okay from them to announce the date and begin planning. We hope by June things will be in a stable place for them and we will be able to hold the event, although with modifications (staggered starts, etc.).

VR Confidence: 70%
More info

Rocky Mountain Half Marathon & 5K  |  July 30-31

Person in reflective pink gear running with trees and purple rocky mountains behind them

2/2/21 - UPDATE 1: We haven't forgotten about this race! No news is good news as we continue to work with local partners to ensure a safe and fun race. We appreciate everyone's patience and will update here as things develop.

-----

Based on the info we have now, we expect to be able to hold this event this summer.

VR Confidence: 95%
More info

Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon & 5K  |  September 10-11

Two women running and smiling in front of a wooden barn

2/2/21 - UPDATE 2: We haven't forgotten about this race! No news is good news as we continue to work with local partners to ensure a safe and fun race. We appreciate everyone's patience and will update here as things develop.

9/21/20 - UPDATE 1: We were able to host this event in 2020, and expect to able to again this September!

VR Confidence: TBD
More info

Mount Rushmore Half Marathon  |  September 18

Heads up! This will likely be the last year we hold this race.

2/2/21 - UPDATE 1: Our race directors are highly confident that Mount Rushmore will be held as planned. Perhaps more confident than any other race! We continue to monitor Covid-19 regulations, however, and will post updates here in the event that our plans change.

VR Confidence: 90%
More info

Grand Circle Trailfest  |  September 29 - October 2

2/3/21 - UPDATE 1: We successfully held this event in 2020 and see no problems in holding it again in 2021. We are working closely with the town of Kanab to prepare an area north of the baseball fields (where we usually have camping) close to the canyon wall for our new campground! 

The only unknown we face right now is the 3-day course. In 2020, we changed our course because it normally runs entirely on Navajo land. That land remains closed to tourism and events due to the negative impact of Covid-19 on the Navajo community. October is still a long ways away, but since we cannot know the condition of the Navajo Nation so early, it is difficult to finalize our course. 

Either of the course options in front of us are spectacular, but we are hoping to return to our course along Horshoe Bend and through Waterholes Slot Canyon.

VR Confidence: 95%
More info

Lake Powell Half Marathon  |  October 9

2/2/21 - UPDATE 1: We have been in contact with the National Park Service at Lake Powell. They foresee no issues and we fully anticipate getting the needed permits for the Lake Powell Half Marathon this year. 

VR Confidence: 85%
More info

2021 Antelope Canyon Ultras  |  Date TBA

2/23/21 - UPDATE 6: We have no new news for you. The Navajo Nation is still closed to all outside events, and they do not know when they may allow visitors. IF the Navajo Nation opens for events later this year, we may entertain hosting an event in the fall. Again, if you have a deferment for a previous event and were holding out for an Antelope Canyon event, we suggest registering for any of our other events on the race calendar.

1/26/21 - UPDATE 5: The Navajo Nation is still currently closed to outside events, tours, and activities. An event in March will not take place at this point. If possible, we would like to put on the event this fall, but this would be highly dependent on if the Navajo Nation reopens and we are approved to hold the race. If you have a deferment from a previous event and were holding out for a spring Antelope Canyon event, we suggest registering for any of our other events on the race calendar.

We will stay in contact with the permitting office, and provide an update in 1-2 months if we have any additional news. 

12/15/20 - UPDATE 4: The Navajo Nation has said they will be making a decision January 1st on if they will open the reservation or not. This could just be an arbitrary date and come Jan 1 it gets pushed back, but for now we are waiting to hear what happens on January 1st. Three things could happen:

1) Jan 1st the Navajo Nation announces plans to open up, allowing our race to happen early March. In that case we would quickly open registration and plan the event.

2) Jan 1st the Navajo Nation announces plans to open up, but not soon enough for our race. In this scenario we either try to reschedule for the fall or we just skip 2021.

3) Jan 1st comes and goes and there is no definitive plan. In this scenario we either try to reschedule for the fall or we just skip 2021.

11/10/20 - UPDATE 3: Unfortunately, nothing has changed since our last update. A March event doesn't look promising but all options are on the table still. We will be sure to let you know as soon as we know more.

10/14/20 - UPDATE 2: The permitting office is still closed. At this time, they are speculating that they will reopen around January 1st 2021. This is, of course, just speculation. We will continue to be in contact with our Navajo friends for updates. We would really like to open registration a minimum of 90 days prior to the event. If this is still not an option around the 1st of January, there is a good chance we’d look into doing the event at a later date in either April or early May. All options are on the table at this point so please continue to monitor this blog and our social channels for updates. We will be sure to make a big announcement as soon as we receive the green light to proceed with our event.

UPDATE 1: We were able to hold the 2020 Antelope Canyon Ultras right before everything went crazy with Covid-19. We felt extremely fortunate at the time that we were able to hold the event.

Antelope Canyon Ultras showcases some amazing views of the American Southwest. The course runs through Sacred Slot Canyons of the Navajo Nation, Runs along the Rim of Horseshoe Bend, also taking place on the Navajo Nation. With all race distances finishing the day running along Page Rim trail overlooking the Lake Powell National Recreation area. 

The Navajo Nation is about the size of West Virginia and is situated on 27,000 square miles of land spread across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The Navajo Nation is home to approximately 175,000 people.

It's also home to a coronavirus infection rate of more than 3.4% and more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Navajo Nation Department of Health.

The Navajo Nation has suffered a great deal of loss and pain associated with this pandemic. The permitting office shut everything down around the same time as our event this year and is still uncertain about when they will reopen. Since the majority of the race is on the Navajo Nation we will be waiting for a green light from them before we open up registration for the 2021 event. We will continue to post updates on here as they come available. We will also make a big announcement before registration opens.

VR Confidence: 20%
More info

Joshua Tree Half Marathon  |  November 6

1/26/21 - UPDATE 1: We do anticipate being able to put on this race for you come November, but it's still a little too early to tell what that entails. If permitted, the event will most likely have covid precautions similar to our other races including drive-thru bib pick up, a staggered start schedule, etc. 

If you signed up for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in 2020, you were automatically transferred to the 2021 race. If you want to manage your registration to transfer it to another race, or defer it you can do that by logging into RunSignup > Click on your profile > Manage Registration > Transfer Event > Start Transfer > Choose Event > Click Continue and complete registration. Race credit from any previous event will be applied at checkout. *Note: If you deferred into this race or transferred from another race, your race credit will be $0. If you want to defer again to another event, contact us at info@vacationraces.com.

Joshua Tree half marathon race medal

VR Confidence: TBD
More info


We're committed to holding these events in a way that is safe and responsible.

We understand this is an uncertain and emotional time. This update might seem a little generic or repetitive, but we want everyone to be up to date in our efforts to organize these races so you can sign up with confidence and with your eyes wide open to what participation might look like. You may also view our COVID-19 policy, here

As always, the unexpected can happen and throw a wrench in these plans. We'll keep doing our best to keep you informed and to provide you with options.

Thank you so much for your support.


Tags

Grand Circle, Great Smoky Mountains, Half Marathons, Joshua Tree, Lake Powell, rocky mountain, Saguaro, Small Group Half Marathons, Trailfest, Ultra Marathons, Yellowstone, Zion


You may also like

Iceland Global Adventure – An Update About COVID-19

2021 Saguaro Half Marathon Important Updates

  • I am registered for Saguaro HM. I saw the notice for the planning meeting for Saguaro Half was to meet on the 17 with the powers that be. Any update on Saguaro really happening vs cancelling?

  • Is it possible to see who is signed up for your various races? I am used to doing this with the “entrants” tab on ultrasignup but can’t figure out how to with runsignup?

  • Is there a limit on crew size/ spectators for this event? I know these are unusual times. Asking for planning and travel/lodging purposes. Your current educated best guess would be appreciated. I know things may change.

    • Hi Bryan,
      We are going to ask runners to limit, or even ask their spectators to stay home this time to reduce crowds from gathering. We are discouraging spectators altogether. However, if you have any spectators to cheer you on, they may come out of their vehicle to cheer and greet their runner at the finish line, then leave soon after.

      As far as crew, each runner can have multiple members to crew, but only ONE crew member may be out of the vehicle at a time, assisting the runner. So essentially your crew can trade off when they help you, but it can only be one at a time.

  • For the Zion 100m. How many are people are we allowed to have crew at the rest stations? Are we allowed to have pace runners for any sections?

    • Hello Bryan. You can have multiple members in your crew, but only one crew member may assist you at an aid station at a time. Keep in mind that crew access is only allowed at certain aid stations on locations on the course.
      It is a similar situation for pacers. You can have more than one pacer for the event, but only one person may pace you during any given time. You can read more details about pacers and crew here: https://vacationraces.com/ultras/zion/?preview=true#tab-con-1.

    • Hi Patricia. We currently sit at a 50% confidence level. The ultimate decision is beyond our control. If we are permitted to do the event, we fully anticipate the race to happen. If we are not permitted, we will be forced to cancel and those who are registered will be deferred to next year’s event. If you are unsure, runners may still get a refund until the end of Yosemite Half’s regular registration window (1/24/21). Please review our most recent post about the Yosemite event (above) for the latest updates.

    • Hi Jama. If our Yosemite (May 2021) event is forced to cancel for reasons beyond our control, there is a slight chance we could move the Yosemite event to the fall (for this year only), but it is too early to say at this point. We will do our best to be able to bring this event to you and other runners wanting to visit the area and run!

  • Hello. Do you know if Zion Half 2021 is still moving forward? If not, when do you anticipate knowing? We just did the Zion at Night Half and fell in love with Zion. We would love to do the road race but have our reservations at this point. Thank you in advanced. Margie J.

    • We’re are highly confident (given the current environment) that we’ll be able to put this race on. Especially since we were able to safely host the Zion at Night and Zion Ultras events recently. What would cause this to change would be if there were a huge Covid-19 spike in Southern Utah right before race weekend and the local authorities prohibited the event from happening.

    • Yes! You can walk the race. For our half marathons, each runner is given 4 hours to finish the race. So if you can walk an 18 minute/mile pace, then you can do it!

  • When can I expect to find out about the date for Glacier half marathon in 2021? I want to book a vacation around this run but don’t have an exact date yet. In 2019 it was on the 22 but for 2020 it was scheduled for the 27th. Thank you for any information on a tentative date.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Subscribe to our newsletter now!

    >