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A guide to upcoming virtual races and challenges

Since it looks like virtual racing could still be our best option for the next few months, here's a list of upcoming events

Throughout the pandemic, virtual races have given runners around the globe many opportunities to test their fitness and fuel their need for competition while in-person events are on hold. While the promise of vaccines gives us hope that we can return to mass participation races soon, many in-person races could end up closing their doors permanently as a result of the pandemic. All races are threatened, and for many of them, virtual races are the only thing keeping them alive as the pandemic stretches into 2021. We’ll update this list regularly, so even if nothing catches your eye right now, check back at a later date for any new additions.

Run Guides Tokyo – Osaka Challenge Virtual Team Challenge

When? Start anytime after March 13, there is no cutoff

What? Teams of four attempt to virtually run from Tokyo to Osaka, Japan (672 km)

How much? $60 USD per team

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Event website here

The Secret 3K

When? March 3

What? A 3K run or walk wherever you like and whenever on March 3. This is an event tied to a film titled The Secret Marathon, which follows the story of women in Afghanistan who risk their lives to run in a secret race. Click here to learn more.

How much? $15

Event website here

Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause

When? February 27 to March 29

What? Participants aim to collectively run 3,000K

How much? More info to come (registration opens January 12)

Challenge website here

Winter Moves 80-Hour Challenge

When? Until March 20

What? Spend 80 hours getting active outdoors in 90 days

How much? $98 (youth), $125 (adult)

Race website here

Virtual Chilly Half Marathon

When? Until March 30

What? Frosty 5K, Frigid 10K and Chill Half Marathon. (Each distance will have a walking category.)

How much? $65 (5K and 10K) and $90 (half-marathon)

Race website here

2021 B.A.A. 5K

When? April 16 to 18

What? The 5K run that traditionally kicks off the Boston Marathon weekend will be held virtually for the second year in a row.

How much? $45 to $65 USD, depending on the package the participant chooses.

Race website here

The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 

When? May 1 to August 31

What? Virtually run 1,000 kilometres “across” Tennessee

How much? US$60

Race website here

Photo: Google Maps

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

When? May 1 to May 31

What? 2K, 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, 50K and more

Along with all your favourite distances, this year’s offerings include the Ottawa Ultra 50K, an Ottawa 2K family pack for 4, and a special TEAM edition of the Bytown Challenge in support of The Ottawa Hospital!

How much? Price varies depending on race selection

Race website here

Photo: Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The Survivorfest 24 Hour Race

When? June 12 to 13

What? Participants run for either sic, 12, or 24 hours around a 400 metre track. The race is being offered both in-person and virtually.

Race website here

MTU Showdown

When? Until June 30

What? Run 1,600 MTUs (to learn more about MTUs, click here)

How much? Free

Race website here

The 2021 RunNB Challenge 

When? Until December 31, 2021

What? Run, walk or snowshoe 1,200K (or 2,400K) to virtually circumnavigate New Brunswick

How much? $50

Race website here

Under Armour Spring Run-Off

When? April 1 to 30

What? Kids’ race, 5K and 8K

How much? More details to come

Race website here

Sarah Inglis wins the 2019 Spring Run-Off. Photo: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal

When? April 23 to June 14

What? Kids’ race, 5K, 10K and half-marathon

How much? More details to come

Race website here

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon 

When? June 2 to July 5

What? Kids’ race, 5K, 10K and half-marathon

How much? More details to come

Race website here

Reid Coolsaet Vancouver Half-Marathon
Reid Coolsaet winning the 2015 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. Photo Credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series.

The 416 Challenge 

When? Until July 31

What? Run 416K by the end of July 2021

How much? $40 (student deal), $90 (regular fee)

Race website here

Vancouver Sun Run

When? April 18 to 30

What? 2.5K, 10K, team run

How much?$25 to $45

Race website here

Around the Bay

When? March 25 to April 25

What? 5K, 10K, 15K, 30K, two- and three-person relays

How much? More info to come

Race website here

The Goggins 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge

When? March 5 to 7

What? Run four miles (6.4K) every four hours for 48 hours

How much? No charge, but participants are encouraged to raise at least $250 for The Maddie Project

Race website here