There's good news, Spartans. Believe it or not, things are actually looking up.
No, seriously. Hear us out. One of the most tense, divisive elections in modern history is now in the past, a highly-effective COVID-19 vaccine could very well be available in the near future — multiple vaccines have shown extremely encouraging results — the market is surging, and gym memberships are expected to spike.
Science Says That Normal Life Could Be Near
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes that the world could return to "relative normal" by the spring of 2021, assuming the majority of people get the vaccine once it becomes available.
“Certainly it’s not going to be a pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around," Fauci said with confidence.
Sir John Bell, an immunologist and geneticist on the United Kingdom's vaccine task force, agrees. When asked if life might return to normal by the spring of 2021, he beamed, "Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am probably the first guy to say that, but I will say that with some confidence.”
FIND YOUR RACE: Browse the 2021 Schedule Now
In short, people are ready to return to their lives, explore, travel, compete, and live. That, of course, includes Spartans, who are jumping out of their shoes to get out of their houses and onto the course.
To be clear, we are still not out of the woods as far as the pandemic is concerned — far from it, in fact. There will almost certainly be dark and challenging days ahead. We must continue to be smart, take the proper precautions, practice social distancing, and wear masks. But there's real reason for optimism, and you can rest assured that the 2021 Spartan season is going to happen.
Thousands of Racers Have Signed Up for 2021 Heats. Pick Your Date Before It's Too Late
The greatest indicator that Spartans are ready to return to the course? We saw a tremendous number of race registrations last week, and we expect that to continue in the days and weeks ahead. With the 2021 season around the corner, race registrations, merchandise, and training equipment are selling at a clip that indicates a renewed sense of enthusiasm and confidence.
"2021 will be beyond epic," Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena says. "We are let out of our houses again. We can socially distance from our fridge. We can finally see birds, smell fresh air, and get dirty."
Our 2021 season figures to be epic for a variety of reasons. Not only will we make a monumental return after a largely cancelled 2020 — can you imagine what the scene will be like at those first few races back?! — but we also have more options than ever. The 2021 schedule has the most Trifecta weekends — we are so amped for New Jersey, Central Florida, Seattle, West Virginia, Ohio, Montana, and Fayetteville — and Trail events in Spartan history. (The Trail runs in Montana, the Carolinas, San Jose, Austin, Boston, and San Luis Obispo are spectacular.)
Stadion Races: The Ultimate Bucket-List Items
We are also returning to stadiums for Stadion races and urban oases for City races. You'll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relive Rudy's sack at iconic Notre Dame Stadium, pretend you're dropping back to pass for America's Team at AT&T Stadium, and compete on the same field as the 2019 World Series champions at Nationals Park.
For the old-school Spartan, we're also returning to some of our favorite locations, where we made our bones. We're coming back to Killington, the birthplace of Spartan, Hawaii — if you've never been to Kaneohe, stop whatever you're doing and plan a trip there — and Palmerton, one of the most challenging and beloved courses in the country.
Safety Above All Else (And What We're Doing About It)
Above all else, safety is our top priority in 2021, and we're supremely confident that we can put on a safe, smart race season without missing a beat. This isn't just us puffing our chest out. We actually have a tried-and-true formula, The Unbreakable Code, that worked to perfection back in June when we hosted a COVID-friendly race in Jacksonville. The courses and venues will be expertly cleaned and sanitized, proper social distancing and screening will be in effect, and we are committed to monitoring and adhering to local and national guidelines as things continue to develop. (For more on our safety guidelines, including FAQs, click here.)
Not only will you feel safe and at peace while you compete, but you might actually enjoy the race even more than before. Due to the smaller heat sizes, the courses will be wide open, and racers can expect obstacles to be less crowded than before the pandemic.
"China is now fully operational and they were 3-4 months ahead of us," De Sena says. "We are putting on races in China without a hitch. America is next."