10 Spartan Races You Absolutely HAVE to Do in 2021 (and What Makes Them So Epic)

10 Spartan Races You Absolutely HAVE to Do in 2021 (and What Makes Them So Epic)
Presented by Spartan Training®

At long last, racing is back — and we couldn't be more excited. After a largely cancelled 2020 season, our 2021 U.S. schedule is loaded with remarkable races spread throughout the United States. Want stunning views? We've got you covered. The site of Hollywood blockbusters? Got it. The most iconic ballpark of all time? Done. Deserts? Boardwalks? Mountains? Cultural landmarks? We have them all.

Spartans are itching to get back at it, and races are selling out fast. Luckily, there's still time to pick your date, start training, and begin (or continue) your Spartan journey.

Unsure of where to begin? Or where to do your next race? There are a ton of races to choose from — click here to view the full schedule — but we've helped to make your life easier by curating 10 must-do races on the 2021 schedule. If you're going to do any 10 races this year, these are the ones that you unequivocally can't afford to miss. 

Find out why.

10 Epic Races You Can't Afford to Miss in 2021

Jacksonville Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend - Jacksonville, FL (Feb. 27-28)

spartan race schedule

The first race of 2021 — also the first race of the 2021 US National Series — will be epic for obvious reasons. Most notably, it will be the first race of 2021! How insane will the atmosphere be?! It will be like nothing we've ever experienced before on race day.

As for the venue itself, we are returning to WW Motocross Park at WW Ranch for the fourth time. There's a reason we keep coming back. There's plenty of mud and plenty of water, the terrain is varied, and because it's on a motocross track, there's some elevation to contend with (a rarity in Florida). SIGN UP NOW

Las Vegas Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend - Littlefield, AZ (March 27-28)

spartan race schedule

If you enjoy varied terrain, the Mesquite MX & Hafen Ranch — which we're returning to for a sixth time — is your course. You get to run in the desert sand — good prep for the World Championship in Abu Dhabi! — in open fields, and on a motocross track, and it even includes a quick run through a river. At an elevation that never exceeds 1,800 feet, this fast-paced course will test your grit, speed, and determination. SIGN UP NOW

Montana Spartan Trifecta Weekend - Bigfork, MT (May 1-2)

spartan race schedule

The scenery at this race is unmatched. It's located directly on the shores of Flathead Lake, which is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. As you're completing one of our three main race types — or all three, if you're feeling particularly inspired — you will behold phenomenal views and tackle extremely rewarding climbs. SIGN UP NOW

Big Bear Spartan Trifecta Weekend - Big Bear Lake, CA (May 15-16) 

spartan race schedule

Another Trifecta weekend at a spectacular venue, this race is held at an iconic ski resort. (There usually isn't snow on the ground at this time of year, though we're not promising anything.) You will run on gorgeous terrain, and comfortable lodging is available close to the start line, in The Village. Big Bear Lake offers a quaint mountain experience, complete with world-class shopping and dining to keep you satisfied and entertained all weekend. SIGN UP NOW

Tri-State New York Spartan Sprint 5K Weekend - Bethel, NY (June 12-13)

spartan race schedule

For the first time ever, we are coming to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which famously hosted the legendary Woodstock music festival in 1969. Like at Woodstock, this weekend will be filled with mud, sweat, and music. (A DJ will be there. It's not quite the same as Jimi Hendrix playing Purple Haze or The Who rocking out on Pinball Wizard, but trust us when we say our DJs are insanely talented.) SIGN UP NOW

Hawaii Spartan Trifecta WeekendKāneʻohe, HI (Aug. 21-22)

spartan race schedule

Do we really have to explain why you HAVE to do a Spartan race in The Aloha State? If you've been to Hawaii before, and specifically Kāneʻohe, you know how spectacular and majestic it is. If you haven't, you simply need to experience it to understand. This is a legitimate bucket-list destination.

How magnificent is this venue, in particular? Put it this way: Over 50 Hollywood blockbuster films — including Jurassic Park — have been filmed at Kualoa Ranch. It's another Trifecta weekend, so you have multiple race types to choose from. And the luau, held on the Friday night before the race, is an absolute blast. SIGN UP NOW

North Lake Tahoe Spartan Ultra 50K and Beast 21K Weekend - Olympic Valley, CA (Sept. 25-26)

spartan race schedule

The site of several Spartan World Championships, this epic venue also famously hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics (hence the name). Spartans better come prepared before taking on this race. In addition to the imposing distances and large number of obstacles, you'll have to contend with intense twists and slopes. But while you're pushing yourself to your breaking point, you'll behold absolutely stunning views that words can't possibly do justice.

With a surface elevation of 6,224 feet and a max elevation upwards of 9,000 feet, your lungs and quads better be ready for the long haul.

When Spartans are in Olympic Valley, there is just an indescribable mystique and feeling in the air. Something special, or something unforgettable, always seems to happen when we're there. SIGN UP NOW

Ocean City Spartan City - Ocean City, MD (Oct. 16)

spartan race schedule

Have you ever run a Spartan City? Ever raced on a boardwalk? Do both in one shot in Ocean City. Oh, and this isn't just any boardwalk. National Geographic ranked the Ocean City Boardwalk one of the 10 best in the U.S. Enjoy the views of the water — it will be too chilly to sit on the beach, unfortunately — go out for a delicious meal after the race, and choose from a wide variety of nightlife options. If you've ever dreamed of combining a race weekend with a family vacation, this is your chance to make that happen. SIGN UP NOW

Fenway Park Spartan Stadion 5K - Boston, MA (Nov. 13-14)

spartan race schedule

Fenway Park, the storied home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest major league ballpark in America. It's also probably the most iconic. (Wrigley Field, in Chicago, is the only other that can claim as much tradition and reverence.) If you're even a casual sports fan, you know that the chance to race where Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Carl Yastrzemski played is the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Do burpees in the clubhouse, run alongside the legendary Green Monster, and finish at home plate. When you're done, you have endless options to eat and play right in the heart of Boston. SIGN UP NOW

Carolinas Spartan Ultra 50K, Beast 21K, and Sprint 5K Weekend - Mill Spring, NC (Nov. 20-21)

spartan race schedule

This course in North Carolina has it all: forested trails, open fields, steep hills, and mud. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is one of our favorite venues, in part because it features a massive holiday light show, which begins in November and runs nightly through the end of the year. It's a perfect capper to a hard-fought race day. SIGN UP NOW

Amp up your fitness and wellness routine NOW. Click here to find a Spartan race close to you!