Sort of - From a running perspective, many of the races/events in 2021 are carry-overs from 2020 where COVID-19 took its toll on the world, not just running and racing.
For me, 2020 was a year of high mileage, relatively speaking higher mileage than normal. In July I set a goal of running 2020 miles. At the time I was 50 or so miles behind pace. Each week, subsequent to July, I was chipping away to get on pace. I hit 2020 miles in early December and end ended up with 2080 miles, more than I have ever run in a single year. Part of the reason for not running as many miles during racing/event years is because of the pre-event taper and post-event recovery. I didn't have to plan those periods in 2020. I believe consistency is what fuels the fire. For me, 2020 was full of consistency running nearly every day - some easy, some hard, some in the rain, some in the sun, some in the cold, some in the heat. Some people on social media running groups needed races to remain motivated. As much as I missed the events, I found out that I didn't need them to enjoy running and to remain consistent and motivated.
I am not a fan of virtual events unless they have some theme to them. For instance, Blue Ridge to Beach over a period of time was fun to track and envision running across North Carolina. Running through the decades by the producers of the Baltimore Running Festival was fun for visiting the 60s - 00s. I also got my wife involved in those. I did have to run the Baltimore Marathon as a virtual event to keep my 20-year streak alive and my wife made that a memorable event. She was a great crew for me as I ran 26.2 miles through our neighborhood. See photos below.
So for 2021, deferments have filled the schedule along with a significant new goal - The Yeti 100 miler. It is still going to be a challenge for large events to operate in the Spring. My first event was to be the Salem Lake Frosty 50K. Having run this event - either the 25K or 50K - other years, I was looking forward to starting the year with the 50K. COVID changed the race from in-person to modified in-person, meaning, to complete the event, you had to run the actual course anytime Saturday or Sunday on the scheduled weekend. It was to be self-supported. I felt trained enough to give it a shot so on a nice Saturday morning I traversed the 4 loop course in 5:56:15 which was a PR for me in the 50K, of course unofficial, but accurate.
So far, one 2021 event for me has been affected; the Cincinnati Flying Pig has moved their event from early May to late October. The Blue Ridge Marathon appears to still be happening with COVID restrictions in mid-April. It is probably too early to determine the fate of the Black Mountain Monster 24-hour in early June. Since I help with timing for Bull City Running, two events are still scheduled - the Florence Fourth and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail events in March and April, respectively. I have also signed up to volunteer at the Umstead 100, working Wednesday-Saturday and pacing early Sunday morning. This will occur in late March.
As for Fall, when more events will likely proceed, still with COVID restrictions, it will be a full Fall. The Yeti 100 is the last weekend in September (as well as Hinson Lake 24-hour). Two weeks later, the 20th running of the Baltimore Marathon and then the potential of the Cincinnati Flying Pig event the last weekend in October. On November 6th, the Tideland 24-hour is again on the schedule for both Cindy and me.
As for goals, I would like to run 2021 miles in 2021. Although I missed being the youngest in my age-group in 2020 at 60 years old, I hope to be competitive for age group awards in some events as a 61-year-old. Of course, one major goal is completing 100 miles in some event, whether in a 24-hour or the Yeti 100. One of the other goals is to volunteer/pace which will occur at the Umstead 100.
I have also committed to co-leading a run club at our local brewery/bottle shop, the Glass Jug. This should be fun to engage and build a community of runners/walkers who also enjoy craft beer.
Before ending this post, here are some photos of the virtual Baltimore marathon which my wife Cindy made quite special.