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Book in! The best local Cornish races for 2021

Looking to get fit for 2021? Start with my curated guide to the best local triathlons, runs and fun events, and I'll see you at the finish line.

Events that are scheduled for 2021 are obviously all subject to change!

Brown Willy Run 2021, The Jamaica Inn, Bolventor, PL15 7TS (1 Jan)

Cancelled for 2021, so one for the diary next year (please don’t turn up this year at Jamaica Inn).

A well signed informal run, not a race, of about 7 miles. Mostly on open moorland, which may be wet, slippery, boggy or frozen, and it’s steep in places. Even when it doesn’t feel too cold at Jamaica Inn, it may be freezing and blowing a gale on the top of Brown Willy. Billed as the best hangover cure!

Lobster Lollop up to 10km (23 & 24 Jan)

Wadebridge top places to live The Camel Estuary view to rock from padstow

In association with the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, the Lobster Lollop is a no-pressure trail run along the famous Camel Trail with 2.5k, 5k and 10k distances over 2 days. A fun family event with no cut off times and medals for all runners.

The Arc of Attrition (29 Jan)

Cancelled for 2021

Cornwall’s toughest footrace – an extreme winter 100-miler in challenging winter conditions. The Arc is a point-to-point race from Coverack to Porthtowan taking in 100miles of stunning and dramatic Cornish Coastpath, and will complete an Arc around the entire southwest foot of Cornwall. The race has a strict 35 hour cut-off with additional checkpoint cut-offs on the route. With checkpoints approximately 20 miles apart, competitors will need the ability to be self-sufficient for long periods of time.

Bodmin Half Marathon, (Feb annually)

Cancelled for 2021

Annual charity event that takes runners from Bodmin College into the grounds of the National Trust’s Lanhydrock Estate for two hilly laps offering stunning views.

The Coast to Coast Copper Trail – 12 miles (6 Feb)

This way marked trail follows two historic transport routes across Cornwall first opened in 1812, helping the mines transport copper to the ports of Portreath and Devoran. With separate waves and independent starts this race will run in a socially distant, COVID-secure manner, all runners must carry their own fluid and a mobile phone, over 18s only.

Saints and Smugglers Challenge (20 Feb, 6 March, 24 April, 5 Sept)

Four unique self-navigation stages on four different dates culminating in the legendary 100mile Saints & Smugglers Challenge. All four events are supported, self-navigation exercises with manned checkpoints with fluid and sustenance along the route. All runners will receive a Saints & Smugglers stage medal, those completing the entire challenge will receive a unique 100 Mile challenge medal!

Freedom Racing – Boconnoc Woods 10k (21 March)

Run just under 10k Trail race through the stunning woods and parkland of the unique Boconnoc Estate, which is not normally open to the public. (No dogs). A single lap route to allow social distancing, the route is on wide tracks within the Estate (zero narrow, single track paths used) and doesn’t have any out & back sections to the race.

Freedom Racing – Godrevy 10k (12 May)

10km round the beaches and trails around Godrevy. Part of the Summer Sessions series.

Freedom Racing – Polzeath 10k (21 May)

10km round the beaches and trails around Polzeath and The Rumps headland. Part of the Summer Sessions series.

Wadebridge Tri – The Camel Cornish Tri Series (23 May)

Voted best pool Tri in Cornwall in 2018 and 2019. The Camel boasts a rolling bike course on quiet roads near the coast before following the scenic Camel Trail into the estuary on the run. Junior participants will enjoy the fastest bike course in the series on smooth tarmac and a run on the sports fields.

Freedom Racing – Poldhu 10k (4 Jun)

10km round the beaches and trails around Poldhu. Part of the Summer Sessions series.

TSUNAMI 24 (18 & 19 Jun)

The most rugged, wild and remote section of the North Devon and Cornish coastline is set for some extreme fun along the clifftops and cliff trails on the longest day of the year. Choose from TSUNAMI 24 (75 miles) or an Ultra (37.5 miles), Marathon, 16 mile or 7.5 mile race.

Shoreline Triathlon, Bude (20 June)

Open Water Sprint Triathlon along the coastline of beautiful North Cornwall. 500m sea swim, protected by the Bude breakwater, 11 mile cycle along coastal roads and 3 mile run along canal towpaths and country lanes.

Newquay Tri: The Goat – Cornish Tri Series (27 Jun)

Surfer’s Paradise, golden beaches and breathtaking cliff tops at this open water Tri. You won’t get a more picturesque setting than from the transition zone and finish line overlooking Newquay Bay.

Three disciplines – three spectacular beaches. Take a dip in Tolcarne’s crescent bay, master the fierce coastal ride fit for mountain goats and run all over the cliffs and headlands of Porth Beach and Watergate Bay. With a savage Olympic and Sprint course, beginner-friendly Super Sprint and junior races for all abilities, ‘The Goat’ is a treat for all running mermaids on wheels.

Tavistock Tri: The Squirrel – Cornish Tri Series (18 July)

Fall under the spell of ‘The Squirrel’ in the wild and cragged Dartmoor National Park. Take a dip at Mount Kelly’s Performance Swim Centre, home to Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists. Challenge yourself with a ride through the quiet wilderness of Dartmoor’s open moorlands and take in breathtaking views from towering viaducts on a mostly traffic-free run route. The finish line in front of Harry Potter style Mount Kelly School is sure to leave you bewitched.

The Rat, Roseland (6-8 Aug)

The RAT (Roseland August Trail Race Series) is a series of challenging coastal runs along the stunning South Cornwall Coastal Path. Choose from 64 miles, 32 miles, 20 miles & 11 miles along the Roseland’s glorious coast path.

Bodmin Tri: The Dragon – Cornish Tri Series (30 Aug)

Get fired up for a swim at Bodmin’s Leisure Centre, unleash your inner dragon on a fast, rolling bike course, and claw yourself up through the enchanted forest surrounding the run loop towards Lanhydrock’s Victorian estate. With a leafy Sprint course, beginner-friendly Super Sprint and Junior events for all abilities, Bodmin Triathlon is a fun day out for the whole family.

The Saints Way Challenge 28.5 miles & The Saints Way Ricochet, 57 miles (5 Sept)

The culmination of the Saints and Smugglers Challenge or run in its own right. Follow this ancient pathway from coast to coast, this waymarked trail has been associated with early saints and missionaries and early Celtic traders seeking to trade with the Egyptians and Greeks or flee the yellow plague in Wales in the sixth century. Both events are supported, self-navigation exercises with three manned checkpoints with fluid and sustenance along the route.

Falmouth Tri: The Seal – Cornish Tri Series (12 Sep)

Golden sands, turquoise water and panoramic views over the Lizard Peninsula from Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle. The Grand Season Finale to the Cornish Tri Series in the calm waters of Cornwall’s swimming hotspot, the blue flag rated Gyllyngvase Beach, is a treat for all senses.

Freedom Racing – Porthtowan 10k (25 Sept)

10km round the beaches and trails around Porthtowan. Part of the Summer Sessions series.

Man Up & Down 2021 20km (26 Sept)

A 20k coast path trail run supporting Man Down Cornwall, who offer a safe space to meet the current emotional and mental health needs of men who are struggling to cope with the everyday pressures facing them in our modern society. Setting off from Portreath, navigating the iconic, rugged, North Cornwall coastline and ending at the Watering Hole in Perranporth. There will be checkpoints at Porthtowan and St.Agnes, there are no cut off times, every runner will receive a medal, awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place male & female.

Individual challenges to try:

The Cornish Skyline

A 17 mile Fell / Moor land route taking in the highest points of Bodmin Moor, the highest overall area of Cornwall. An individual challenge for you to have a go at, a great day out on the moor or a speed challenge for those wishing to put up fast times on the route and see who is fastest!

Virtual Tri

Swim-bike-run or (run)-bike-run anytime in 11 iconic intoTRI locations across Cornwall, Devon & Surrey. Challenge the leaderboards on Strava, or take on the competition from the comfort of your home on Zwift.

PLUS! Annual events to look out for (dates TBC)

The Cornish IMERYS Trail Marathon (May)

Participants traverse Cornwall’s China Clay landscape during this multi-terrain event that uses private trails, sand roads, & footpaths linked by short road sections. It gives breathtaking views of Cornwall’s countryside.

Cornwall Air Ambulance Runway Runaround 10km

A fun 10k run around Newquay airfield raising money for Cornwall Air Ambulance


The ‘KVK’ Trail running race is a unique challenge; a Kilometre of Vert in Kernow! Two laps of a specifically designed route to reach the magic number of 1000m of ascent. 15-miles total distance of inland hills and coastal running with big climbs, and big downhills.

South Point Trails – Marathon and Half Marathon

A fully signed coast path event with camping. In 2019 the Half Marathon race was to Mullion Cove and back, with the Marathon race to the British mainlands most southerly point, Lizard Point, and back again.

PLUS parkrun 5k

In non-Covid times these are a free weekly signed events across Cornwall: Penrose National Trust Estate, Lanhydrock House, Tamar Lakes, Mount Edgcumbe, Trelissick, Heartlands Eden Project, St Austell and new one at Lands End. Register once to get a barcode and then just turn up and run – but not on at the moment due to Covid.

Find more ideas here

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