21 Must-Do Black Hills and Badlands Races in 2021 | Black Hills Travel Blog

21 Must-Do Black Hills and Badlands Races in 2021

  • 21 Must-Do Black Hills and Badlands Races in 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
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Without a doubt, one of the best ways to experience the region is on foot or by bike. Whether it’s a 5K race, a bucket-list marathon or a thrilling gravel grinder, the Black Hills and Badlands certainly offer the prettiest backdrop to your fitness goals. Here’s a rundown of some of the best races in the region in 2021:

Dino Race 5K
Sunday, April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

5K run on the Skyline Trail System. Part of the Black Hills Runners Club Trail Series. 

Registration: on line only through noon 4-24-2021

Race: 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Participants will receive a cool grey stocking hat

Big Hill Trail Run 13K & 5K
Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Black Hills Runner's Club Event, Sunday, May 30, 2021

13K and 5K run on the Big Hill Trails. Part of the Black Hills Runners Club Trail Series.

Registration:  closes 5-29-2021 at noon

Run: 9:00 a.m. 

Sturgis Music on Main Mountain Bike Series
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 to Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Experience the warm summer evenings out on the local bike trails by participating in the 5th Annual Music on Main Mountain Bike Race Series each Wednesday evening starting at 6:00 PM at Harley Davidson Rally Point.  

20th Annual Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon
Saturday, June 5, 2021

A word from the Race Director: "There are a lot of marathons out there claiming to be the 'most scenic,' and all of them have legitimate reasons for such a claim.

Gold Rush Gravel Grinder
Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Gold Rush Gravel Grinder is a race ride/tour of the Black Hills. It consists mostly gravel roads, but will also include a bit of pavement while riders roll over open prairies.

Mickelson Trail Summer Trek
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 to Thursday, June 17, 2021

South Dakota's George S. Mickelson Trail is more than just a recreation Trail; it's a trail of history.
You have the opportunity to travel the same path as General George A. Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Potato Creek Johnny.

Mountain Fest 10K
Saturday, June 19, 2021

A Black Hills Runner's Club Event, Saturday, June 19, 2021

10K on M Hill.  Part of the Black Hills Runners Club Trail Series.

Registration:  closes 6-18-2021 at midnight

Run: 9:00 a.m. 

Black Hills 100
Friday, June 25, 2021 to Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Black Hills 100 is a challenging ultramarathon held on the Centennial Trail (Trail #89) in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. Featuring over 16,000 feet of elevation gain for the 100M event, the race follows an out and back course, beginning and ending in legendary Sturgis, SD.

35th Annual Spearfish Canyon Half Marathon
Saturday, July 10, 2021

5K & Half Marathon
In-Person and Virtual Race Options!

Lean Horse 100 Ultra Marathon
Saturday, August 14, 2021 to Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Lean Horse Ultra Marathon is run in August every year in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was first run in 2005. It features a 100-mile race, a 50-mile race, a 30-mile race, and a 20-mile race. The course is held on the George S. Mickelson Trail.

Fun Facts:

Hell Canyon 5 Miler
Saturday, August 21, 2021

A Black Hills Runner's Club Event, August 21, 2021

5.4 Mile run on the Hell Canyon Trail. Part of the Black Hills Runners Club Trail Series. 

Registration: on line only, closed midnight 8-20-21

Race: 8:15 am

Leading Ladies Marathon
Sunday, August 22, 2021

This all-woman marathon follows a gentle downhill journey through Spearfish Canyon from Lead to Spearfish. It is scenic, serene, and spectacular.

The 26.2-mile full marathon started at Lead Country Club. Runners in the 13.1-mile half marathon started just north of Savoy.

7th Cavalry Trail Run
Saturday, September 4, 2021

A Black Hills Runner's Club Event, Saturday, September 4, 2021

4 and 8 mile run on the trails east of Sturgis, SD. Part of the Black Hills Runners Club Trail Series. 

Registration: on line only and closes 9-3-2021

Run Time: 9:00 am 

Dakota Five-O
Sunday, September 5, 2021

As the premier mountain bike race of the Black Hills, the Dakota Five-O continues to entice riders from across the country.  From the pristine, hand-built single-track that graces much of the course, to the PBR and bacon station and the high spirited after party, riders are impressed with this 50

The Big Mick
Saturday, September 11, 2021

Bike it like you mean it!
The George S. Mickelson Trail
109 Miles • One Day

Experience the beauty of the Black Hills via the George S. Mickelson Trail

Bear Lodge Trail Run
Saturday, September 11, 2021

A Black Hills Runner's Club Event. 5K and 25K races at the Sundance Campground,  Sundance, WY

Registration closes:  Sept 10, 2021 Noon 12:00 pm

Race day: Saturday, Sept 11, 2021

Registration: On line only

Mount Rushmore Half Marathon
Saturday, September 18, 2021


Wheelin' to Wall
Saturday, September 25, 2021

Thanks to some of the most persistent roadside billboards advertising “free ice water” among other things, most people have heard of Wall Drug located in the town of Wall, SD. And just outside of the town lies Badlands National Park, a dramatic and ancient display of sandstone formations.

10th Annual Run Crazy Horse
Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Run Crazy Horse Marathon events begin in the shadow of the world's largest mountain carving,  Crazy Horse Memorial, and finishes in the heart of the Black Hills...Hill City, South Dakota. Join us for a half marathon, full marathon, fast 5K and a kids 1K.

Forest Frenzy Gravel Grinder
Sunday, October 3, 2021

On October 3rd we will be running our first ever Gravel Grinder. Gravel grinders are gravel road races and rides that combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some single-track trails and maintenance or ORV roads.


While humans aren't eligable for this famous race, we still think it's a regional must-see! 

Deadwood Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Races
Saturday, October 2, 2021

Join us as we celebrate Oktoberfest in the Wild West. Bring the whole family and join us for the now famous “Wiener Dog Races” and Beer Barrel Games!

Enjoy live German music at the PolkaFest, the annual Tour de Oktoberfest, free food, and dancing.


For a full list of events, visit BlackHillsBadlands.com/events.

Black Hills & Badlands is prioritizing safe travel.

Learn more at BlackHillsBadlands.com/TRAVELSAFE.