Resilience: Our Theme for 2021

The American Trail Running Association (ATRA), announces “Resilience” as our theme for 2021. As trail runners it is important for us to build resilience in these times of stress by being compassionate, flexible, reframing frustrations, getting enough rest and of course getting outdoors to run trails!

At ATRA, our mission is to represent and promote trail running, mountain running, and ultra-running on trails. This covers not just racing but trail running as a way of life — a healthy, outdoor activity for all age groups and ability levels — something made more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of our mission we also encourage trail maintenance, access to public lands, respect for all trail users, embracing the diverse community that makes up our sport, and sustainable land use.


Our theme of Resilience responds to the challenges many of us have experienced not only in sport, but in our daily lives since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic over a year ago. While we are not yet “out of the woods,” there is hope that this global crisis will be mitigated during 2021 and hopefully eradicated in the near future.

According to ATRA President Adam Chase, “Resilience captures the solid ground of being safe and trusting science so we can be cautiously optimistic and rational as we weave outdoor adventures into 2021.”

Throughout 2021 we will weave this theme into our content and programming by:

  • Sharing stories that showcase creative and innovative ways trail race directors are staging covid-safe events.
  • Creating partnerships with organizations to achieve positive outcomes for under-represented groups in our sport.
  • Responding to the challenges of pandemic living and the changes it brings to our lives with positive messages.
  • Featuring our community: how athletes, events, and clubs are responding to the pandemic.

ATRA Executive Director Nancy Hobbs said, “Through our various programs, platforms and resources, we will provide ideas and tools for our constituents to create, achieve, partner, face fears, learn, share, prepare for challenges, and collaborate.”

“Resilience” follows our recent annual themes including last year’s Climate Action, 2019’s Trail Running Responsibly, 2018’s Trail Stewardship: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, and the 2017 theme, Community: Building Trail Running Connections.

In addition to formulating our theme, it has been a busy past few months for the American Trail Running Association. As we enter 2021, we celebrate our 25th anniversary and recently shared our new brand identity which launched in January on our website and across our social platforms. This signifies a “new beginning” in some respects with a crisp and sharp appearance, but even amid growth and change, we remain true to our roots and founding that will take us well into the next 25 years. We invite you to join us on our journey.


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