Spring is almost here, dudes, and that means it’s about time to bust out of your winter hibernation rut and get your blood pumping in the fresh air. Unless, of course, you live near Muscle Beach—and if that’s the case, consider yourself on notice to put up some big deadlifts on Instagram this month.
So whether you’re looking to get out of town and burn those extra vacation days or just put your hard-won fitness to the test, then pencil a few of these outdoor events into your March calendar. And if carving up walls of water on Oahu’s legendary North Shore or an adventure race in Bermuda sounds too intense, there’s always the kayaking trip through Houston’s shoreline—you can wrap that one up with a trip to the bar.
1. Ride North Shore Giants
ALL MONTH LONG
Yes, the North Shore is famous among surfers for its winter swell, which kicks up 30-foot monsters along breaks like Pipeline, Rocky Point, and Log Cabins, but by late March usually runs out of gas. Not so in a powerful El Niño year like this one, when Pacific storms could rage all month long, making Oahu your best bet for Laird Hamilton–worthy rides.
2. Algarve Bike Challenge Mountain Bike Race
This three-day mountain bike stage race begins with a torch-lit prologue through the city streets of Tavira, then advances through two long days of technical riding over rocky trails and leg-burning steeps in the surrounding countryside. When it’s all over, you’re in Portugal, which isn’t a bad place to be in the dead of winter.
3. Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta
This 15-mile race on Houston’s bayou was once called the “Reeking Regatta” because the waterway was so polluted. Today it’s restored, and event proceeds will go to the worthy nonprofit that made it that way. Paddle your own canoe or kayak, or rent from a local outfitter who’ll drop it off at the start then pick it up at the finish, freeing you up to grab a postpaddle beer downtown.
4. Rouge Roubaix Cycling Race
ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA
This classic 106-mile road race is a no-nonsense tribute to the famously rugged Paris-Roubaix bike race. The local back roads it traverses range from glassy asphalt to sandy gravel to nearly unrideable. Plan to battle 80° heat and bayou-grade humidity, but be ready for freeze-your-water-bottles cold, too. This grueling race is a true test of both man and machine.
5. Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race
WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
Considered the Tour de France for mountain bikers, this eight-day pro-am stage race crosses 400 miles of rugged, unspoiled South African terrain. This year’s route takes two-person teams through 49,000 feet of majestic mountains, ripping down ravines and along spectacular coastlines. It takes chops, sure, but this one’s about perseverance.
6. Bermuda Triple Challenge Adventure Race
This high-intensity, 13-mile tour of Bermuda kicks off with an obstacle-strewn urban footrace through the 400-year-old town of St. George. The next morning, it’s on to the South Shore for a boot-camp-style challenge. Finally, on Sunday, you’ll storm the wharves and fortifications of the Royal Naval Dockyard by land and sea.
7. Gore-Tex Grand Traverse Ski Race
CRESTED BUTTE, CO
Navigating 40 miles of wild backcountry terrain through Colorado’s Elk Mountains is no cakewalk. But doing it on skis, in the dead of a cold winter night, is even harder. Setting out from Crested Butte, racers must find their way over Taylor Pass and aim to hit Aspen Mountain in time for adrenaline-pumping first tracks at dawn.