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Mount Rushmore Half Marathon

Mount Rushmore Half Marathon

September 21, 2024  |  KEYSTONE, SOUTH DAKOTA

September 21, 2024  |  Keystone, South DaKota


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A race with presidential views! You're going to love this course with gorgeous views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills! The hill climbing on this course is no joke, but the payoff is incredible. Are you up for the challenge?

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Race Day

  • September 21, 2024
  • 6:30 am
  • Start: Ghost Canyon Getaway (Hermosa, SD)
  • Finish: (Keystone, SD)
  • Shuttles? Yes, optional

Expo & Bib Pickup

Quick Info

Get to Know Your Half Marathon Course

  • Uphill paved course
  • Elevation Gain: 1,850 ft
  • Max Elevation: 5,440 ft

Map & Elevation

Time Limit

All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race (chip time). That is an 18 minute mile - plenty of time for walkers!

If at anytime we deem it unsafe and need to pull a runner off the course, we would hope for understanding and immediate cooperation. Failure to comply will result in being banned from future events.

Course Description & Notes

Course Description

The race will run in reverse from our inaugural course. The Mt. Rushmore Half marathon begins at the Ghost Canyon Getaway on a well-packed dirt road for about 3 miles before turning into pavement. This is a challenging course with lots of gorgeous views of Mount Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills! Though this course has a lot of uphill, runners will be rewarded with amazing views and a final downhill stretch before finishing at the Borglum Story Museum in the town of Keystone, SD! You are going to love this course!

We'll have parking at both the start and finish, with shuttles taking any runners who parked at the start back to their cars after the race. 

Location Note

To be clear, this race doesn't take place inside the National Park. It's difficult to get permission to conduct private business activities on national land (and rightly so.) Having said that, this is about as close to the park as it gets.

Course Difficulty

  • 4.5/5 Difficulty
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Steady uphill course, high elevation


We recommend training on long stretches of uphill paved road or inclined treadmill workouts to increase your endurance.

Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)

  • 6 aid stations: Miles 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12
  • Medic: Mile 7 aid station
  • Amenities: Toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, toilets. Fruit is also available at later aid stations.
  • We do not provide cups on course to reduce waste. Please bring a reusable cup or device on course to reduce waste. 
image of a blue foldable cup with the Nathan brand name on it

Need a hydration solution? Order a Nathan reusable cup for FREE when you register.


Wander Project Final Logo color

Support Our

Park Communities

Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

YOU choose whether the funds you raise support a WP community partner or an organization that matters to you!

Volunteer with Us!

Our amazing volunteers help runners at the race expo, finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race.

Pro-tip: Volunteer at the expo and run the next day OR ask a friend to volunteer and "gift" you the credit (or use it themselves!)


Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a zero-waste event. Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course.

Join the Community

Vacation Races is honored to have a community of runners who actively support one another! We highly recommend joining one our Facebook groups to get input from other runners, share stories, and learn about the latest updates.

Mount Rushmore Half Details

Come here to prepare for your race!

Race Expo & Bib Pickup

Bib Pickup Options

Choose your preference during registration:

  • Pickup at Race Expo: Recommended! Expos are always the Friday before the race.
  • Pickup on Race Morning: Please avoid. Typically available at the shuttle site or start line.
  • Shipped to your house: $30 fee applies. Available as an add-on in Runsignup until 1 month before the event. 

Race Expo Details

  • Recommended
  • When: 11:00-7:00pm || Friday, September 20, 2024
  • Where: Ghost Canyon Getaway (Keystone, SD)
  • Bring Your Own Bag: We do not provide bags at the expo. Help us reduce waste and bring your own bag!
  • Expo Amenities: Official merchandise, vendors, and race info tent available! 
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Race Weekend Schedule 

The race starts in Hermosa, SD but finishes back in Keystone. Runners may park at the start line or walk to the start line shuttles in Keystone on race morning to avoid any driving.

Saturday Race Schedule

4:30 AM - Parking areas open and shuttles start from Keystone to start line
5:00 AM - Morning bib pickup begins (at starting line)
5:05 AM - First prize raffle

(every 5 min. until 6:15 am)
5:20 AM - Last shuttle from Keystone heads to the start line

6:15 AM - Runners line up/Last call for gear check
6:25 AM - National Anthem
8:30 AM - Last shuttle from the start line to finish line departs
9:15 AM - Award Ceremony
10:30 AM - Race time limit

Parking & Shuttles

Parking Lots

Start Line Lot: Ghost Canyon Getaway

Lot Opens: 4:30 am

The race will start at Ghost Canyon Getaway, and finish in the town of Keystone.

For those staying in Keystone - a great option is to walk to the shuttle pick-up location in town and ride a shuttle to the start on race morning. 

If you are arriving from out of town - plan to park at the start line as there is limited parking in Keystone. All cars should be parked by 5:45 am.

Don't worry - runners who parked at the start line will be shuttled back after the race. 

Rushmore Start line Staging

Parking, Drop-off, and Shuttles

Shuttles & Runner Drop-off

Morning Shuttle - Keystone to Start Line

Shuttle Pickup: Ramada Hotel ((115 Swanzey St, Keystone, SD 57751)

Shuttle Hours: shuttles leave regularly between 4:30-5:20 am

*Parking is for hotel guests only.

Shuttles will take runners in Keystone to the start line in the morning. The shuttle loading area is within walking distance of every hotel in Keystone.

If you are staying in Keystone, we encourage you to leave your car at your hotel and walk to the front of the Ramada on Swanzey St to load a race shuttle. If you are not staying in Keystone and wish to park close to the finish line we have a few options for you. These parking lots open at 4:30 am:

1. The lot on the NW corner of Reed St and Winter St

2. The National Presidential Wax Museum

3. Keystone Tramway Adventures4.Any available street parking

Please do not park in private parking areas! When necessary, look for public street parking.

Keystone Staging 2
Rushmore Keystone Finish Line Staging

Parking, Drop-off, and Shuttles

Morning Shuttle - Keystone to Start Line

Runners can be dropped off in Keystone to grab a shuttle before 5:20am or at the start line by 5:45am.

Dropping off in Keystone? To avoid congestion in front of the Ramada, drop off runners in front of the Holiday Inn Express (321 Swanzey St, Keystone, SD 57751). The Holiday Inn is just East of the Ramada in town. Shuttles will load and leave beginning at 4:30 am with the last shuttle leaving at 5:20 am.


  • Where: Finish line at Borglum Story Museum (Keystone, SD)
  • We recommend parking in Keystone and walking to the finish line
  • Please do not use runner shuttles or spectate along the race course!
  • Spectators are not allowed in the runner recovery area.

Download the RaceJoy app to track your runner's progress and send them cheers along the way!

Make sure both you and your runner have activated RaceJoy before the race begins.

Zero Waste

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Here's how you can help us:


Single-use plastic is a huge source of waste at any public event. We have reduced that impact by making our events "cup-free". 

What does that mean for you?

Coolers of Water and Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink) are available at all aid stations, but cups will not be provided on course or at the finish line. In order to stay hydrated, we ask you to bring one of the following:

1. Reusable water bottle

2. Nathan reusable cup - These light-weight cups fold into a pocket or waistband. Request one when you sign up to run!

3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.

image of the foldable Nathan cup next to a person folding the cup into their waistbag

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!


You can help us reduce trash by sorting disposable items into the appropriate container. 

You’ll notice three containers at our events:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Race Results and Photos

Race Results

Visit RunSignup for current and past race results.

Runner times are available ~20 minutes after you finish the race. Keep in mind, the results are not official until all runners have crossed the finish line, and have been reviewed by the event director. Because our age group winners are based on chip time, it is possible to cross the finish line before someone else in your age group while still finishing with a slower time than them. 

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? please email

Runner Photos

Race photos are available via email the Friday following the week of the race. This year we are offering race photos FREE to all our runners courtesy of MarathonFoto.

Share your experiences with us! 
Be sure to use #RushmoreHalf in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!

Race Merchandise

Exclusive Mount Rushmore Half Marathon merchandise will be available both at the race expo and near the finish line! When possible, we'll have race merch for sale in our online store after the race is over. Please allow time for us to add items online.

Not start line ready?

Join the email list.

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