Saguaro Half Marathon
Saguaro Half Marathon
February 24, 2024 | tucson, az
February 24, 2024 | tucson, az
Run through the Sonoran desert on this beautiful trail outside of western Tucson. This course is a hybrid between road and trail, taking you through the secluded Tucson Mountain Park, just below the Saguaro NP West. You'll head down Kinney Rd before you hop on the Golden Gate Trail through lush desert landscape.
Plus, we'll celebrate a true photo finish at Old Tucson Movie Studio where dozens of classic westerns were filmed.
Expo & Bib Pickup
Travel to Saguaro
From any direction, make your way to Interstate-10 and head towards Tucson. Once in the area, take 1-10 to South Tucson. Turn onto I-19 toward Hwy 86 and then turn onto Kinney Road.
Old Tucson itself will be closed to the public during the event, but we will use their parking lots and have the finish line within the movie set!
201 Kinney Road
Visit Tucson is a great resource to find lodging and dining in the area. We also have options below for our runners:
Find Tucson area hotels
We've partnered with Hotel Planner to search for the best hotel options in the area.
Outdoorsy RV Rental
Rent an RV, motorhome, trailer, or campervan from Outdoorsy for your next adventure.
Saguaro National Park
We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer.
While in the area we encourage you to continue the adventure and spend time in the parks!
Our team's curated scavenger hunt!
If you've run any of our National Park half marathons before, you may be familiar with our "club hikes" and "trifecta" programs. The "Explorer Club" series is our new iteration of this idea! We want you to have as broad or as deep of an experience of our National Parks and their surrounding areas as possible. We have created a scavenger hunt made up of all kinds of adventures and experiences you can have here at Saguaro National Park.
The challenge consists of activities that fit into 6 categories: History, Hiking, Explore, Food/Dining, Education, and Stewardship.
Each activity is worth points towards a Saguaro Explorer badge! They are worth a different number of points based on difficulty and you can choose which to tackle based on your interests. Whether you have an afternoon or a week at the park, you should be able to plan an amazing itinerary with these suggestions!
Start Exploring With The Neocaching App:
1. Get Started
Download the app and join the correct Explorer Club for your park.
2. Choose Your Own Adventure
Use our curated list of local hikes and activities to create an unforgettable weekend. Then - get out there and explore!
3. Log Your Activities
Log enough activities to earn 1500pts within 7 days of your VR to become an official Explorer Club member (and receive a special badge!)
Note: You are responsible for your safety if you attempt to participate in any of these activities. Always check the weather before starting a hike, and speak with a park or forest ranger for updated information regarding trail conditions, closures, and permits.
This popular loop is perfect for a drive or bike ride through the park. You'll pass picnic areas, trailheads, and scenic pullouts.
Valley View Overlook Trail
This wide dirt path is packed with different flora and is great for an educational outing with the family. Visit at sunset for glowing valley views!
Sendero Esperanza/Wasson Peak
Who doesn't love a summit hike? You can stop at the halfway point ridge or continue ascending for panoramic views.
Note: Plan ahead and pack snacks, first aid supplies, and enough hydration for the dry heat!
Run With Us at Saguaro
Register before the next price jump: October 29th after 11:59pm M.T.
Want to Get Involved?
Sign up for a volunteer shift to support runners and earn a $50/$100 race credit!
We'll reach out to you before the race to choose your specific shift.
Still Have Questions?
Head down to the Frequently Asked Questions to see if we have an answer for you.
Make It a Charity Bib!
Charity bib athletes fundraise for local charity partners - or a charity of your choice!
Once you hit the fundraising goal your Saguaro registration fee is waived.
Get to Know Your Course
Mixed Terrain Loop
Course Map & Elevation
Race among the Saguaros towards a photo finish at the Old Tucson Movie Studio!
This race is 60/40 on roads and trails. The section on road is an open course, so there will be cars on the road as well as runners. At certain crossings police will be stopping traffic. If they have to stop runner traffic you must comply.
The course will be well marked. Practice good etiquette on the trails and pass carefully. The course will be well coned, but be mindful if cars are present. DO NOT step off the course into traffic, you will be disqualified. The future of our event depends on your cooperation. We want you to stay safe, and ask that you be courteous.
Rough dirt trail and dry heat. Be sure to hydrate well!
We recommend training on dirt trails with uneven ground.
Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)
All aid stations are cup-free so remember to bring your own hydration solution or request a FREE Nathan reusable cup when you register.
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course near mile 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12 (Exact locations vary).A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 9. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more.
Cups are not provided on course to help reduce waste.
Terrain at Saguaro
You'll be on a wide paved road to start the course
Technical Dirt Trail
This terrain will have packed dirt, loose rocks, and uneven ground. Pay special attention to avoid falls while on course!
Passing will be tricky while on trail. Please be mindful of others and let them know when you need to pass.
Cacti: Our Prickly Friends!
We're running through a cactus forest here, so stay cautious as you navigate the course. Give cholla cacti (pictured left) some extra distance, as their spines are difficult to remove.
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.
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!)
HOW TO PREPARE
2024 Saguaro Race Details
Come here for the nitty-gritty info of race weekend!
You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packets:
Option #1: Race Expo
Always the Friday before the race, the expo is your best option for on-site bib pickup.
Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning bib and packet pickup on race morning at the start line. Get there early!
Option #3: Shipped Before the Race ($30)
You can add a shipped bib to your registration until one month before the race by logging into RunSignup, clicking Manage Registration, and Add Ons.
Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.
February 23, 2024
Hours: TBD Morning through afternoon
We encourage you to attend the race expo. This is your chance to see the area, pick up your bib packet, ask questions, and check out merchandise.
We'll have a variety of swag from race shirts to our favorite Hydro Flasks and everything in-between. See you there!
All times listed are in MST
Friday (February 23)
Morning through afternoon - Race expo & bib pickup at Old Tucson
Saturday (February 24)
Note: this is an expected schedule based on our 2023 event. A final schedule will be published one month before the event.
4:00 am - Parking lot opens
4:30 am - Bib pickup opens near the start line
5:15 am - Start line raffle begins
5:45 am - Southbound Kinney Rd. is closed for the race. Arrive by Northbound Kinney Rd.
6:45 am - Runners line up & last call for gear check
6:55 am - National Anthem
7:00 am - Saguaro Half Marathon starts!
9:15 am - Awards Ceremony (near the finish line)
Enjoy Old Tucson after the race!
Spectators and runners will be given a special wristband in order to reach the finish line inside Old Tucson. Once the event is over around 12:00pm, you will need to exit and purchase a regular wristband if you want to enjoy more of Old Tucson and it's attractions.
Arrive early & get ready with us
We encourage runners to arrive early on race morning. Find a parking spot, grab some Summit Coffee or hot chocolate, and listen for updates from our race announcer (They're the one with the megaphone and early-bird energy)!
Lot opens: 4:00 am
Please use AJO towards Kinney Rd. to avoid road closures. Do not use Gates Pass.
We will have plenty of parking to accommodate all of our runners! Parking for both spectators and runners will be located near the start/finish line at Old Tucson, AZ (201 Kinney Rd). Please follow signs for the entrance to the overflow lot.
Runners can be dropped off at Old Tucson in the event parking lot.
There will be signs marked for dropping-off runners. Please follow these directions, drop off your runner swiftly, and follow signs to exit the lot.
Road Closure (Saturday Morning)
When: 5:45am - ~9:00am on race morning
Where: southbound traffic on Kinney Rd. towards Tucson will be closed past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Runners should arrive at Old Tucson via AJO to Northbound Kinney Rd to avoid this road closure.
If you depart Old Tucson before 10:00am, expect to drive northbound to Tucson via Gates Pass.
We expect to welcome spectators at the Saguaro Half Marathon this year! Due to the prickly nature of the cactus forest, watching your runner along the course is not possible. We encourage you to wait at the finish line and use the RaceJoy app to keep track of your runner's progress (set up required before race start).
Some Spectator Etiquette:
- Only park in designated areas
- Please do not eat the runners' food or beverage
- Please remain outside of the runner recovery area (finish line) while waiting for your runner
- Give our runners your best cheers as they cross the finish line! They deserve it!
Please check back for more details as the race approaches.
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.
ZERO WASTE CONTAINERS
You can help us reduce trash by sorting disposable items into the appropriate container.
You’ll notice three containers at our events:
Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.
Visit RunSignup for race results. Runner times are available ~20 minutes after you finish the race. 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.
Course Record Holders
Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record!
Male Overall: Darren Burr (1:24:45.64)
Female Overall: Amy Haas (1:36:52.65)
Male Masters: Adrian Herrera (1:33:07.99)
Female Masters: Caroline Sekaquaptewa (1:51:03.63)
Male Overall: Brand TerLouw (1:28:51)
Female Overall: Rebecca Denise (1:43:36)
Non-binary Overall: Christianna Silva (2:57:32)
Male Masters: Ricky Armenta (1:42:21)
Female Masters: Jennifer McDougal (1:55:13)
Non-binary Masters: no record set
Race photos are typically available via RunSignup the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album. Race photos are offered FREE to our runners!
Share your experiences with us!
Be sure to use #SaguaroHalf 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 is always available online following a race if supplies allow!
Still getting trail-ready for 2023? Join the email list.
We'll send you updates about registration opening, price jumps, and more to keep you on track!