Mt. Rushmore
Half Marathon

Sep. 21, 2019

Keystone, SD

You're going to love this challenging course with gorgeous views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills!

Last year's inaugural race was a huge success and we're excited to bring it back!

Quick Info

Race Expo

Friday, September 20th
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
(bib pickup available until 7:00 pm)
Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch (map)

Half Marathon

Saturday, September 21st
6:30 am – 10:30 am
Keystone, SD
Course Type: Point-to-point
Stroller friendly? Yes
Disability friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No
Weather: 73° / 52°F


  • Early: $109 Dec. 14 – Mar. 17
  • Regular: $129 Mar. 18 – Jun. 9
  • Late: $149 Jun. 10 – Race Expo

*Entries are limited and this race may sell out. If the race sells out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

Travel Info

Fly Into
Rapid City (RAP) - 40 min.
Sioux Falls (FSD) - 5 hrs.
Denver (DEN) - 6 hrs.

Driving Directions
Google Maps Directions

We recommend looking for lodging in or near Keystone, SD.

Race Guide
Your go-to source for answers to any questions you have about the upcoming event.

Planning Your Trip

The Race Expo and Starting line will be at the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch. The finish line will be at the Borglum Story Museum in Keystone, SD.

Race Overview

This is a challenging course with lots of gorgeous views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills!

This course has a lot of uphill but you'll be richly rewarded with amazing views and a final downhill stretch before the finish! You'll absolutely love this course!

The course is the same as 2018 but we'll run it in reverse, starting at Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch (driving directions) and finishing at the Borglum Story Museum in Keystone. The first 3 miles are a well-packed dirt road and then we'll turn onto pavement.

Parking will be available at both the start and finish with shuttles running in between before and after the race. More details will be provided to registrants.

Expand to view Course Map & Elevation Profile

Travel Overview

We recommend staying in or near Keystone, SD. There should be plenty of hotels, Airbnbs, and campsites available nearby.

If you're flying in, look for flights into Rapid City (RAP - 40 minutes from Keystone). Other options include Sioux Falls Regional (FSD - 5 hrs.) and Denver Int'l (DEN - 6 hrs.).

Keystone, SD is going to be the best place to stay during your visit to Mt. Rushmore. It's close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park! Find lodging here.

"Everything about this race was fantastic! From signing up to crossing the finish line, everything was smooth, organized, and well done. I originally signed up for the 2018 Mount Rushmore Half, but a work conflict made that impossible, so the wonderful people at Vacation Races let me defer to this year. (Thank you!!!) The race info emailed out the week before the race included EVERYTHING I needed to know, which was incredibly helpful for planning the trip from CO to SD.

As for the course, the first 7-ish miles are really difficult, but the views are stunning and the aid stations are spaced out well. (Also, I was 21 weeks pregnant during this race- thank you for having porta potties at every aid station! 🙂 Much appreciated! haha)

The finish in Keystone was great, volunteers were awesome, and the post race snack box was the best (so many gluten free snacks!) I’ve ever gotten. Truly, I loved everything about this race. I mean, even the version of the National Anthem played before the race was amazing. I will definitely be signing up for another Vacation Races event! Can’t recommend enough!!"

Free Training

No matter your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance. We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all skill levels.
Check it out ≫

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  • Jason Silver says:

    I just ran the Mt Rushmore Half and there was a tent that had the Mt Rushmore merchandise and there was additional clothing under the same tent that had designs like a wolf with mountains on its back that said “Run into the Wild”. Another shirt that said “ Not all who wander are lost”. The sizes I desired were not available at the race, I thought they may be in your online store, but I am unable to find it on the website. Could you please direct me to the vendor so I can order merchandise in my desired size? Thank you!

  • vicki says:

    Hi Vacation Races!
    I ran the Mount Rushmore half marathon. When will the race pictures be available? Thanks! Oh I LOVED THIS EVENT in every way!

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Vicki – We’re happy to hear you enjoyed the event – we did too! Once the photos are ready, most likely on Thursday, an email with a link to the photos will be sent.

  • Debbie says:

    I just ran the Mt Rushmore Half and when I picked up my shirt for doing the race the women’s shirts ran really small and there’s no way I can wear it. I was told that yes they realize they are running small, but I couldn’t exchange it until the next day at the race. So after I finished the race I went over to see about exchanging my shirt and all that was left of the shirts was women’s small and medium which I’m guessing were probably the ones returned already due to the women’s shirts running so small. It makes you feel like if you didn’t complete the race in the first couple of hours you were stuck with a shirt that won’t be able to wear. Is there anyway a person can get it replaced? This is my first of the vacation races and very disappointed to not be able to wear the shirt especially with what we pay to do these races.

  • Jonathan Kidroske says:

    Great Race! I have not seen an email with a link to the photos. Has it been sent?

  • Larry Luedke says:

    I haven’t got the link to runners photos yet for the Mont Rushmore Half Marathon. Was wondering if I could have the link sent to me. Thanks,

  • Samantha Howell-Carter says:

    Is there any way we can exchange the 2018 amount Rushmore Commemorative Names t-shirt for a larger size? They fit a bit small.

  • Donna says:

    I too ran in the Mt. Rushmore half, my second VR race. Had a superl time visiting SD, a place that was never on my radar. Like some other women in the race, my race t-shirt is too small and I didn’t get to swap it out. Hoping that VR will order some bigger sizes in ladies ( I think I would take a 2X, though in real sizing that is not my size) What realistic clothing maker makes someone who wears a size 10-12 have to buy a 2XL? While the men’s shirt may not be such a slimmer fit, everything else about it is still a mans shirt, the length of the sleeves, the neckline, the length of the entire shirt, most everything. Would love to parade around at the gym I work at in a Mt. Rushmore race-t. Hope to find them at the online store soon. Also, thinking I want to run in the Grand Canyon and/or Teton half in 2019, anyone out there (not elite runners) with some comments on comparison of the hills vs. the Mt. Rushmore run, just curious? p.s. the pics were nice though the one at the end with the sign has me a tad blurry.

  • TWILA WIEBE says:

    Hi, I wasn’t able to run this race in 2018 but am making plans now for destination runs in 2019. Will Mt Rushmore half be continued next year. If so, do you have the dates?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Twila – The Mount Rushmore Half Marathon will be held next year. The race date and registration date will be announced soon!

  • Deborah Roederer says:

    I registered and payment shows on my credit card but I have not received any email confirmation. Can it be resent?

  • Courtney says:

    Question: If we register with friends as a team, do we each run the 13 miles or split up the 13 miles?

  • Katie Natonski says:

    I did grand circle trail fest last year and I am looking at the my Rushmore half this year. Based on flights and my work schedule I am not sure I would be able to get my bib on fri. Would it be possible to pick up on race day?


  • Roldan Abastillas says:

    Will there be a shuttle service from keystone to starting line before the race.

  • Sue says:

    Is there an app to follow runners

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Sue – There is not, unfortunately. We have tried a tracking app in the past but because of the remote locations of our races the app is not accurate.

  • Tom says:

    This was a tough course last year. Looks REALLY tough this year! 🍺🏃‍♂️ Still looking forward to running again because it’s so beautiful and because I still get to run with my son.

  • Rick says:

    Is there a date yet for the 2020 half marathon?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Rick – We try to hold the race on the same weekend each year but we have to wait for our permits before we can secure the date. This usually happens a couple of months after the current year’s race.

  • Jacqueline Schreiver says:

    Will this Half be offered in 2020?

    Crossing fingers!

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Jacqueline – All signs point to yes! We have to wait to secure our permits and will announce registration and the date a couple of months after this year’s race.

  • Paul says:

    You have Race Expo time listed at 12:00 p.m. No such time.

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