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 for a second year!

Quick Info

Race Details

Date: September 21, 201​9
Location: Keystone, SD
Start Time: 6:30am –10:30am
Weather: 73° / 52°F

Course Type: Point-to-point
Stroller friendly? Yes
Disability friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No

September 20, 2019, 12–6pm
(bib pickup available until 7pm)
Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch

Bib & Packet Pickup
Expo pickup recommended. Other options.

Registration Periods & Pricing

Early: $109 Dec. 14 – Mar. 10, 2019
Regular: $129 
Mar. 11 – Jun. 30, 2019
Late: $149
Jul. 1 – Sep. 20, 2019

Refund Policy
Refunds available during Early Registration (no fee) and Regular Registration ($10 fee). 

Deferral, Race Transfer, and Bib Transfer available during all registration periods ($20 fee).

Travel & Other Info

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

Driving Directions
Google Maps Directions

Keystone, South Dakota
Details >

The Course

The race will run in reverse from our inaugural course. The Mt. Rushmore Half marathon begins at the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch 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 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. We'll have more details about race day logistics and the course shortly!

Time limit
All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race. 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 Records
Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record! Since the 2019 course will be run in reverse, new records will be set. Our inaugural record holders are:
Male Overall: Bridger Tomlin  1:15:20 (2018)
Female Overall: Allie Oban  1:33:16 (2018)
Male Masters: 
KC Brett  1:39:39 (2018)
Female Masters: 
Tamie Hopp  1:44:00 (2018)

Half Marathon Aid Stations

At our road half marathons our aid stations typically start at mile 3 and are every other mile after that with a bonus aid station around mile 12. They are not always right at the mile marker so check your race guide to find out where they will be exactly. Our 5K races typically have a single aid station midway through the race. 

You can find toilets, water, Go Gnarly electrolyte drink and Honey Stinger gels at every aid station. Usually around mile 7 and 11 we'll have cut fruit and bananas. 

At every aid station we'll have basic first aid supplies, and we normally station our EMT's near mile 7. 

Our road half marathons and 5Ks are cup-free. That means we will not have disposable cups available for you to use. When you register you will have the option to receive a free hydrapouch with your registration or you can use you own hydration system. 

Package Pricing



pricing Periods

Early: Dec. 14 – March 10
Regular: March 11 – June 30
Late: July 1 – Sep. 20

*There is a limited number of entries to each race, and this event may sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

I love Vacation Races

Yes!!! I'm going [to Yosemite] in 2018 and I am super excited, but first Grand Canyon Half Marathon, Lake Powell Half marathon, Zion Half marathon... :) I love Vacation Races races...can you tell? ;)

Danuta Piatek

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 ≫

Bib & Packet Pickup

Bib Pickup » You have 3 options for picking up your bib:

1. Pickup at the expo (recommended) ID required
2. Pickup at the start line ID required
3. Mailed 2 weeks before the race ($20)

Bring Your Own Bag » In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste we encourage you to bring your own bag to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up at the race exp.

Race Shirts » If you're unhappy with the fit of your race shirt, or couldn't order the size you wanted we'll host a shirt exchange at the finish line on race day. Note that sizes and quantities will be limited.

The Expo

The expo will take place at the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch on Friday, September 20th and go from 12pm-6pm with bib pickup until 7pm. At the expo you can pick up your bib, race shirt, and other gear. Plan to stay awhile, cook a s'more, and shop our other vendors and sponsors!

Traveling to Mount Rushmore

Where to Stay

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

Where to Fly

Your closest option by far is going to be Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), which is only 40 minutes away from Keystone! You can also fly into Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD), but expect a 5 hour drive. Denver International Airport (DEN) is another option, which is going to be a 6 hour drive.

Driving to the Race

Race HQ will be in Keystone, SD. 

The race expo will be located at Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch. If you’re using Google Maps or Apple Maps to navigate there, your device may try to take you down a private road. Use this link instead.

Instead of turning at Oak Meadows Rd. continue on Playhouse Rd. until you get to Ghost Canyon Rd. and take a left. Follow that until you get to the ranch.


We've partnered with to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!


Race Day

*This is a tentative schedule. Please check back for any updates as we get closer to race day.


4:30 AM » Parking at finish line opens/First shuttle leaves for 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)
5:30 AM » Last shuttle from the finish line departs to start line
6:15 AM » Runners line up/Last call for gear check
6:25 AM » National Anthem
6:30 AM » RACE START; first shuttle departs start line area to the finish line
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 & Runner Drop-off

We are still finalizing details as far as shuttles and parking for the 2019 race. Please check back soon for more details regarding parking, and shuttle locations and times.

Club Hikes & Trifecta

To help you make the most out of your visit to Mount Rushmore, we've put together some recommended Club Hikes or a Trifecta Challenge. Do these with 72 hours after the race and you can earn free Vacation Races memorabilia. 

Club Hikes:

Black Elk Peak

Crow Peak

Mt. Rushmore Trifecta:

Presidential Trail

Cathedral Spires Trail

Wildlife Loop Road

Don't Miss a Deadline

Sign up to get deadline reminders and to be eligible for giveaways.

Learn more about our race sponsors and their special offers!

  • 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.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Debbie – Our standard policy is to have runners exchange shirts after the race so that everyone who ordered a specific size is able to pick that size up and we don’t run out. I’m sorry you weren’t able to get yours exchanged. The race shirts will be in the online store in the next few days – check here to see if there is a size that will work better for you (the men’s sizes don’t taper like the women’s do and many women prefer that cut):

  • 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!

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