Sept. 18, 2021 | Keystone, SD
Announcement: The 2020 race has been postponed to 2021
Race Day: Saturday, September 18, 2021
Date: September 18, 2021
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 17, 2021, from 12–6pm (bib pickup available until 7pm)
Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch
Bib & Packet Pickup
Expo pickup recommended. Other options.
Registration Periods & Pricing
Early: $109 Now – Mar. 7, 2021
Regular: $129 Mar. 8 – Jun. 13, 2021
Late: $149 Jun. 14 – Sep. 17, 2021
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).
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 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.
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course beginning around mile 3. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more.
All stations are cup-free so plan to bring your own hydration solution or request a free HydraPouch when you register.
Sign up today and get the best price!
Early: Now – March 7, 2021
Regular: March 8 – June 13
Late: June 14 – Race Expo
*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.
Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree Runner
Bib & Packet 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 expo.
The expo will take place at the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch on Friday, September 17th 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.
Additional Hotel Options
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!
Know your way around Keystone
There is so much to do in Keystone. The half marathon now finishes in town so it will be even easier for runners and spectators to play, eat, drink, and shop. Check out the map below provided by the Keystone Chamber. It features restaurants, attractions, activities, and more!
4:30 AM » Parking areas open/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)
5:20 AM » Last shuttle from Keystone 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!
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
The race will start the race at Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch, and finish in the town of Keystone. Runners may park at Ghost Canyon on race morning and be shuttled back to their vehicle after the race. For those staying in Keystone, runners can walk to the shuttle pick-up location in town and ride a shuttle to the start on race morning.
Morning Shuttle - Keystone to Start Line
Race shuttles will load and begin departing for the start line at 4:30 am on Saturday morning. The last shuttle will leave at 5:20 am. If you are staying in Keystone, we suggest walking over to the shuttle pick-up area located in front of the Ramada Hotel (115 Swanzey St, Keystone, SD 57751). If you are not a guest at the Ramada, please do not park in their parking spaces. If you need to park in town, there is some space at Keystone Tramway Adventures (702-1401 Iron Mountain Rd, Keystone, SD 57751) or any available street parking. Please do not park in other private parking areas.
Start Line Parking
Parking at Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch will open at 4:30 am. If you are arriving from out of town, plan to park at the start line as there is limited parking in Keystone. Runners who parked at the start line will be shuttled back after the race. All cars should be parked by 5:45 am.
To avoid congestion in front of the Ramada, runners getting dropped off in Keystone prior to riding the shuttle to the start may be dropped off 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. Runners may also be dropped off at the start line. If you are getting dropped off at the start, please arrive no later than 5:45 am.
Please arrive early on race morning! We will have hot chocolate, coffee, and bananas at the start line.
We also reward our earliest runners with raffle prizes!
Spectators are welcome around the finish line to cheer on runners. If you are staying in Keystone, we suggest walking over to the finish line at the Borglum Story Museum. If you need to park in town, there is some space at Keystone Tramway Adventures (702-1401 Iron Mountain Rd, Keystone, SD 57751) or any available street parking. Please do not park in other private parking areas.
If you wish to watch your runner at the start you will need to plan to drive there. Please note that Iron Mountain Road will be closed for the race so spectators will need to take the route via SD-40 West to get back to Keystone once the race has started. From Ghost Canyon Ranch, spectators will drive east for a few miles where you will take a left on Box Canyon Rd. You will then take a left on Bender Ridge Rd. Then a right on Battle Creek Rd. Then left on SD-40 West. This will help the runners not get dusted out by vehicles for the first 2.5 miles of the race.
There are no shuttles available for spectators.
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.
Black Elk Peak
Mt. Rushmore Trifecta:
Cathedral Spires Trail
Wildlife Loop Road
Don't Miss a Deadline
Sign up to get deadline reminders and to be eligible for giveaways.
Past Race Results & Photos
If you see that you placed, but didn't stick around for the awards ceremony, no worries! You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!
If you have questions about your placement or results, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Race photos are available the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album as well as place the link below. This year we are offering race photos FREE to all our runners!
Award Ceremony Photos
Award ceremony photos are posted within a week of the race. You can find a link to the award ceremony photos below:
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!
Exclusive Mt. Rushmore Half Marathon merchandise is available in our online store.