Saguaro Half Marathon
February 19, 2022
Date: February 19, 2022
Start: 6:00 AM
201 Kinney Rd
Terrain: This is a mixed terrain course with both dirt trail and pavement.
Weather: 49° – 78°F
Strollers allowed? No
Disability Friendly? No
Dogs allowed? No
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.
Visit Tucson is a great resource to find lodging and dining in the area. We also have special rates and options below for our runners.
Exclusive VR Discounts!
We are excited to partner with a few hotels to bring you discount rates. Check them out!
Additional Hotel Options
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Click below to search!
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!
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.
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 oissible. We have created a scavenger hunt made up of all kinds of adventures and experiences you can have here at Saguaro.
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!
We are determining the best way to have runners participate in this club - please stay tuned for more info!
Register for the Saguaro Half Marathon
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.
We are matching donations to Charity Bib athletes and direct to Wander Project up to $20,000 until Dec 31st!
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!)
Saguaro Race Details
Come here to prepare for your race!
Date: Saturday, February 19, 2022
Start: 6:00 am in Old Tucson, AZ
End: 10:00 am
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. The first mile takes you down Kinney Rd before you hop on the Golden Gate Trail through lush desert landscape. Return on the scenic McCain Loop and finish at Old Tucson Movie Studio where dozens of classic westerns were filmed.
This is a challenging course that is half road and half single track trail with some technical trail sections. There is also some elevation gain. The solitude and beauty the desert offers make it all worth it. The hybrid nature of the course provides varied views and the opportunity to venture off the beaten path.
We will start and end near Old Tucson. The first mile is on pavement, running down Kinney Rd. Runners will then hop onto the Golden Gate Trail. This trail is single track and very runnable. Watch out for the cacti! The first couple miles are a very mild and steady climb. At around mile 2 runners will cross Gates Pass Rd to hop onto Gates Pass Trail.
Runners will stay on this trail section for several miles. There is a nice little downhill from mile 2.5 to 4. But what goes down, must come up. There is a sudden climb from mile 4 to mile 5. The trail then has some nice rolling up and downs until mile 6. Gates pass connects to two other trails that eventually takes runners back to the road around mile 6.
Runners will run up Kinney Rd, past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and then turn onto the uncrowded McCain Loop. Pay attention to the elevation profile as mile 6 to 12 on the road has some significant ups and downs.
Once you top out at mile 12, it is a nice little downhill heading south on Kinney Rd back to the finish line in the heart of Old Tucson.
Terrain & Surface Notes
The first mile is on pavement, and the next 5.5 miles are on trail. The final 6-7 miles are also on road.
Trail portions: Expect mostly hard packed dirt, some single track, and a few sections of some loose rocks on top of dirt. Overall, the trail sections are not too technical. However, this area is known for its cactus, so you will need to watch out for it on both sides of your path.
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.
Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record! The current course record holders are:
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)
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course at around mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12. A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 7. Keep in mind, the exact location of each aid station may vary from race to race. 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.
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 18, 2022
10AM – 5PM
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. See you there!
We encourage runners to arrive early on race morning. Find a parking spot, grab coffee or hot chocolate, and tune into the provided radio station to listen for updates from our lovely race announcer!
SATURDAY (February 19th, 2022)
4:30 AM - Parking lot opens
4:45 AM - Race day bib pickup opens
5:50 AM - Last call for gear check & runners line up
5:55 AM - National Anthem
6:00 AM - RACE START
*We may have the staggered start next year. The course will stay open for 4 hours based on when the final runner starts their race.
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)
We anticipate that runner drop-off will take place at the same location as general parking. Please follow signs on race morning to avoid congestion.
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.
You can view race results from past races below:
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 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!