Saguaro Half Marathon

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 finish at Old Tucson Movie Studio where dozens of classic westerns were filmed!
  • Location: Old Tucson, AZ
  • Date: February 18, 2023 
  • Terrain: Mixed (trail & pavement)
  • Difficulty: Difficult (4/5)

February 18, 2023

Tucson, AZ

Difficulty:

Mixed Terrain

Loop Course

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Park

  • Register to run

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. 

This year, you'll finish at Old Tucson Movie Studio where dozens of classic westerns were filmed.

Race Day

  • February 18, 2023
  • 7:00 am MST
  • Start/Finish: Old Tucson (Tucson, AZ)

Expo & Bib Pickup

  • February 17, 2023
  • Hours TBD (morning 'til evening)
  • Old Tucson (Tucson, AZ)
Quick Info
  • Tucson Airport (TUS) and additional options
  • 78° / 49° F
  • Trail loop course
  • No wheelchairs or strollers
Race Raves logo icon

Race Raves: 4.6/5

Read more reviews from runners like you!

Get to Know Your Course

New 2023 Finish Line!

For the 2023 event, you'll reach the finish line THROUGH Old Tucson, right down Main Street where dozens of classic westerns were filmed! Can we get a Yee-haw?!

  • Race Start: 7:00AM MST, February 18, 2023 (4hr time limit)
  • Weather: 78°/49°F

Course Difficulty:

  • Not Accessible: Strollers, wheelchairs, or dogs.

Course Map & Elevation

We have an updated course and movie set finish line in 2023!

Course Difficulty

  • 4/5 Difficulty
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Factors:
Rough dirt trail and dry heat. Be sure to hydrate well!


Training: 

We recommend training on dirt trails with uneven ground.

Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)

image of a blue foldable cup with the Nathan brand name on it

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 4 aid stations on the course near mile 3, 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.

Additional Details

GPX Download

We plan to mark the course thoroughly. That being said, we recommend downloading the GPX file before the race so that you have offline map access on your device.

- Offline map data coming soon -

Terrain at Saguaro

Paved road

Pavement

You'll be on a wide paved road to start the course

rocky Saguaro landscape

Technical Trail

This terrain will have packed dirt, loose rocks, and uneven ground. Pay special attention to avoid falls while on course!

two runners on single track trail

Single Track

Passing will be tricky while on trail. Please be mindful of others and let them know when you need to pass.

Cholla cacti at Saguaro National Park

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.

GET INVOLVED

Wander Project Final Logo color

Support Our

Park Communities

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.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

New this year, 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

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a zero-waste event. Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course.

Join the Community

Vacation Races is honored to have a community of runners who actively support one another! We highly recommend joining one our Facebook groups to get input from other runners, share stories, and learn about the latest updates.

Saguaro Race Details

Come here for the nitty-gritty info of race weekend!

Race Expo & Bib Pickup

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.

Race Expo

February 17, 2023

Hours TBD

Old Tucson, AZ (201 Kinney Rd)


*Old Tucson is closed, but the race goes on! We'll meet in the parking lot for expo and race day.*


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!

Map of Old Tucson parking lot with the expo details layed out
yosemite D4R8613 scaled
Race Weekend Schedule

All times listed are in MST

Check back closer to the race for a detailed race weekend schedule
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)!

Parking & Drop-off

Parking 

Lot opens: TBD

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.

Runner Drop-off

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.

Map that shows Kinney Road closed south of Old Tucson
Road Closure (Saturday Morning)

On race morning, southbound traffic on Kinney Rd. towards Tucson will be closed past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum by 5:45am.

Runners should arrive at Old Tucson via AJO to Northbound Kinney Rd to avoid this road closure.


All runners will depart back to Tucson via Gates Pass after the race.


Spectators

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.

Zero Waste

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!

Here's how you can help us:

CUP-FREE RACING

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.

image of the foldable Nathan cup next to a person folding the cup into their waistbag

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!

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:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Race Results and Photos

Past Results

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. 

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? please email timing@runsum.com.

Course Record Holders

Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record!

2021-2022 Course:

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)

2023 Course:

Since we're updating the course, we'll announce all new record holders after the 2023 race.

Photos

Race Photos
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

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! 

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