Final news on Saguaro

Randy Accetta September 4, 2011

For last-last minute information or for car-pooling conversation, see our facebook page at

ANNOUNCING OUR FIRST-EVER VIDEO CONTEST: We’re trying to develop a cool youtube channel, but so far, we don’t have a lot on it.  We’re looking for a video chronicle of the 2011 TMC Saguaro National Park Race.  So here’s the deal: bring your flip video or phone video or major motion picture boom, and make a video of the race.  Submit it to by Friday.  The race director will select the five best videos, track you down, and send the top five videos $50 cash on the barrel-head.  How do we select the top 5?  Don’t know yet—it will be some combination of popular vote and race directory whimsy . . .

The Southern Arizona Roadrunners will have a membership booth set up tomorrow—if you join tomorrow, you will receive a free technical shirt.

When: Monday September 5, 2011
Where: Saguaro National Park East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd - see map for directions
5:15-6:00 am Packet pick-up at Saguaro Park EAST NOTE: There is no race day registration—and we cannot exchange numbers for a different runner at this late date. 
6:10 5k line up at front, by flagpole. 8-milers line up behind them in leg speed order (5-minutes/mile at the front; 6-minutes/mile behind them, and so forth)
6:15 A few words from Ross Zimmerman and the Zimmerman family, a few words from Julia Strange from TMC, and the announcement of the 2011 Spirit of Rob Bell Award, presented by Performance Footwear
6:23 National Anthem by Kryshell  
6:27 5k Run/Walk start
6:30 8-miler start
8:30 (approx) Children’s Dash, presented by Craig Dabler
8:45 (approx) Begin Spirit of Rob Bell Award presented by Performance Footwear, Raffle Prizes, and Awards

Participants can park on Old Spanish Trail, Freeman Road, and Escalante.  Please obey traffic laws and don’t park in driveways or in the bike lane. IMPORTANT: Please try to carpool—it will be easier and safer for all.  The later you arrive, the farther away from the starting line you will have to park. Please be thoughtful and safe - and carpool!  Please do not bring pets to the event - and do not leave them in your car!!   

Please put your bib number on the front of your shirt using the pins provided at registration. Greg Wenneborg is our official timer, and he will time the race the traditional computer-based way. He is also beta-testing a new RFID system, so your bib may also have an RFID tag on the back of the bib. Please leave this on your bib.

Please note that all the race materials have been prepared, so there is no longer any way to change your official distance. 

Course and Staging Information
5k Fun Run/Walk is an out-and-back with a 180-degree turnaround down by the picnic ground.  NOTE: strollers are allowed on the 5k course only. Strollers and walkers—stay to the left on the route.  About 45 minutes into the 5k the 8-mile lead runners will start to pass you—please give them the right-of-way by staying to the left.

The 8-Mile Course is hilly, so please be prepared for the sun and the heat.  There are no strollers allowed on the course. Please start the race in approximate order of your estimate minutes-per-mile, with the fastest runners at the front.  (Thanks to Dave Hill for coming out early Monday and dropping all the mile markers!) 

No bicycles, wheelchairs, skateboards, roller skates or pets allowed on the 8 mile or 5k course. 
Water Stations - Long-time sponsor Culligan water will be located at approximately 2, 4, 6 and 7 miles—and the 1 & 2 mile marks in the 5k. Cytomax will also be provided at the four-mile mark. Cytomax is an advanced sports drink formula that buffers acid buildup and provides optimal hydration and sustained energy while delivering essential electrolytes for optimal hydration. Thanks Cytomax!
Thanks to SAHUARO HIGH SCHOOL, the Tri-Girls, and Santa Rita High School for handling the water stations. SAHUARO will be at the 2- and 4-mile marks—perhaps in costume with a uekelele again . . .  and thanks to St. Augustine High School for coordinating the refreshing Culligan water at the start/finish line.

We’ll also have the Ham Radio Society of Tucson on course keeping an eye on things, plus a dedicated ambulance from Rural Metro at the finish line. Thanks to Waste Management, we have more port-o-johns than ever before, including one at the 4 mile mark. Please do not use the desert to relieve yourself: the Park Service may fine you - and a snake may bite you!!

The Visitor Center will open at 6:30 this year, the earliest they’ve ever opened. PLUS, all participants receive a 10% discount on any Visitor Center merchandise (except pottery), thanks to the Western National Parks Association. A portion of those proceeds also go back to Saguaro. Win, win!

Your one-day park pass is included in your registration, so there is no need to purchase an additional park pass. 

By the way, approximately 1% of the Park’s total fee revenue comes from this single event.
Rincon Mountain District Ranger Paul Austin has been a true friend to the fitness community and deserves our appreciation. Chief Ranger Bob Love and Darla Sidles, Superintendent of Saguaro National Park, have been instrumental in allowing us to have this unique treasure of an event. If you see a Park Service employee, please thank them for their efforts.
Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown
Saguaro is the second event in the inaugural Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown, to be followed by the TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon and 5k.  There are 591 registrants for the Triple Crown, raising almost $6,000 for Child and Family Resources. Thank you to all Triple Crown participants for honoring Gabe Zimmerman and helping to contribute to his favorite organization, Child and Family Resources.
Those who have not picked up their Run Tucson t-shirts can pick them up at The Running Shop.

TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER A special thanks to Tucson Medical Center for all their support of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners and the local health and fitness community.  This race could not have such low entry fees without the support of TMC.
Thanks, too, to new sponsor AAA Arizona . AAA Arizona is sponsoring the three races of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown. 

After the race, enjoy Muscle Milk, ACTIVATE drinks, and plenty of snack food from Sunflower Market and local entrepreneur JulieBar.  Grab a free massage from the student massage therapists at the Cortiva Institute, and visit with The Running Shop, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Watershed Management, Friends of Saguaro, our friends at Ragnar Relay, and Ben’s Bells and Beads of Courage.  In particular, please be sure to visit the Tucson Medical Center tent.  Thanks to Kara Middendorf and Tile Outlet for letting us use her TILE OUTLET truck—and thanks to Josh at Watermart Ice for helping with all the ice needed for the event.

The Park Service will also have two areas to visit, so check them out - cool skulls, skins and other fun things. . . .

SAR will announce the winner of the 2011 Spirit of Rob Bell Award presented by Performance Footwear at the race.

The 8 Miler is part of the Desert Grand Prix presented by the Running Shop.

Looking for a place to spend Sunday night? Award-winning guest ranch, Tanque Verde Ranch, is offering all Saguaro participants a discounted week-end, single-night, or all-inclusive package.  Contact LeighAnn at 520-731-5562. See for details.


Raffles - All preregistered participants will be entered into a raffle for prizes to be given out at the awards ceremony.  Prizes courtesy of Ragnar Relays, Ben’s Bells, and The Running Shop, including $25 gift certificates to be used for miscellaneous volunteer and participant raffle

$50 Cash - Given to the fastest male and female who equals or betters their age in time (+10 minutes for women).
8 Mile Prizes
1st male and female receive custom jewelry from master jeweler Craig Dabler - thanks to long-time race sponsor (and 2011 Spirit of Rob Bell Award winner) Craig Dabler.
2nd overall $75 Running Shop gift certificate
3rd overall $60 Running Shop gift certificate

1st age group $30 Running Shop gift certificate (top three taken out of age groups)
2nd age group $20 Running Shop gift certificate
3rd age group $15 Worldly Soles gift certificate
Age Groups in the 8-miler are U-19, then 5-year increments to 80+

5K Fun Run
1st male and female receive $25 cash (winners taken out of age groups)
1st age group Running Shop goody bag
Age groups in the 5k are in 10-year categories

The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection is an alliance of 35 local environmental and community organizations dedicated to achieving the long-term conservation of biological diversity and ecological function of the Sonoran Desert through comprehensive land-use planning in Pima County and the region.

Watershed Management Group offers an adaptive, collaborative approach to developing sustainable solutions wherever we may work. We work with local communities to identify and prioritize resource needs, foster individual and community investment, develop practical solutions, and enable action.
Friends of Saguaro National Park, the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the National Park Service at Tucson’s Saguaro National Park  

National Park Service: The National Park Service has been gracious about allowing us access to the beautiful park. The Park Service asks that all participants pay the standard $5 entry fee to the park. This amount will go directly to the National Parks Service.

Where does your Park Service Money Go? By Jeff Wallner, Park Guide
Have you enjoyed a picnic in the shade of a historic shelter at Signal Hill? Have you learned about the natural and human history of the Saguaro from signs along the Freeman Homestead trail? Are you better informed by the new trailhead exhibits and maps found throughout Saguaro National Park? If so, you are enjoying facilities provided by park entrance fees, paid by you and other visitors to Saguaro National Park.

Like hundreds of recreation acres across the country, Saguaro National Park operates under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004. Many visitors are familiar with the “Fee Demo” signs of an earlier law: the Fee Demonstration Program. Under both programs, 100% of all entrance fees are put to use in the park system, and at least 80% of the funds stay in the park where they are collected. Your fees are not returned to the government’s general fund.

The effects of time, use, and a rugged desert climate have been tough on the recreation facilities of the park. The picnic areas of the Tucson Mountain District were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conversation Corps. The structures are wonderful, but historic saguaro rib armadas require special care. Facilities in the Rincon Mountain District were installed by the National Park Service in the 1950’s, when visitation was a small fraction of what it is today.

Projects paid for by fee dollars at Saguaro cover a wide range of visitor needs. Recently completed projects include new trailhead signs at the Broadway and Loma Alta Trails in the Rincon Mountain District, rehabilitation of eleven historic fireplaces at picnic areas in the Tucson Mountains, and installation of traffic safety signs throughout the park. Next year’s projects include trails maintenance and renovating the interpretative exhibits at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center.

Whether you purchase a seven-day permit to the park, a Saguaro Annual Pass good for one year’s worth of visits, or the Interagency Pass to be used anywhere in the USA, you can be happy knowing that your fee dollars are used for projects directly related to the facilities and resource of your Saguaro National Park.

2011 SAR Fall Schedule  

October 2 - Jim Click’s Run ‘N’ Roll 8K and 2-Mile Fun Run, University of Arizona

October 9 -  TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon and 5K run/walk, Downtown Tucson

October 16- Great Pumpkin 5k Race at Buckelew Farms

October23 - CATwalk 10K run and 5K walk, University of Arizona

October 29 - Oracle Run 10K and 1-Mile walk/run, Oracle AZ
November 24 - Thanksgiving Cross-Country Classic 5K, Reid Park

December 11 - Winterhaven Run Through The Lights
Don’t forget SAR’s weekly free social runs:
Monday night Meet Me at Maynard’s &
Wednesday night Meet Me in Marana

The Southern Arizona Roadrunners is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and fitness in Tucson and Southern Arizona through running and walking.

southern arizona road runners