September 4 Update: Well, that was a fun morning, wasn't it? The manadatory cap on race participants made it feel like a party for the cool kids -- or, should I say, a party for "we're-a-little-bit-loopy-in-a-nice-way-kids" -- the kind of runners that like to slog their way up hill after hill after hill, with the hot sun rising over the Rincons and beating down. Yup, today's runners and walkers were definately the crazy kids . . . and yet, smiles were everywhere, with happy bell-ringing and laughter and . . . click here to continue reading the post-race report . . .
September 3 Update: Remember, race day packet pick-up will be available at the park entrance 5:30 am - 6:15am. Please arrive early enough to get your shirt and your race number on time! There is no race day registration. Please click here for race weekend details, including packet pickup, race day schedules, and more. Old-timers will remember when this race was the Saguaro National Monument Run. In the last days of his presidency in 1933, Herbert Hoover established Saguaro National Monument, while it received National Park status in 1994.
We are grateful to our friends at Saguaro for allowing us to be one of the few races produced on National Park lands. Park Ranger Steve Bolyard, Rincon Mountain District Ranger Miranda Cook, and Saguaro Chief Ranger Ray O'Neill have all provided above-and-beyond support for this race over the years. It takes a lot of folks to help with this race, so if you see a Park Service employee, please thank them for their efforts!
The Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler was the first race ever put on by SAR, 48 years ago. This scenic course and the post-race festivities truly embrace the spirit of the old Southwest, making the 48th Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run a regional favorite. This event has been featured as a Runner’s World Race of the Month and is currently featured in Runner's World online as one of the few races to take place on National Park Land. Up until a decade ago, about 600-700 finishers completed the race every year. But last year, over 1400 people registered overall.
Here's the problem: the surrounding roads have gotten more and more crowded and the National Park itself has gotten more and more popular. Thus, for 2017, we've been asked by the National Park Service and Pima Department of Transportation to put a hard cap of 750 on the race.
We are very appreciative of the Saguaro National Park staff for allowing us to run at the park and we will certainly abide by their request. However, this presents a bit of a problem, because for five years now Saguaro has been the second leg of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown. Thus, here is what's going to happen this year:
Questions? Email or call Randy Accetta, SAR race director at 520-991-0733
Date and Time
Race Start: 8 mile at 6:25 am, while the 5k starts at 6:30.
Gift certificates and other prizes for overall winner and 5-year age-group winners (U20 - 75+), plus $250 to fastest man and woman who break the current course records:
Craig Curley 41:39, 2007
Katie James 46:39, 2016
Race Director Challenge: The first man who breaks race director Randy's course PR of 42:48 will receive $424.80 in cash on the barrelhead. The first woman who breaks an age-graded equivalent of 47:48 will receive $474.80 in cash on the barrelhead.
The 8 Miler is part of SAR's Running Shop Desert Grand Prix.
Gift certificates and other prizes for overall winner and 10-year age groups U20 - 70+)
In these races, there is no double-dipping. Overall winner will be taken out of all Age Group awards.
Parking: Park safely along Old Spanish Trail, Freeman Road, and Escalante. Please don’t block driveways or bike paths. Carpooling is strongly recommended. The earlier you arrive, the shorter your warm-up jog!
Park Fee: 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. If you buy an annual pass to the national parks (or are under 16 years of age), this fee will be waived if you provide your permit number on your entry form. For information on an annual park pass, see visit this page, or visit any national park and inquire at entry. Race entry fees also include labor cost of additional park rangers required for the event.
Tanque Verde Guest Ranch 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 them at 520-731-5562.
The 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. If you buy an annual pass to the national parks (or are under 16 years of age), this fee will be waived if you provide your permit number on your hard-copy entry form or your online registration.
Friends of Saguaro: Thanks toCox Charities, this year's event will donate funds to the Friends of Saguaro. Friends of Saguaro National Park: Our mission is to help the public discover Saguaro, protect Saguaro, and support Saguaro.
Southern Arizona Roadrunners: This event raises operating funds for SAR and income for the Children's Fitness Fund, an award-based program supporting youth fitness in and around Tucson.