November 2020 Update: We are planning to hold the 2021 edition in person at Saguaro National Park East on Labor Day Monday, September 6, 2021
For questions, please contact me directly.
Randy Accetta, SAR Race Director
Join us as we celebrate the 50th birthday of this iconic Tucson event in 2021 -- our paved 8 mile loop will challenge you as you race among the rolling hills of the Saguaro Cactus Forest in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. The 5k Fun Run and Walk is an easier out-and-back, with the same gorgeous scenery. Old-timers will remember when this race was the Saguaro National Monument Run, and we're proud to be part of the National Park Service, an American treasure celebrating its 104th anniversary this year.
We offer special thanks to our friends at Saguaro for allowing us to be one of the few races produced on National Park lands. Park Ranger Steve Bolyard and Saguaro Chief Ranger Ray O’Neill have all provided above-and-beyond support for this race over the years.
Saguaro National Park EAST, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd
5:15-6:00 AM Packet pick-up at Saguaro Park EAST: You can pick up your shirts and numbers at the SAR tents in the main parking lot near the Visitor’s Center. There is no race day registration, only number/shirt pick-up.
Parking: There is no parking at the National Park -- please park safely on neighboring roads, following all signage and all Pima County traffic laws. Do not block neighborhood driveways, do not park in the street, do not put other people in jeopardy. Please car pool if at all possible. Thank you.
5:45 am Early start line-up time for 8-mile walkers and walk/runners. If you anticipate spending longer than 2 hours on the course, please start early. Note, early starters are not eligible for awards or Grand Prix points, except for age-groups 65+. It will be hot on race morning, so please make the safe choice.
6:15 8-milers can begin to line up at flagpole, 5k behind the 8-milers. In both races, please line up in order of your expected racing pace: 5-minutes/mile at the front; 6-minutes/mile behind them, and so forth.
6:15 A few words from the National Park Service
6:25 8-Mile Run start
6:30 5k Walk/run start
Post-race Refreshments: water, Gatorade, cold samples from Nekter Juice Bar, plus fruit, salty, and carbohydrat-y snack items
8:30 (approx) Begin Raffle Prizes and Race Awards, courtesy of The Running Shop
9:00 Official course closure -- for safety's sake, the National Park Service reserves the right to pick up any participants still on the course starting at 9:00 am.
2019 race medal
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.
Race Director Prize Money 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 a gender-graded equivalent of 47:48 will receive $474.80 in cash on the barrelhead.
Nicholas Hilton 41:33, 2018
Katie James 46:39, 2016
The 8 Miler is part of SAR's Running Shop Desert Grand Prix
Special thanks to The Running Shop, long-time sponsor of SAR and the Saguaro Labor Day Run!
8 Miler. Overall top three and Age groups: 15-19, 20-24, etc to 80 & over
Overall 1, 2, 3 $40, $30, $20 + special gift TBD
Masters 1 $20 + special gift TBD
AG 1 $15 + bottle opener, 2 $10 + special gift TBD, 3 special gift TBD
5K: Top three men and women, plus first place in age groups in 10-year categories: 0-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 +
5K (AG 0-19, 20-29, 10 year thru 69, 70 & over = 14 age groups)
Overall 1, 2, 3 $25, $20, $15 + special gift TBD
Masters 1 $15 + special gift TBD
AG 1 special gift TBD
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.
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: 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.