Hello to the folks who have registered for the 2023 Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon and 5k Run/Walk. 

We're super-psyched that you're joining us for the 5th Annual event. This newsletter focuses on a few pre-race topics:

1) info on race weekend discounted lodging for you in the town of Tusayan

2) info on the Artisan Craft Fair at the start/finish

3) training advice, with a sample fartlek workout to prepare for the high altitude courses

Wanna' get a sense of what race weekend is like? Click here for the collection of 1,482 race photos our photo sponsor Damion Alexander took in 2022. You can also click here for Damion's photos from 2021.

Over the coming weeks we'll send additional event updates. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to send us a note and we'll try to get it taken care of!

See you in November!

Randy and Tia Accetta

Tucson, Arizona



Registration Still Open: Sign Up Here
Volunteers Needed -- check out the available spots

Hotels and Lodging

We're thrilled to have two major hotel partners for this year's event:

Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon - This resort-style property boasts a newly renovated indoor / outdoor pool and hot tub, indoor arcade, a bowling alley, and multiple excellent dining options. The Squire Resort is now a Delaware North Property and one of our 2023 sponsors. We came up to check out the course in September and stayed there, bringing the ol' mountain bike to ride in the forest. 

A little side note - all the photos in the hotel are different, with photos in each hallway and every room all telling a story about the Grand Canyon. 

They offer a 30% discount to all race participants -- they're setting up the online coupon code, but in the meantime please free to call them at 928-638-2681.

Red Feather Lodge Our family and race crew has stayed at the Red Feather Lodge ever since we started putting on the event. This remodeled family-friendly option can offer all the comforts of home - enjoy a beautiful grand entrance, fully remodeled rooms, a workout room, and laundry. The nature photos in each room will inspire you to head to the Canyon. 

The Red Feather offers all participants a discount, so give 'em a call and tell them you're with the race: (928) 638-2414 or go to www.redfeatherlodge.com, click Book Now, click Group Sign In, and then enter the code 17819. Choose your dates and enter your information and you'll get the race discount.

MORE OPTIONS: You can see more details about additional lodging and activities on the race registration page here.

Race Day Artisan Craft Fair

On race morning, be sure to carve out time to visit with native and local artisans and entrepreneurs during our 2nd Annual Artisan Craft Fair on race morning. 

The Town of Tusayan has invited Native artisans and local artisans to attend the show. We expect a dozen or so artisan booths, with jewelry, artwork, and other items for sale. 

If the weather is nice, the artisan booths will be outdoors near the finish line. If the weather turns for the worse, the Artisan Craft Fair will move into the IMAX building adjacent to the start/finish. 

Either way, you're sure to enjoy the wonderful jewelry and artwork for sale by local artisans.

For more information on local artisan efforts, see https://www.grandcanyontrust.org/blog/making-space-native-artists-grand-canyon

Course Map and Elevation Chart

Half Marathon Course Overview: The Half-Marathon course is a clockwise loop, designed to put the more technical sections in the race early miles, when you're more chipper. We'll send more advice on running the course in a future newsletter. The Half-Marathon course is almost exactly 13.1 miles (but may be long by as much as .1 or .2 -- hard to tell with the different measuring devices). The maps we've included come from MayMyRun, which says this: This is a 13.19 mi route in . The route has a total ascent of 555.58 ft and has a maximum elevation of 6,729.3 ft. 

See this page at the race registration site for more on the course.

The 5k Route: the 5k will start and finish adjacent to the IMAX. The course is an out and back on the Arizona Trail multi-use path and the Forest Road #328. and will include the last 1.55 miles of the half-marathon course. Our goal is to make this family-friendly, so it is should be manageable do to the route with a jogging-stroller.

Water and Aid Stations: We want you to be self-sufficient on the race course, but our plan is to have plenty of people on the course to support you. We'll have water and aid stations near Mile 4, 8, and 12. We'll have plenty of food and water at the finish line, with support from the Tusayan Fire Department, Coconino County Sheriff, and others as needed.

Near Mile 3 climbing one of the rugged early sections.

Course record holder Shannon Porter cruising under the historic Grand Canyon Rail tracks

Grandma Beth at finish line of 5k, with the paved trail in the background

Training Idea: Fartlek Workout

Experienced runners already know how to prepare for a trail half at altitude, but if you're new to this sort of stuff, you might consider some fartlek workouts at variable paces.

Fartlek Workout: Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play" -- the idea is you can run fast without caring how fast you run, you can run slow without caring how slow you run.

Find an enjoyable place to run, whether a paved multi-use path, a trail, a track or even a treadmill.

Jog for 10-15 minutes, and take some time to stretch and activate your running muscles.

Now that you're warmed up, run for 1 minute at a pace that feels slightly uncomfortable. This pace is meant to be a bit challenging, but not hard. After you go for 1 minute, slow down and spend another minute at a slow jog pace.  Make this "slow" portion as slow as you need -- you can even walk it.

Do this for a total of 10-15 times, for a total of 20-30 minutes of alternating "fast" with "slow."

When you're done with that, then jog for another 10-15 minutes.

This workout will take between 40 and 60 minutes and can be squeezed into a mid-week run.

5k Variable: If you're training for the 5k or pressed for time, you can cut this back to a 20-30 minute overall workout.

Why Do This? The goal is to teach your body to shift gears, playing with speed so that you can vary between running faster-than-comfortable and settling back into at a comfortable recovery pace.

If you can do this once a week for a few weeks in a row, you'll be able to shift gears on the race course.

The terrain on the course lends itself to variable pace running, so this workout will prepare you to take advantage of what the course gives you.

Another Benefit: Prep for Altitude: This type of peppy workout that puts you in cardiorespiratory stress has the advantage of teaching your body to adapt to anaerobic stress-- which may help you with the altitude on race day.

Note for experienced runners: if you're an experienced runner in good shape, you'll be able to extend the speed bouts and do the workout on a trail to simulate race conditions -- and maybe extend variations on your weekend long run.

Consider making this a longer up-and-down ladder.

After the warmup, do something like this: 2 minutes fast, 2 minutes easy; 3 fast, 2 easy; 4 fast, 2 easy; 5 fast, 2 easy; then 10 fast, 2 easy -- and head down the ladder: 5 fast, 2 easy; 4 fast, 2 easy; 3 fast, 2 easy. End with 2 minutes fast, followed by a standard cool down.

This gives you about 40 minutes of faster running -- if you need to build to that, you can do it without the 10-minute stretch at the top of the ladder.

The 2-minute recovery keeps you from going to fast and simulates some the stress of a half-marathon race.

Thanks to the Town of Tusayan for partnering with us on this great event!

Thanks to Marty, Brent, and all the folks at the IMAX and Grand Canyon Visitor Center for hosting our pre- and post-race events.

Thanks to the Tusayan Fire Department for hosting the pancake breakfast and providing race day public safety.

Who We Are

Run Tucson was created by long-time runners Tia and Randy Accetta to make our communities better through running.

Tia is an RRCA Certified Running Coach, with a 2:48 marathon PR. Randy is the Director of Coaching Education for the RRCA, with a 2:19 marathon PR.

We produce charity events in Southern Arizona, and we were asked in 2018 to work with the Town of Tusayan and the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce to develop this event in Northern Arizona. We've enjoyed the friendships we've made over all these years with the Grand Canyon area community and we're proud to help bring the running community to this wonderful area.

See www.runtucson.net for details.

For information about our events, the RRCA, and The Workout Group, contact Randy Accetta
(520) 991-0733
For information about in-person, online, or group coaching, contact contact Tia Accetta.
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