We'll see you Monday at the Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler and 5k!
Hello to the Saguaro registrants. Below you'll find final, updated details to help you enjoy your race experience. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with information on schedules, maps, parking, bathrooms, prizes, and more.

Please remember that the race takes place at Saguaro EAST at 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Road.

Remember, too, that race day will be sunny and hot -- please bring water, start early, and make sure you stay safe!

OK -- see you Monday morning, bright and early!

Race Director and Past-President, Southern Arizona Roadrunners
Saturday, September 3, Packet Pickup at The Running Shop, 3055 North Campbell
10:00 am - 1:00 pm Shirt and race number pickup + last-minute registration
YES: all shirts available on first-come, first-served basis. V-neck and crew cut available.
YES: people can register in person, cash and check only.
YES: you can pick up shirts and numbers for a few friends and family.
YES: it may be crowded, so be gracious to others in line, the volunteers, and the folks working at the Running Shop.
YES: The Running Shop is holding their Annual Labor Day Sale, so their great staff will be on hand to fit you in the perfect running shoe and help you find all sorts of running goodies.

Monday, September 5, Saguaro National Park East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Road.
5:00 am - 6:00 am: Packet pickup in front of Visitor Center, shirts available on first-come, first-served basis.
YES: all shirts available on first-come, first-served basis. V-neck and crew cut available.
NO: there is NO race day registration
YES: you can pick up shirts and numbers for a few friends and family

5:30 am: 8-Miler rolling start begins. All 8-milers can begin, starting at 5:30 with all times "Chip Timed"
  • Chip Time means that your time official begins when you cross the start-line mat and that your official time ends when you cross the finish-line mat.
  • Early start, make sure you check in with Greg and the crew at Roadrunner Race Timing.
  • If you will take more than 2 hours, please use the early start option.
  • Make sure your race number is pinned to the front of your shirt. Please bring your own water.
  • Early starters, please be sure to provide room on the road so that people can pass you.
  • Note: age group awards will be awarded based on chip-time, so all rolling-start participants will be eligible for age group awards.

6:30 am: 8-Miler Prize Money starting line, Gun Time
  • "Gun Time" means that you are timed based on a single starting time, marked by the so-called starter's start -- in this case, at precisely 6:30 am.
  • Prize money and overall winner awards will be based on "gun time" starting at 6:30 am.
  • Thus, if you want to earn prize money (including course records or the Race Director Challenge), you must start at 6:30 am.
  • Headphones are not allowed for prize money athletes.
  • Note 8-mile start line closes at 6:30 am so that the 5k can start at 6:35 am

6:35 am: 5k start at 6:35, start line closes at 6:40. All 5k awards are chip-timed.

7:00 am: Visitor Center Opens

8:00 am: Course Closure Rules: Due to public safety concerns, all 8-mile participants must be past the 5-mile mark by 8:00 am.

8:30 am: Awards begin approximately 8:30, with results posted to www.roadrunnerracetiming on race morning, then on late in the day.

9:00 am: All athletes on the course at 9:00 am will be disqualified and will not receive a finishing time. Again, for public safety, the National Park Service reserves the right to pick up any trailing athletes.

9:30 am: Event closes, Park opens to all
Parking: The National Park Service and Pima County Department of Transportation are both great friends of this race, but they're worried about public safety on the roads near the Park, so please drive slowly as you approach the National Park, watch for cyclists, and watch for your fellow pedestrians. Please follow the posted rules and be safe. 

Please consider car-pooling to reduce the vehicle footprint on the roadways. A drop-off section is located in front of the entrance.

Parking is available on the sides of the roads, on Freeman, Old Spanish Trail, and Escalante. There is NO parking in the National Park.

Do not park in driveways, do not park near hydrants, do not block traffic. Here's what the National Park Service has said: "please pay attention to the NO PARKING signs along Old Spanish Trail! We'd rather not have to cite and tow folks who are blocking sight lines and bike lanes..." 

8-Mile Course: The 8 miler goes clockwise from the Visitor Center through the beautiful cactus forest at Saguaro National Park East in the foothills of the scenic Rincon Mountains.  The paved course is hot and hilly, so be prepared. See the elevation charts and maps below.

In years past, runners have spotted rattlesnakes on the route, javelinas and coyotes nearby, and other wildlife. Please do NOT touch the wildlife.

Water Stops will be at approximately 3, 6, and 7 miles in the 8-Miler. Please bring your own water and hydration as needed.

5k Course: Out-and-back on paved rolling hills.
  • The 5k participants stay to the right as they head into the Park on Cactus Forest Drive, then follow the arrows and turn right to head down the hill to the Javelina Picnic Grounds past the Freeman Homestead Trail.
  • You'll turn-around before your hit the picnic grounds, then reverse your route to the finish line. Please stay on the right coming back to the finish line.
  • There will be a water stop with volunteers from the Tucson TriGirls at approximately the 1 and 2 marks in the 5k.

Weather: most likely in the high 70's at the start, rising to triple digits later in the day

Headphones: headphones are discouraged; please be mindful of other athletes, rattlesnakes, and Park Rangers.

Strollers:  The 5k is fine for strollers but the 8-miler is probably not a great idea for pushing a young child, with lots of steep up-and-downs and the possibility of high heat for the child in the last few miles of the race once the sun comes out.

Chair Athletes: The 5k would be moderately challenging for chair athletes, while the 8-miler is a demanding course with downhills possible dangerous for chair athletes. 

Pets Not Allowed: We love pets but they cannot be on the grounds of Saguaro National Park during the event.

Post-Race Snacks: Thanks to Tucson Medical Center for providing post-race cookies, chips, and other salty-carbohydrate type snacks.

Finish Line Hydration:  Thanks to our friends at Skratch Labs for coming out on race morning. Skratch Labs makes sports nutrition designed to help you perform better without offending your gut or your taste buds because we use real food, starting from scratch. Feel free to stop by their table for hydration, fuel and coupons either before or after their race. 

Bathrooms: There will be 12 ACE portojohns in the NPS parking lot near the starting line, so please allow enough time to use the restroom before you begin the race. There will be one portjohn on the 8-mile course near, near the overlook near Mile 4.

Please no NOT use the desert as a bathroom. Rattlesnakes and cactus may do some damage -- plus the NPS will fine you!

Volunteers: If any friends or family want to be a last-minute volunteer, they'll receive SAR volunteer points. They can sign up here.

Special thanks to these folks for already signing up to volunteer: William Robinson, Margaret Robinson, David Schneider, Cindy Feaman, Caitlin Cuslidge, Connie Lopez, Carole Torpey, Peter Ruggles, David Armet, Evelyn Rios, John O'Masta, the Mica Mountain HS Cross Country team led by Coach Josh, the Tucson TriGirls, and the SAR Board. Thanks, too, to Tia Accetta and the crew at the Workout Group for helping out. Special thanks to Michelle Hawk for driving the rental truck to set up and break down the course!

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.
The 8 Miler is part of SAR's Running Shop Desert Grand Prix.

Gift Certificate Awards from The Running Shop
8m Run: top three overall male and female: 1, 2, 3- $40, 35, 30. Masters 1st 35. 
8m Age Groups, top three male and female: U19 through 80+, in 5-year increments, AG1-$25 gc, AG 2-$20 gc, AG 3-$10 gc 

5k Walk/Run, top three overall male and female: 1, 2, 3-$30, $25, $20 gc, Masters 1 $20. 
Age Groups: First Place in U10 through 80+ in ten-year increments, $15 gc 

Course Records: $250 to fastest man and woman who break the current course records:
  • Nicholas Hilton 41:33, 2018
  • Katie James 46:39, 2016

Race Director Challenge: The first man who breaks race director Randy Accetta's course PR of 42:48 set back in the last century 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.

  • Note: age group awards will be awarded based on chip-time, so all rolling-start participants will be eligible for age group awards.
  • Prize money and overall winner awards will be based on the "gun time" starting at 6:30 am. Thus, if you want to earn prize money (including course records or the Race Director Challenge), you must start at 6:30 am.

Thanks to Sharon Bart and the crew at The Running Shop for hosting pre-race packet pickup and for providing all the gift certificates for age group and overall awards.
Thanks to the SAR Board for all their efforts producing this event!
Next Up for the Southern Arizona Roadrunners
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: TMC Tucson 10k and companion 5k - Painted Hills in the Tucson Mountains, staged at Pima Community College West - Register Here

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: SAR FitKidz at Sabino Canyon - free one-mile for children under 12! - Register Here

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25: Jim Click's Run n' Roll 8k and 1-Mile - staged at the University of Arizona - Register Here

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23: TMC Biosphere 15k, 5k, and Cox Family Mile + FitKidz Mile - staged at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ - Register Here

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24: Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic 5k and 1.5 mile fun run - Reid Park - Register Here