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Additional event information can be found at http://runtucson.net.
September 27 Update: Please click here for the 2nd pre-event newsletter to participants with information on discounted hotel rooms and the Artisan Craft Fair, as well as some advice on pre-race training workouts.
All festivities take place in and around the IMAX Theater, with the address of 450 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023.
Absolutely fantastic experience. Everyone was so helpful and friendly...it was an amazing course and event. Well done. -- From 2021 post-race survey
This course is a challenging but beautiful forested run adjacent to the Grand Canyon National Park, with tree-lined cliffs, a cross-cross under historic railroad tracks, and possible wildlife sightings. Don't miss this chance to snag the celebrated race souvenirs, then visit the glorious Grand Canyon.
It was a great experience for my first half marathon. The shirt and completion medal were great. All the people who organized and volunteered for the event were supportive and so friendly:) I had a great time!!!! --From 2021 post-race survey
We've ordered 500 shirts and medals, so until we hit that cap all runners and walkers receive:
While you’re vacationing at the Grand Canyon National Park, take advantage of all the discounts offered by our friends at the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and enjoy your visit to America’s most awe-inspiring destination.
The Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon is a joint partnership between the Town of Tusayan and Run Tucson, the premier local running company in Arizona. Special thanks to the folks from the Kaibab National Forest for providing the permit for the event.
Click here for 2021 race video put together by race sponsor Damion Alexander from Long Realty. You can also click here for the images from the course at Damion Alexander's Smugmug account.
Bring the Kids! Children and strollers are allowed in the 5k
Do Good! This event raises funds for the Tusayan Fire Department and Grand Canyon Food Pantry -- we're glad to use this event to provide support to these important area organizations
Trail Half-Marathon Terrain: half mile start on sidewalk, then 11.5 miles of challenging forest jeep roads, including rugged rocky sections, soft dirt, and hard-packed dirt forest roads, with a rolling final mile on the paved Arizona Trail path. According to the National Park Service, the forest is characterized by ponderosa pine, with Gambel oak, New Mexico locust, mountain mahogany, elderberry, creeping mahonia, and fescue.
5k Terrain: mostly paved Arizona Trail, with about one mile on hard-pack dirt forest road
Difficulty: the half marathon course is challenging for many, with hills and rugged terrain. Top runners finish about 10 minutes slower than road races.
Weather: most likely in the 30's and 40's early morning, with daytime highs hitting 60's - 70's . . . but you never know what early November will bring at 7,000 feet.
Chair Athletes: The 5k would be challenging for chair athletes, while the half-marathon is a rugged course not suitable for chair athletes.
Pets Allowed: We love pets but they cannot be with participants on the course during the event.
Want Training Advice? Contact RRCA-certified running coach Tia Accetta at email@example.com.
A few comments from recent participants:
Friday, November 3, 2023
5:00 - 6:30 pm Packet Pickup and Last-Minute Registration at IMAX Theater, 450 AZ-64, Tusayan, AZ 86023
Our team of volunteers will be on hand in the lobby to help you pick up your race materials, including race number, race shirt, a copy of the course map, and (if you ordered it) your National Park Pass.
5:00 - 7:00 pm All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Dinner at IMAX, $15
YES: you can pick up for your friends and family; this is a small race, so no ID needed
YES: please wear a face covering inside and please observe standard social distancing protocols
YES: we have unisex and women's sizing in the t-shirt
YES: all shirts are first-come, first-served in terms of sizing
YES: Friday is a great time to snag your stuff so you don't have to worry on race morning!
NO: you cannot pick up your finisher's medal before finishing the race – you gotta’ do the race on Saturday!
Saturday, November 4, 2023
8:00 AM Pancake Breakfast hosted by the Tusayan Fire Department, fee TBD
7:00-8:30 AM Packet Pickup and Race Check-in at IMAX Theater
8:00 AM Half Marathon trickle start opens, with ongoing trickle start - start is on sidewalk in front of IMAX
8:30 AM Half Marathon Prize Money Start -- start line closes.
NOTE: all prize money is gun-timed at the 8:30 am start, so all prize money recipients must start at 8:30 am.
8:45 AM 5k Fun Run/Walk Starts
9:30 Ongoing: post-race snacks courtesy at finish line and beer garden at IMAX.
Grab-bag of Run Tucson shirts for sale $5 apiece.
NOTE: Beer Garden Details -- thanks to Grand Canyon Brewery for donating their locally-made beer. All runners receive two free beer pours. Must have your race number -- we'll mark your race number for each pour. All other pours are $5 apiece.
11:30 AM (or so) Half Marathon and 5k Awards at Finish Line
NOTE: All half marathoners need to be through mile 11.5 by 11:30 am.*
*Course closure times are tentative depending on weather and safety conditions.
* Remember to start early if you're worried about the deadlines
1:00 PM Timing at finish line closes, beer garden begins to break down, closing of event site
5th Annual World's Best Fire Department Pancake Breakfast
Click here for the mapmyrun map of the course (the 5k is an out-and-back along the last mile and a half of the half-marathon course). See below for a detailed description of how to run the route.
NOTE: The Kaibab Forest will be open to others on race day. We will have signage explaining that a special event is occurring, but please note that others may be using the trails and roads.
Half-Marathon Water Stations: at approximately Mile 4 with water, Mile 8 and 11.5 -- all with water, Gatorade, and gu brand caffeinated energy gels
5k Water Stations: at the turn-around, 1.55 miles from the starting line
Water and Aid Stations: We want you to be self-sufficient on the race course, so please be sure to pack what you think you will need. Having said that, we will have volunteers on the course to support you.
We'll have plenty of sugary and salty chips, cookies, and crackers at the finish line.
Tusayan is your welcoming community nestled in the Kaibab Forest just a mile from the main entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. Comfortable motels, a campground, restaurants, the world famous IMAX Theater, and the official Arizona State Visitor Information Center make Tusayan a perfect home base for enjoying the South Rim. Check out these local options -- and be sure to view their public safety protocols:
What Else To Do:
After the race, you can relax on a sightseeing tour by vehicle, air, bicycle, or mule. Check out this link for possible tours: https://grandcanyoncvb.org/what-to-do/grand-canyon-tours. Our family (including grandma from Durango and the two kids up from Tucson) and some members of our Tucson training group (called The Workout Group) will probably hike and/or run one of the trails at the South Rim on Sunday morning.
For an easy recovery run, you may enjoy the flatter Rim Trail alongside the edge of the South Rim. The Bright Angel Trail is well-regarded as a tourist-friendly trail, while the Kaibab Trail is more rugged and steep, with no water available. Please remember that all trails into the Canyon are arduous and potentially dangerous, so we recommend that you take all precaution when running in and near the Grand Canyon. You can find more information on nearby Grand Canyon National Park options here https://grandcanyoncvb.org/national-park-area-info and here https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hiking-for-fitness.htm.
A final testimonial: "We are looking forward to running this race next year. It looks amazing! Thank you for everything." -Darsey, Vail
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