Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon & 5k

Sat November 5, 2022 Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 US Directions
We're keeping prices low, so make your plans to join us at this grand vacation race near the spectacular South Rim of the Grand Canyon -- easy access from Phoenix and Vegas!
Countdown to Event Day
Events

Half-Marathon

$100 8:00AM MST - 2:00PM MST Registration ends November 2, 2022 at 11:59pm MST

5k Walk/Run

$50 9:15AM MST - 2:00PM MST Registration ends November 2, 2022 at 11:59pm MST
Event Website

Additional event information can be found at http://runtucson.net.

Place
469 AZ-64
Tusayan
Grand Canyon Village, AZ US 86023
Description

September 22 Update: Click here for today's newsletter to all race participants, with details on local discounts, the weekend schedule, the course, and more.

Run or walk a beautiful trail half-marathon or 5k in the wilds of the Kaibab National Forest, just south of the breathtaking Grand Canyon South Rim.

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 incredible forested run adjacent to the Grand Canyon National Park, with tree-line 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

All runners and walkers receive:

  • Souvenir race medal, the traditional coaster, custom created by Ashworth Awards
  • Colorful long sleeve shirt to commemorate your iconic journey through the trails near the South Rim
  • Post-race snacks 
  • Free beer after the race
  • Discounts to local tourist activities

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 Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Run Tucson, the premier local running company in Arizona.  Special thanks to the folks from the Kaibab National Forest, the town of Tusayan, and the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce for helping prepare 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.

Overview

Bring the Kids! Children and strollers are allowed in the 5k

Do Good! This event raises funds for the Tusayan Chamber and Grand Canyon Food Pantry

Trail Half-Marathon Terrain: half mile start on sidewalk, then 11.5 miles of challenging dirt, including rugged rocky sections, soft dirt, and hard-packed dirt forest roads, with a rolling final mile on the paved Arizona Trail path

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 on the course during the event.

Want Training Advice? Contact RRCA-certified running coach Tia Accetta at tia@runtucson.net

A few comments from 2021 participants:

  • I had an amazing first half marathon trail race experience! Thank you so much!
  • Best long sleeve tshirt i have got in a while
  • Thank you for making the medals coasters, they're on my coffee table.
  • Really appreciated the virtual option! I've done many this year and yours has been one of the best. Registration was clear & the medal and t-shirt arrived in the mail in a timely manner (actually they arrived on race day!). 
  • Absolutely fantastic experience. Everyone was so helpful and friendly...it was an amazing course and event. Well done.
  • Oh my gosh!! I was super stoked to get that (coaster medal) when I finished. Very high quality and such a special momento to remember my first 1/2 marathon. Loved it!!
  • Loved the trickle start. This was my first 1/2 marathon and I felt there wasn't any pressure to start quickly. I was able to go at my own pace and not be in anybody's way. Very relaxing.
  • I thought I was was pretty prepared but then injury... then fatigue.  THANK YOU for not making me feel like a super loser for taking so long to complete the course. That was kind and beautiful and I appreciate it more than you could ever know. 
  • Beautiful scenery, challenging terrain and lots of hills/incline
  • Since this was my first ever 1/2 marathon (and I have bad knees), I was so happy I could walk. I trained for months and finished in 3 hours and 45 minutes by walking the entire course!! Woo Hoo!!
  • Hi Randy and Tia: Just want to personally thank you both for an outstanding event. This was my first trail walking 1/2 marathon, and I truly had a fantastic time. Everything from picking up my packet to crossing the finish line was perfect. You both (and all the sponsors and volunteers) are awesome.Thanks for being patient and answering all my questions and concerns before. It really helped to make me feel comfortable about the event and timing. I will be back!!
Planned 2022 Weekend Schedule

Friday, November 4, 2022
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 5, 2022
7:00 AM Pancake Breakfast at IMAX, fee TBD

7:00-9:00 AM Packet Pickup and Race Check-in at IMAX Theater

7:30 AM Half Marathon trickle start opens, with ongoing trickle start - start is on sidewalk in front of IMAX

  • All Half-Marathon walkers and Walk/Run folks are asked to start at 7:30 
  • All age-group awards are chip timed, so you can start whenever you want.
  • Permits and insurance do not allow for dogs and other animals on the course.
  • While we appreciate the value of running with head-phones, we request that you do not run with headphones on.
  • While we support adaptive athletics, the half marathon course is not suited for chair athletes.  
  • The 5k course has a paved section that is chair-capable, but the dirt road portion will be difficult to navigate for chair athletes.

8:30 AM Half Marathon Prize Money Start -- start line closes.

NOTE: all prize money is gun-timed at the 9:00 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

4th Annual World's Best Fire Department Pancake Breakfast

  • Tusayan Fire District Pancake Breakfast starting at 7 am outside the IMAX
  • Come out and show your support for the Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon and Tusayan Fire.
  • Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, fruit, and coffee
  • Adults $8 Kids (12 and under) $5
  • Proceeds support Tusayan Fire District

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.

Wanna' know what else to do?

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.


Where To Stay - Six Hotels/Motels in Tusayan:
Red Feather Lodge - yep RP's legacy is still open an operated by the family. 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. Our race crew is staying at the Red Feather Lodge,
 
Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express and Suites with 30 beautiful suites. 
 
The Grand Hotel is the only 3-diamond hotel in the region and one of the few area hotels with an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. Check for safety protocols.
 
Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel beautiful rooms recently remodeled with a gorgeous atrium and an incredible mural as you enter the lobby. They also host a local favorite, The Wagon Wheel Saloon. 
 
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn  This resort style property boasts a newly renovated indoor / outdoor pool and hot tub, indoor arcade and a bowling alley. A little side note - all the photo's in the hotel are different - each hallway and every room - all tell a story about the Grand Canyon.
 
7-Mile Lodge If you decide to stay at the last minute 7-Mile Lodge is perfect - they accept same day bookings only. This cute Lodge will provide you a welcoming local feel.
 
Want to be closer to the Rim? Check availability at . . . 
 
Maswik Lodge- Maswik is named for a Hopi Kachina who is said to guard the Grand Canyon. Originally cabins - in 1972 and 1981 the cabins where replaced with 2 story buildings. Maswik North is currently open - Maswik South is currently under construction.
 
Yavapai Lodge - The largest set of accommodations within Grand Canyon National park located just 1/2 mile from the Rim. Rooms have been recently updated and the Yavapai Tavern now has outdoor seating and on many weekends live music.
 
Thunderbird Lodge - Thunderbird is another contemporary Lodge located on the Rim. Half the rooms have partial Grand Canyon views. 

El Tovar - This 1905 Historic property will have you staying right on the Rim. 78 rooms and history like none other!
 
Bright Angel Lodge - This 1935 landmark hotel / cabins were designed and created by the famous architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. While there be sure to check out the history of Mary Colter and the famous Fred Harvey and the Fred Harvey Girls.
 
Kachina Lodge - Kachina is a contemporary Lodge located on the Rim. Half the rooms have partial Grand Canyon views.

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