Overall Rating
Overall Rating (27 Reviews)
4.6
(27 Ratings)  (27 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.1
The Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon is a point to point course, beginning in the hamlet of Rochford, the first 1.5 miles are on the road. At this point, the course becomes the Mickelson Trail. The next 12 miles are a mixture of gentle uphill and flat terrain. From there to … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Jun 01):
  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
 
H (°F)  75  61  73  79  68
L (°F)  53  39  54  63  43
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Recent reviews

    scottclem FIRST-TIMER '23

    I was impressed with the beauty of the area, and the course was one of the more scenic ones I've done for the 50 states. The production was excellent, the … MORE

    I was impressed with the beauty of the area, and the course was one of the more scenic ones I’ve done for the 50 states. The production was excellent, the expo and swag better than most races of this size. Pasta dinner was really good. I love point-to-points and the opportunity to talk to fellow runners on the bus. Staging area was great and just the right ratio of porto-potties to runners so that the lines moved quickly.
    Now, I had not done my homework and didn’t realize that this race started at 5500 ft and rose 1000 ft. My body definitely felt the altitude and climb. The downhill at mile 13.5 was a welcome relief and I immediately gained about a minute per mile without extra effort. Still, the overall effects of the sun, altitude, and climbing eventually took their toll on me and many other runners so the last 7 miles was a struggle. Support was great throughout the race and no complaints. The only thing that I wish were different was the start time. 8am is a late start for this course. 7am or even 6am would be much nicer from a running perspective, and it would give us visitors more time to check-out of our motel. I was late checking out but lucky for me the Holiday Inn Express was very forgiving and hospitable.
    Overall – beautiful course and production, grateful to have run it.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    cfconwayiii FIRST-TIMER '23

    Pre race communication was sufficient Expo was small with several vendors, packet pickup was easy Pre race spaghetti supper was top notch with spaghetti, salad, bread, and fruit I was … MORE

    Pre race communication was sufficient
    Expo was small with several vendors, packet pickup was easy
    Pre race spaghetti supper was top notch with spaghetti, salad, bread, and fruit
    I was not a fan of the start, it didn’t have an official start, runners just started whenever between 7:30 and 8. No National Anthem and pre race excitement.
    Course was on a trial, was mostly downhill, course support was sufficient. Scenery was awesome!
    Post race snacks were adequate
    Massage tables was a nice feature $1 per minute
    Race swag was okay
    We spent 5 days exploring the area, so much to do. Great destination race!
    I would recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    juleshamsa FIRST-TIMER '23

    Gorgeous course, and nice smooth gravel to run on. The staff and volunteers were great. This was my 6th half and I was killing it until about mile 11. The … MORE

    Gorgeous course, and nice smooth gravel to run on. The staff and volunteers were great. This was my 6th half and I was killing it until about mile 11. The downhill really got to my knees and I limped across the finish line. I will definitely come back tho, with some more downhill training. Definitely recommend

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    BrianYowler FIRST-TIMER '22

    Logistics: Deadwood is a cool little town. Parking at the rodeo grounds to catch the shuttle buses was easy. However, there are a few hotels directly across the street from … MORE

    Logistics: Deadwood is a cool little town. Parking at the rodeo grounds to catch the shuttle buses was easy. However, there are a few hotels directly across the street from marathon parking (rodeo grounds), so it would be easy to walk to the shuttle buses, if you prefer.
    Races: Except for the first 1.5 miles of the full marathon (on the roads), the entire course is point-to-point on a crushed gravel rail-trail. The Half marathon is WAY more popular than the full marathon. The biggest benefit of the half is that it’s the downhill half of the course! The marathon goes uphill for the first 14 miles, then goes down for the remaining 12. As expected, I had a significant negative split (about 10 minutes). However, even being conservative, the first 14 miles definitely took a lot out of me. This is a beautiful course, but it’s not a place to set a PR.
    Swag: Medals and short-sleeve t-shirts are very nice. Free race photos are also a nice bonus. If it’s important to you, the shirts and medals are not race specific (even the 5K runners got the same shirt)
    Finish line: Having the race director in a tuxedo to high-five you is an awesome touch! I also enjoyed the chocolate milk and beef jerky. Shuttle buses back to the parking lot were prompt and efficient. Overall, a very well organized event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Boylan18 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was a wonderful race. The course was downhill and beautiful. It was in the 50s as well which was very nice. Don't let "trail race" scare you most of … MORE

    This was a wonderful race. The course was downhill and beautiful. It was in the 50s as well which was very nice. Don’t let “trail race” scare you most of the course is well packed and cleared trail. There is one small down hill section that gets a little rockier, but only for a short time.

    The swag was really just the t-shirt and medal which are nice, just no extras. There is great food and water at the finish line and then a fun after (with beer) part in town when the marathon finished.

    If you are looking for a fun South Dakota race this is a good choice!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    gelynn FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first half marathon and it helped me realize my love for running! The course was beautiful and was a nice course for a first-timer. There was a … MORE

    This was my first half marathon and it helped me realize my love for running! The course was beautiful and was a nice course for a first-timer. There was a lot of community support and the after race celebration was great.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    JustinReineking FIRST-TIMER '21

    The thing the surprised me the most was how fast the 2nd half went. The descent downhill after mile 14 is noticeable and really makes it easy to run negative … MORE

    The thing the surprised me the most was how fast the 2nd half went. The descent downhill after mile 14 is noticeable and really makes it easy to run negative splits. The first half going uphill is also noticeable, but nearly as much. The area is remote and sometimes it felt like things could have been marked a little better, but that was part of the charm I suppose. I would also have liked to have seen different shirts and medals for the marathoners vs half marathoners, but thats ok. Both are nice enough. The real reason to run this race is the Hills themselves and they do not disappoint. The first two mile section on the road has a great view that I was not expecting. Another stunner around mile 20. The whole course was really great though. I would absolutely recommend!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Kristie Hoyme
    kristie.hoyme REPEAT RUNNER '19

    You follow the train route the Burlington Northern took through the Hills. Many creeks , wild flowers, old homesteads, mines and gorgeous outcropping of rock. MORE

    You follow the train route the Burlington Northern took through the Hills. Many creeks , wild flowers, old homesteads, mines and gorgeous outcropping of rock.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Doogster REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Truly stunning scenery. Possibly the prettiest marathon I've run and I highly recommend this as a destination race. But the race started at 8 am. With blue skies and rising … MORE

    Truly stunning scenery. Possibly the prettiest marathon I’ve run and I highly recommend this as a destination race.

    But the race started at 8 am. With blue skies and rising heat, we lost focus on the scenery and battled the heat up the 14-mile grade.

    Kudos for having volunteers on bicycles to offer assistance like the water I needed at mile 19.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    KGregg8 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I love this race. The downhill is great, but it’s not too aggressive like a Revel. It has a pretty good hill around mile 6 that’s helps break up the … MORE

    I love this race. The downhill is great, but it’s not too aggressive like a Revel. It has a pretty good hill around mile 6 that’s helps break up the downhill terrain! The most difficult part of this race for me, and from what I’ve heard others say, is the late 8AM start. We got to the start line at 7 and waited for an hour. At that time it started heating up significantly. Around mile 5 I had to take off my tank top and run in my sports bra bc I began overheating. I felt really badly for the full marathoners that had to start at 8AM and run in the heat. Overall, I recommend this course but I wish they would start it a lot earlier!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    ConcreteShoes FIRST-TIMER '18

    Good logistics with shuttles from hotels to buses that took everybody to start of race. Absolutely loved running this course: point to point on gentle incline first half followed by … MORE

    Good logistics with shuttles from hotels to buses that took everybody to start of race. Absolutely loved running this course: point to point on gentle incline first half followed by gentle decline second. All I heard the first half of the run was my feet on the trail and a babbling creek in the distance. Scenery is amazing and this is among most scenic courses I have run. Plenty or tourist stuff to do in and around Deadwood as well with Badlands and Wind Cave NP, Crazy Horse Monument, Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park nearby. Did rock climbing in Custer State Park with my kids as a bonus. Amazing beauty, amazing race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '18

    I continued my quest to run a marathon in every state by checking off South Dakota. Who would have thought I would finish both Dakotas before even starting the Carolinas? … MORE

    I continued my quest to run a marathon in every state by checking off South Dakota. Who would have thought I would finish both Dakotas before even starting the Carolinas? The weather was warm. The course was one climb over the first fourteen miles then downhill to the finish. It was well supported and gorgeous.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    trishschroeder REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Beautiful run great course. Friendly runners, great area to visit. Lots to see. Great courses. A must for runners of all levels I would highly recommend it for everyone. I … MORE

    Beautiful run great course. Friendly runners, great area to visit. Lots to see. Great courses. A must for runners of all levels I would highly recommend it for everyone. I will run my first marathon on this course

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    amyeliz70 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Such a beautiful course! Challenging with the gradual uphill for about the first half. Pleasantly surprised around mile 20 at a fairly steep downhill but I got a second wind … MORE

    Such a beautiful course! Challenging with the gradual uphill for about the first half. Pleasantly surprised around mile 20 at a fairly steep downhill but I got a second wind after that! I would do this race again. Early June and weather was nice. Enjoyed the point to point course.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    acacia24 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The course is stunning. The production is seamless. Disappointed in the shirts this year as they're just a cotton tshirt vs athletic shirts of previous years. Also, the only thing … MORE

    The course is stunning. The production is seamless. Disappointed in the shirts this year as they’re just a cotton tshirt vs athletic shirts of previous years. Also, the only thing you get is a tshirt in your race bag. Kind of a let down.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    abaldwin09 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I loved this race! It is mostly downhill (half marathon) with an almost mile long uphill starting around 5.5 miles. This was a well organized race. The aid stations all … MORE

    I loved this race! It is mostly downhill (half marathon) with an almost mile long uphill starting around 5.5 miles. This was a well organized race. The aid stations all had water, powerade, oranges, pretzels and one had m&ms. This was my fastest half to date. I would do this again just for the scenery.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    fancypants FIRST-TIMER '17

    Easy packet pickup. Gorgeous scenery. Well organized. First half is slightly uphill, and back half is downhill going into town. Deadwood is such a cool town, too. MORE

    Easy packet pickup. Gorgeous scenery. Well organized. First half is slightly uphill, and back half is downhill going into town. Deadwood is such a cool town, too.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    docdandadio FIRST-TIMER '17

    My wife and I picked a doozy for our first ever marathon - as a trail race, i found the well groomed flat trail fairly easy, except for the uphill … MORE

    My wife and I picked a doozy for our first ever marathon – as a trail race, i found the well groomed flat trail fairly easy, except for the uphill for 14 miles at altitude. Beautiful part of the country I had never seen, well run and a blast.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race is securely in my Top 10 favorites. The course is a near perfect pyramid. The first half is a gradual incline (barely noticeable honestly), the second half is … MORE

    This race is securely in my Top 10 favorites. The course is a near perfect pyramid. The first half is a gradual incline (barely noticeable honestly), the second half is a gradual decline. Beautiful scenery and very well organized. Buses take you out to the start and you run back to Deadwood.
    This race is small enough for middle of the packers to win age group awards. (They mailed the awards – a buff and a deck of playing cards with the race logo. Pretty cool)
    This is one I would definitely return to!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Mar 07, 2018 at 4:59pm

    Congrats on notching SD, Evelyn! I ran Run Crazy Horse several years ago and loved it, and since then I've heard great things about Deadwood Mickelson as well. And to… MORE

    Congrats on notching SD, Evelyn! I ran Run Crazy Horse several years ago and loved it, and since then I've heard great things about Deadwood Mickelson as well. And to hear you say it's in your top 10 means I'd love to find an excuse to head back to the Black Hills. Looking at your 50 states map, you have some awesome states still ahead of you — good luck this weekend in Utah! LESS

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    Evwatkins Mar 08, 2018 at 1:52pm

    Thanks! I have 6 states left. Some of the races I've done aren't listed on this site.

    Thanks! I have 6 states left. Some of the races I've done aren't listed on this site.

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 09, 2018 at 12:50pm

    No worries, we're happy to add those for you to help fill in your map — we want to be as comprehensive as possible, after all. You can either submit… MORE

    No worries, we're happy to add those for you to help fill in your map — we want to be as comprehensive as possible, after all. You can either submit events via the "Submit Race" link in the footer or email us the name and website at [email protected], and we'll do the rest. Thanks! LESS

    Karen818 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The scenery for this race is just beautiful. A trail through the Black Hills of South Dakota has you immersed in tall trees, wildlife, and peaceful streams; yet not an … MORE

    The scenery for this race is just beautiful. A trail through the Black Hills of South Dakota has you immersed in tall trees, wildlife, and peaceful streams; yet not an overly challenging course. A bus takes you to the starting line and it’s mostly downhill from there.

    There are plenty of Port-A-Potties at the start as well as the bag drop. Time gates are used but since it is a gravel/rock trail for most part, it is a little congested at the beginning but it doesn’t take long for everyone to spread out. It’s almost entirely down hill with the exception of one pretty good incline about mile 7. On this day in 2016, it was hot, but they had cold watermelon (awesome!) as well as all the standard fruit and bagels at the finish line. This is a very well organized race. Deadwood is a great town with several entertainment and eating options. If you want a destination race in South Dakota, this is a great one.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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  2. Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon