Overall Rating
Overall Rating (42 Reviews)
3.7
(42 Ratings)  (42 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.2
SCENERY
3.2
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
4
This has quickly become a favorite of thousands to cap off their racing season! Join us for a fun night under the stars at the Joshua Tree Half Marathon. As the sun dips below the horizon, the party begins with a night race through the desert! The Joshua Tree Half … MORE
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H (°F) 83 85 79 81 70
L (°F) 54 60 56 54 48
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Carla Peak
    peakn95 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The sand made the course quite difficult for me, but running on a clear night sky was amazing. It was totally worth it. My results weren’t great, but the event … MORE

    The sand made the course quite difficult for me, but running on a clear night sky was amazing. It was totally worth it. My results weren’t great, but the event was fun. Vacation Races are my favorite.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    liddy.ohio FIRST-TIMER '21

    I gave this race a 5 for scenery even though it happened at night because I loved the millions of stars up above. It was inspiring for me to have … MORE

    I gave this race a 5 for scenery even though it happened at night because I loved the millions of stars up above. It was inspiring for me to have that universal energy all around us. Weather was perfect. I’d say 80% of the race felt like an incremental incline, which was tough for me, but certainly worth it at the end.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    runnerrachel FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was unique and a great experience for our team. But, we underestimated how soft the dirt on the trails would be and the number of gradual hills that … MORE

    This race was unique and a great experience for our team. But, we underestimated how soft the dirt on the trails would be and the number of gradual hills that were throughout the course. The start of the race was packed tight on an uphill trek through loose sand and was just wide enough for 2 people side by side. There were no opportunities to pass if you felt like picking up your pace at the start to conquer the hill quicker. The route isn’t particularly scenic but if you’re coordinated enough to look up every so often, the stars are amazing! The expo and logistics of the race were very organized though and the event production was fantastic! The silicone cups came in handy and there was plenty of parking available for the expo and race. I love that the medal glows in the dark and that this was a fun trip for our running club!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    This run was as fun as it was challenging! This was my first trail/night race and I loved the experience. The night sky at Joshua Tree is incredible and made … MORE

    This run was as fun as it was challenging! This was my first trail/night race and I loved the experience. The night sky at Joshua Tree is incredible and made this run worth the pain of running that first hill in the sand. I’m a strong runner but definitely had to earn my keep on this one (thankfully there were several sloping downhills to look forward to as well).

    Every mile the app that the race used to track participants shared a fact about the National Park as well which I thought was an amazing element as I learned a lot about the park and left caring even more about it.

    I would run this again!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    nohemiscallywag REPEAT RUNNER '21

    If you have never done a night race, this is hour sign to do it it’s a lot of fun and was well organized. It was definitely tough but it … MORE

    If you have never done a night race, this is hour sign to do it it’s a lot of fun and was well organized. It was definitely tough but it pushed me to do better and realize that I can do it if I push my self

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    tkachiroubas REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I knew what I was getting myself into - loose sand, narly uphills and california heat. As I prepared myself for tight calves and winded lungs, I never thought to … MORE

    I knew what I was getting myself into – loose sand, narly uphills and california heat. As I prepared myself for tight calves and winded lungs, I never thought to prepare myself for the pure breathtaking adventure this race was going to be. Yes, it was challenging and I most definitely did not run my personal best. However, the atmosphere and the STARS were unlike anything i’ve ever experienced. I found that the race was TOO SHORT. I craved another lap of this serenity. The darkness sweeping over joshua tree as we pumped ourselves up walking to the start was intoxicating. The clusters of stars layering the sky with a dim glow. What a treat. Would recommend and would do again! Sometimes, challenge isn’t a bad thing – take it slow and soak it in.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    cplatter FIRST-TIMER '21

    The course is very rugged and difficult to get your footing. You can’t establish any sort of rhythm. I had to walk many times as the terrain felt unsafe. The … MORE

    The course is very rugged and difficult to get your footing. You can’t establish any sort of rhythm. I had to walk many times as the terrain felt unsafe. The deep soft sand, rocks, 4 mile stretch of uphill at the start, and dust made this run almost unbearable. You have to concentrate very hard in order not to fall. My neck was extremely sore from constantly looking down! Had I read these reviews before the race, I may not have run it! But even with all that, I’m glad I did it! The event was very well organized and the volunteers and staff were great! Thank you.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Ricardo Mello
    ricardo_mello1 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was to close out the 2021 racing season for my wife and I. We took our time, talked and laughed, enjoyed the stars, and reminisced about a tough … MORE

    This race was to close out the 2021 racing season for my wife and I. We took our time, talked and laughed, enjoyed the stars, and reminisced about a tough year of racing. É side this particular race was in the desert, we got to enjoy a beautiful night sky full of stars. We could clearly see the Milky Way.

    The course was almost entirely on trails, so trail shoes are helpful. There are some parts with deep sand, but we were prepared for it. There were a few hills, but we’ve been running hills all year, and these were not tough. The race production was smooth, and the experience was fun. I highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    lfjack REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Fun experience to run at night with a headlamp. Really cool to see lights from all runners coming over the hills. Weather felt great. Course has some challenges as it’s … MORE

    Fun experience to run at night with a headlamp. Really cool to see lights from all runners coming over the hills. Weather felt great. Course has some challenges as it’s sandy…some fairly soft areas. Not a flat course…some long but gradual hills. Very doable though. Great adventurous run if you’re looking to do a different kind of half marathon. Loved the race shirts and the medals were beautiful!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    4
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    This was my first half marathon. It was HARD, but I LOVED IT! I wanted to go home feeling good, and I did. There was a lot of loose sand … MORE

    This was my first half marathon. It was HARD, but I LOVED IT! I wanted to go home feeling good, and I did. There was a lot of loose sand and for a few miles it was like running on the beach – YOU NEED GAITERS for this run. They saved me! If I could do it again, I would take the first 2-3 miles a little slower and enjoy the incline and a slower pace.

    Other than that, the stars were breath taking. The air was crisp. I had a beautiful time!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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    NoemiLau FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first vacation race; it was a great experience! you meet a wonderful people! Excellent organization! Looking forward to more to come. Seguro que regreso!! MORE

    This was my first vacation race; it was a great experience! you meet a wonderful people!
    Excellent organization! Looking forward to more to come.
    Seguro que regreso!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    apeterson81 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The location was amazing. Race organization was on spot. Great aid stations- best oranges I've ever tasted! I'm from Nebraska so running in sand was a challenge for me. Many … MORE

    The location was amazing. Race organization was on spot. Great aid stations- best oranges I’ve ever tasted! I’m from Nebraska so running in sand was a challenge for me. Many blisters, but so worth it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Northend FIRST-TIMER '21

    All I can say is this race was very challenging and very awesome the weather was perfect the people were friendly the stations were excellent I enjoyed this and will … MORE

    All I can say is this race was very challenging and very awesome the weather was perfect the people were friendly the stations were excellent I enjoyed this and will remember it for the rest of my life and I want to do it again next year

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    HikerRyan FIRST-TIMER '21

    I couldn’t be happier with my first experience with Vacation Races! They put on a great event! The scenery and course were so wonderful and running at night under the … MORE

    I couldn’t be happier with my first experience with Vacation Races! They put on a great event! The scenery and course were so wonderful and running at night under the stars was amazing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Bala Subramanian
    fimmx FIRST-TIMER '21

    Vacation Races always puts together a top notch production, and this race was no different. This race was slightly different for me with a late evening start, which gave me … MORE

    Vacation Races always puts together a top notch production, and this race was no different. This race was slightly different for me with a late evening start, which gave me the opportunity to volunteer for a few hours before race start.
    The race day set up was fantastic with very streamlined flows through packet pickup, swag pickup, vendor and food stalls. This set up really was like an oasis in the desert. Everything that the website details about logistics was very accurate.
    The day cooled down considerably by the time 6:00 pm rolled around. The announcer Connie kept everyone hopping for the last hour with amazing giveaways in a raffle. Sadly, I did not win! 🙂
    The course itself was marked very well with 6 aid stations over the 13.x miles. The course profile is deceptive, the steep uphill is actually exaggerated, it was fairly gradual and not all that extreme. It’s a very runnable course except in some of the sandier sections. I wore gaiters and covered my shoes with duct tape so avoided any gravel or debris in my shoes but it was still hard to run through some of the deeper sand sections – for me.
    It was a wonderful experience running in the pitch dark, I was glad however to have 2500+ of my newest running buddies out there in the desert with me.
    I wish I’d taken some time to turn off my headlamp and enjoy the starry sky, maybe next time. That’s right, I think I will be back.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    JennaBusch FIRST-TIMER '21

    Not only was the race run beautifully, but this was the most stunning nighttime scenery I've ever seen! The stars were astounding. The expo is outside and everyone was incredibly … MORE

    Not only was the race run beautifully, but this was the most stunning nighttime scenery I’ve ever seen! The stars were astounding. The expo is outside and everyone was incredibly friendly. Plenty of wonderful picture opps! The course was lovely and there was a meteor shower! I had no idea they’d be announcing our names as we crossed the finish line and it was such a great surprise! The host (who I believe also did the mile by mile info commentary on the RaceJoy app) was phenomenal! I’m doing this again next year and I’m dying to try the other races!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Profile photo of Heather Lyn
    graham19 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I’m not the fastest of the bunch, but I do enjoy pushing myself in a great journey! I am known for not training for any races, and have run both … MORE

    I’m not the fastest of the bunch, but I do enjoy pushing myself in a great journey! I am known for not training for any races, and have run both half marathons and a full marathon without doing so. My goal is to really enjoy the views as well as get a good workout, and boy do these vacation races do that! I have done the Glacier National Park run a few years ago, and was called to do another vacation race for Joshua Tree. It was such a wonderful experience running at nightime, and the purple sunset was totally worth it. I would highly recommend running with vacation races, and I am planning on signing up for another one soon 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Laura Forsythe
    lforsythe80 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race is not as advertised. Most of the course is on a dirt road that is washboarded out. They do not close the road so the cars passing by … MORE

    This race is not as advertised. Most of the course is on a dirt road that is washboarded out. They do not close the road so the cars passing by kick up dirt and there is a lot of dirt and dust in the air. You cannot see the stars and you spend a lot of time focusing on not rolling your ankle. I would not recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    LifebytheMile REPEAT RUNNER '19

    It is a killer race. A great time but.... the course is rough. It is in sand and sometimes deep sand and it is at night. But it still has … MORE

    It is a killer race. A great time but…. the course is rough. It is in sand and sometimes deep sand and it is at night. But it still has all of the other great Vacation Races race vibes and swag. I don’t know that I will do it again because it just wasn’t exactly my thing but it was definitely a great experience. VR puts on the best races around.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    acm0995 FIRST-TIMER '19

    At night, lots of sand. Proud to finish. Beautiful areas around to explore. I was unprepared for the terrain despite being from Fl lol but happily finished 4th in my … MORE

    At night, lots of sand. Proud to finish. Beautiful areas around to explore. I was unprepared for the terrain despite being from Fl lol but happily finished 4th in my age group.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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  2. Joshua Tree Half Marathon