Overall Rating
Overall Rating (8 Reviews)
4.1
(8 Ratings)(8 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
3.6
The Run Crazy Horse Marathon events begin in the shadow of the world’s largest mountain carving, Crazy Horse Memorial, and finishes in the heart of the Black Hills… Hill City, South Dakota. The Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon is a point to point course, beginning at the Visitor’s Center at … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 05)
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H (°F) 61 42 54 49 50
L (°F) 39 28 38 32 41
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Recent reviews

    lap9197 FIRST-TIMER '19

    After coming off an injury this is my 1st half of the year so I'm not sure if my excitement is driven by my completion or the race itself (obviously, … MORE

    After coming off an injury this is my 1st half of the year so I’m not sure if my excitement is driven by my completion or the race itself (obviously, the race). There have been very few races I’ve wanted to return to and this one is high on the list of returns.

    Course: The course was beautiful and for the most part downhill. The first 3 miles are rolling hills in an upward trajectory then after leaving the Crazy Horse Memorial you start the gentle downhill portion. The course is mostly on the Michelson Trail which is 95% finely crushed gravel with a couple places where water created ruts and exposed larger rocks. Nothing technical about this trail and very easy to navigate. The course was absolutely beautiful to see. The Aspens were bright yellow lining the scenery and seeing the Crazy Horse memorial along the way was amazing.

    Volunteers: Volunteers were plentiful, supportive, and happy to be out supporting the racers.

    Fuel: The race provided fueling stations about every two miles. Each station had water, powerade, bananas, oranges, pretzels, and a couple had m&ms. They had plenty of supplies and enough volunteers to hand items to the runners. Post race fuel was the normal, bananas, bagels, pretzels, chocolate milk, and water. They did have watermelon and oranges, which were great additions.

    Swag: The swag consisted of a t-shirt (there was an option to purchase a tech shirt), sling bag (to be used as your gear drop bag), and medal. I’m not sure what happened but all who registered did not get a shirt, no matter when you registered (I registered a long time ago). Not sure if they gave away shirts to late registrants or if they had a shirt ordering problem, it was never made very clear. With that said I cannot officially mention anything about the t-shirt as I was one who did not get one. I was told they would order more and mail one to me. I was allowed to try other sizes that they did have on hand but the size I needed, in all versions, was out. I feel another great option would have been to give us a tech shirt or slash the price to prevent from ordering new shirts and then paying to mail them. Will update this when I receive the shirt. The medal was a clay medal with rawhide string, unique and quality construction. If you were speedy enough to win a category they had unique, Native American themed awards.

    Bonus items: Pasta dinner was held at the restaurant on the grounds of the Crazy Horse Memorial. The dinner ticket was $20 for an all you can eat pasta buffet, with salad, breadsticks, meatballs, chicken, red and white pasta sauces, green beans, cookies, blueberry cheesecake, another dessert, and drink. For someone who does not eat a lot, I felt $20 was a lot but it was nice to eat and talk about the race with other runners from around the country. When you enter the Memorial site you get a ticket to the museum as part of the race. I recommend paying the $4 to take the bus to the highest point allowable of the Monument.

    The host hotel has wi-fi but unless you have At&t, you will not have cell service. The hotel’s phone was not answered when people called from outside due to no cell service. If you need to be contacted, I would not recommend this place to stay, if you have no issues being off the grid, it’s perfect. The hotel staff was very considerate of the runners and extended the normal checkout time if you requested.

    Shuttles ran exactly as specified. They ran from 10:30-3:00 to three locations.

    I know this is long but one other thing to keep in mind. Many businesses in the area are closed for the season when the race occurs. Google maps doesn’t do a great job of specifying that so be aware, the things you want to see may or may not be open.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    jmskafidas FIRST-TIMER '18

    In the weeks leading up to this years race, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of weather?! Prior to committing to this event, I had read that the … MORE

    In the weeks leading up to this years race, we didn’t know what to expect in terms of weather?! Prior to committing to this event, I had read that the weather could be quite unpredictable this time of year in SD, and that was no exaggeration! We came prepared for the worst, and luckily what we endured consisted of mist, which was refreshing at times, temps in the low-mid 30s, and only minor bouts of sleet.
    The weather man’s predictions didn’t stop the runners from lacing up to enjoy this unique closeup view of the Crazy Horse monument. The daughter of the monument’s original sculptor spoke to the volunteers and participants, thanking us for taking part in the race, which I thought was such a special touch.
    Those first 3 1/2 miles around the property were no joke…be prepared to climb steep inclines on loose gravel. From there, the full and half marathoners go on their separate ways along the Mickelson trail. It’s well maintained and provides runners with a much appreciated downgrade for the remainder of the course into Hill City. Even with the winter weather predictions, we treated to gorgeous foliage the entire time.
    The medals given at the end are hands down the most unique I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad the weatherman didn’t scare me away from this one. I can’t imagine if I had missed out?!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    btwiggs REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was my second time running this race but my first time running the half marathon (I participated in the marathon relay last year). The race organizers did an excellent … MORE

    This was my second time running this race but my first time running the half marathon (I participated in the marathon relay last year). The race organizers did an excellent job of communicating before and after the race, the volunteers were amazing and motivating and the course was beautiful! There start of the half was a bit challenging but after leaving Crazy Horse Monument it was mostly downhill or flat the rest of the way. I would highly recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Race not on pavement - gravel/crushed limestone trail. Swag was limited to the race shirt, draw string bag & finisher medal. Great volunteers, hill city was nice MORE

    Race not on pavement – gravel/crushed limestone trail. Swag was limited to the race shirt, draw string bag & finisher medal.
    Great volunteers, hill city was nice

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    abissing REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Make sure you train on some steep gravelly hills for the first 3 miles. Once you hit the trail, it's a great downhill run. The aspens are usually turning color … MORE

    Make sure you train on some steep gravelly hills for the first 3 miles. Once you hit the trail, it’s a great downhill run. The aspens are usually turning color and its gorgeous. Race always runs smoothly. Free beer for finishers at the Bumping Buffalo. If you are lucky, you get free wool socks from Granite Sports. The weather can be unpredictable. It has been anywhere from 86* to sleeting and snowing. Wear layers.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    If you are not a SD native and use to the elevation be aware that there is a huge effect on the difficulty of the run. The course is difficult … MORE

    If you are not a SD native and use to the elevation be aware that there is a huge effect on the difficulty of the run. The course is difficult but the views are amazing. If you’re looking to run/finish this is a great course. If you’re looking to PR, not so much.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '11

    The race’s official name says it all – Run Crazy Horse. The Marathon offers a wicked combination of picturesque beauty, historical context and a challenging course (5,919ft at the start, … MORE

    The race’s official name says it all – Run Crazy Horse. The Marathon offers a wicked combination of picturesque beauty, historical context and a challenging course (5,919ft at the start, 6083ft max) you’ll both love and hate in a span of five miles. As such, Crazy Horse is a no-brainer for any runner looking to get out, explore a less ballyhooed region of the country and spice up their race catalog. I appreciate the argument against desecrating nature, but at the same time if you’re going to vandalize a mountain, you’d better have a Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse to show for it.

    The weather in the Black Hills in October can be unpredictable – unseasonably hot in 2011 when I ran it, snowed out in 2013 – so come prepared for a moody Mother Nature.

    PRODUCTION: Sadistic though they may be – the full marathon course passes the finish line at the halfway point – the organizers of the Run Crazy Horse weekend did a terrific job from start (expo and pre-race dinner) to finish (medals). The Marathon had the comforting feel of a low-key trail race, without any wrong turns or logistical glitches. Though I carried my own bottle and the details of the aid stations escape me, I recall them being there when I needed water to dump on my head. As swag goes, the race shirt was a serviceable red short-sleeve tech tee. But the stars of the show, other than the Memorial itself, were the ceramic finisher’s medal and age-group dreamcatcher, both of which will always evoke the spirit of Crazy Horse and the dedication of those who have toiled to keep his memory alive.

    For (much) more detail on an awesome race weekend experience, check out my report at http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2013/11/07/run-crazy-horse-marathon-race-report/.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    dansolera FIRST-TIMER '12

    This race begins at the Crazy Horse memorial, which will one day make Mount Rushmore look like a middle school art project. However, it's still under construction and will not … MORE

    This race begins at the Crazy Horse memorial, which will one day make Mount Rushmore look like a middle school art project. However, it’s still under construction and will not be finished for many decades to come. The first half is mostly all downhill, on the Deadwood Mickelson trail that runs along the highway. It’s soft dirt and it is very easy to cruise confidently down it. The second half is an out-and-back past Hill City, where the finish line is, where things get difficult. It’s a 6-mile climb followed by a descent, but at 5,000 feet, it’s far from easy. Though you’re running through wooded trails, it’s not as scenic as the first half. The medals are made of clay and a leather strap, very much like Big Sur, which means they will stand out in anyone’s collection.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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