Overall Rating
Overall Rating (21 Reviews)
4.2
(21 Ratings)  (21 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
4.7
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
3.8
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
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Recent reviews

    pedmonds1 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Glad a brought along my trail shoes. The route was dirt road, crushed gravel, and pavement. There were a few bridges that were slick because of morning dew. Scenic. Peaceful. … MORE

    Glad a brought along my trail shoes. The route was dirt road, crushed gravel, and pavement. There were a few bridges that were slick because of morning dew. Scenic. Peaceful. Very gradual downhill.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    RRWAEB83 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was a phenomenal race. From the shuttle busses, excellent communication, indoor waiting area, and course this was a fantastic experience. I loved the medals and the Lakota drum at … MORE

    This was a phenomenal race. From the shuttle busses, excellent communication, indoor waiting area, and course this was a fantastic experience. I loved the medals and the Lakota drum at the start. The first three miles are rolling hills but then smooth sailing from there. Do this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    aubreynetzel FIRST-TIMER '22

    The race overall was rather well put together, and makes for a very good race vacation. You have to do packet pick up the day before but it is a … MORE

    The race overall was rather well put together, and makes for a very good race vacation. You have to do packet pick up the day before but it is a very smooth quick process. Race morning started out at well, you can wait inside of the heated building which is much appreciated. The half and full marathon only run together for about 3 1/2 miles and then the split occurs, and the field thins out vastly. I normally do not run with music, but I found it to be very beneficial for this race as there’s a very high chance that you’ll be running it alone. It is a gradual downhill for about the first 5 miles then uphill for the next 5 miles and then gradual downhill for the last 10. I started out on track for a solid time, but the hills caught me in the second half. The views are great and the course is mainly crushed gravel with some shade. If you do not like running in a smaller field I would recommend doing the half marathon over the full. There are lots of attractions in a fairly close range so I would recommend making a long weekend out of it and checking out some of the sites (we saw Mammoth Site, Mt Rushmore, Wind Cave and Custer state park)!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    HardRockMom FIRST-TIMER '21

    Well organized and very scenic. Great place to spend a few extra days and explore. The race is mostly on packed gravel trails and downhill. The start has a couple … MORE

    Well organized and very scenic. Great place to spend a few extra days and explore. The race is mostly on packed gravel trails and downhill. The start has a couple of good hills , but not too bad. Would do again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    cmbrln7 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I loved this race! The race starts at the Crazy Horse Memorial then finishes down the scenic Mickelson Trail. The leaves has already turned and the foliage was pretty. The … MORE

    I loved this race! The race starts at the Crazy Horse Memorial then finishes down the scenic Mickelson Trail. The leaves has already turned and the foliage was pretty. The course is hilly for only the first three miles or so, and the rest was a gradual downhill. Walker friendly and I walked this race with a friend that was completing her first half marathon. I loved the race shirt and medal. Did I mention free race photos? South Dakota was beautiful with so many wonderful parks and scenic drives. Highly recommend!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Ckrueger4 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The scenery of the black hills was amazing during the race. You also got to get up close and personal with crazy horse. The start of the race had mixed … MORE

    The scenery of the black hills was amazing during the race. You also got to get up close and personal with crazy horse. The start of the race had mixed elevation and a loop that brought through the starting line 3 times. This was nice for water and shedding clothes. After leaving this area the race was downhill until mile 10ish. This was an extremely relaxing and peaceful portion of the race. It was easy to take the sights in. Then you have to turn around and run back up the trail you just came down. Along the way there were plenty of water stops, Gatorade, and bananas. The only people to cheer you on though were the people waiting for their relay partners and the volunteers working the water stations and road crossings. After mile 16ish, the map showed a net down hill. I was very excited for this, but after a few miles it seemed like all I was doing was going uphill again. If you are up for a challenge this is a great race. It is defiantly not a PR race, but the black hills are great.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    labrew2 FIRST-TIMER '21

    It’s a very well ran event with lots of aid stations, nice people, and great scenery. It’s definitely worth making the trip. I did 10 days in the area and … MORE

    It’s a very well ran event with lots of aid stations, nice people, and great scenery. It’s definitely worth making the trip. I did 10 days in the area and visited Mount Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, and so much more. The trip is phenomenal and the cherry on top was finishing my trip with the Crazy Horse Marathon! Downside is that the course is a tad deceptive. Reason: for around 10 miles you’re on one part of the Mickelson Trail that you do an out and back on. Going down, it feels flat but coming back you realize it’s actually an incline. Lol. Otherwise, this race is phenomenal! Loved it!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    mcneill FIRST-TIMER '21

    You get to run on the George S Michelson Trail. lots of tree line, bridges, views, babbling brooks.. and you get to see the Crazy Horse memorial, plus inside the … MORE

    You get to run on the George S Michelson Trail. lots of tree line, bridges, views, babbling brooks.. and you get to see the Crazy Horse memorial, plus inside the visitor center. Weather was perfect.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    AJS23 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I loved everything about the weekend. We went on hikes, went to Mt.Rushmore, and the train museum. I only wish we had more time. The race itself is exceptional. Before … MORE

    I loved everything about the weekend. We went on hikes, went to Mt.Rushmore, and the train museum. I only wish we had more time. The race itself is exceptional. Before the race we looked at the exhibits at the visitors center. Then the race! Some hills, but the beauty and perfect weather made it one of my favorites. There is a lot to do for non runners as well. We will be back!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    edwardgburke73 FIRST-TIMER '20

    A very well produced event, logistics ran like clockwork, awesome venue and course scenery. Weather tends to be very clear and dry at this time of year and it didn't … MORE

    A very well produced event, logistics ran like clockwork, awesome venue and course scenery. Weather tends to be very clear and dry at this time of year and it didn’t disappoint on race day!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    This race had all the things I like: Cool temps, not many hills, INDOOR waiting area and INDOOR bathrooms, well run, well marked, great scenery, just enough spectators and no … MORE

    This race had all the things I like: Cool temps, not many hills, INDOOR waiting area and INDOOR bathrooms, well run, well marked, great scenery, just enough spectators and no issues with parking or hotels.

    I stayed at Palmer Gulch they have a nice lodge/hotel and cabins. There is a bus that picks you up and returns you. If I did it again, I would drive to Hill City (Where the race ends) and park and take the bus from there to Crazy Horse (the start). This avoids one bus ride and when the race is over you can leave when you want; only issue I had was the busses were supposed to begin leaving at 10am and at 10:40 only 10 people were ready to go. Luckily the bus driver was willing to leave with few people so I didn’t miss mu flight home.
    I went to Crazy Horse the day before to check things out, you do not need to do this as you have about an hour there before the race and you get to run up to the base of the monument.
    Recommendations on clothing…. It was 27 degrees when I left my room, about 35 when the race started and 50 after 2 hours. Since you can wait inside up until about 5 minutes before the race, dress for the warmer temps. The last 10 miles are mostly shaded and cooler, but there are spots where the sun peaks out to warm you. Most of the run is hard packed gravel.

    Eat at the Powder House!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    yma98 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course is hilly about the first 3 miles, and the last 10 miles are a very comfortable downhill trail (does not require trail shoes) course from crazy horse to … MORE

    The course is hilly about the first 3 miles, and the last 10 miles are a very comfortable downhill trail (does not require trail shoes) course from crazy horse to Hill City. Shaded course though, so I was happy with long sleeves. Loved the medal and shirt design. Well organized and every aid station had water, powerade and fruit. Visiting the area also gave me a chance to visit 3 National Parks and Custer State Park. Gorgeous scenery and wildlife. The only tough part was that it’s considered off-season there, so many restaurants/shops were closed or closed early.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    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. *Update: I realize I never updated this review that I did indeed receive my shirt in the mail several weeks after the event.

    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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    skunks4pam FIRST-TIMER '16

    one of my favorite 1/2 marathons. While the temps can be a bit unpredictable the scenery makes up for it. After the first 3 miles it is literally downhill from … MORE

    one of my favorite 1/2 marathons. While the temps can be a bit unpredictable the scenery makes up for it. After the first 3 miles it is literally downhill from there, smooth and even. After the race take in one of the many wineries in the area and enjoy the views.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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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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    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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