Overall Rating
Overall Rating (114 Reviews)
4.7
(114 Ratings) 🏆 (114 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.9
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.4
The Saguaro Half Marathon is a stunning race with gorgeous views of the Tucson Mountains as you run through the Sonoran desert. The race starts and finishes at Old Tucson- an American movie studio and theme park area located west of Tucson, Arizona. Run through the Sonoran desert on this … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Feb 24):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  71  66  53  76  64
L (°F)  48  34  32  45  40
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Recent reviews

    sbb135 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This course is no joke! The first seven miles are on paved roads and have some rollers with two steep hills. The last ~six miles of the course are on … MORE

    This course is no joke! The first seven miles are on paved roads and have some rollers with two steep hills. The last ~six miles of the course are on fairly technical trails. It was a fun course overall that keeps you guessing and “locked in”! No room for letting your mind wander or getting bored here! I would highly recommend this race (or any Vacation Races race). I’m a BOP runner recovering from injury and just squeaked in under the time limit. It’s a tough course for a slower runner, but doable!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Course was absolutely beautiful from start to finish! Be sure to train for hills. It felt like it was uphill the entire way, lol. This was my 3rd Vacation Race … MORE

    Course was absolutely beautiful from start to finish! Be sure to train for hills. It felt like it was uphill the entire way, lol. This was my 3rd Vacation Race and as always, VR does an excellent job of organizing every aspect of the event.

    Parking was easy, communication was effective, and the course was marked effectively. Post-race refreshments were good, as they give each runner a box full of snacks. As always, VR gives out really nice medals! I think the t-shirt could be a bit better for a half marathon. Perhaps a long-sleeved tee or light jacket would be a nice premium!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    alex.illuzzi FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was my first vacation race event, and I had an incredible time! Even starting at packet pickup the day before the race, there were tons of things to do … MORE

    This was my first vacation race event, and I had an incredible time! Even starting at packet pickup the day before the race, there were tons of things to do and info to pickup along the way.

    The race itself was great – a mixture of hilly roads / gravel trails made for a varied and DIFFICULT first time half marathon! The views along the way were incredible – just what you need to keep your mind off the pain. The aid stations were well spaced and well stocked, and the finish line area was a great way to end the day!

    The race shirt & medal are very high quality as well. Overall I would definitely recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    pamelaephelan FIRST-TIMER '24

    I do not have much organized race experience and this was my first half marathon. Everything about the event was efficient, clear, and well organized. Info about the race from … MORE

    I do not have much organized race experience and this was my first half marathon. Everything about the event was efficient, clear, and well organized. Info about the race from signing up to picking up your bib was very easy for this newbie to understand. Everyone was helpful answering my questions and making sure i got to the start line ready to go. And of course the location was gorgeous!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    dupont.ariel REPEAT RUNNER '24

    This race was very challenging but so rewarding! The last 7 miles are on narrow, windy, sand trails through Saguaro. It was BEAUTIFUL and the weather could not have been MORE

    This race was very challenging but so rewarding! The last 7 miles are on narrow, windy, sand trails through Saguaro. It was BEAUTIFUL and the weather could not have been better.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    jennimiller2114 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Gorgeous scenery. More uphill than I had anticipated, long gradual uphills. Trail portion was very technical, not a lot of areas conducive for safe passing so just be mindful and … MORE

    Gorgeous scenery. More uphill than I had anticipated, long gradual uphills. Trail portion was very technical, not a lot of areas conducive for safe passing so just be mindful and vocal of your fellow runners. It was a well put on race, the announcer was awesome!!! The raffle was a fun element! Enjoyed the awards ceremony. The medals were wonderful! I would definitely recommend this race. You do need to be mindful of the trails for many reasons. It is tough to mark a trail like that, but I felt that they really tried to mark it well. Overall a very enjoyable experience and was beautiful! This race was a great way to start off my destination wedding day!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    JedJerk FIRST-TIMER '24

    What a well run race!!! Packet pick up was a breeze. The expo was not overwhelming. And the race start corral was great. The give aways were a real nice … MORE

    What a well run race!!! Packet pick up was a breeze. The expo was not overwhelming. And the race start corral was great. The give aways were a real nice touch. I wish I would have gotten there earlier for some of the better prizes. The start line snacks and drink were great too.
    The race start itself was a little crowded but as long as you lined up where you expected the finish you were fine. The road part of the race was tougher than anticipated. The climb from 3 to 5 was tough.
    Once I got on the trail, it was great. Little tough underfoot and some of the spots were purely single track but for the most part you had plenty of places to pass if needed.
    The finish was great. Plenty of snacks and hydration.

    The one and only disappointing part were the pacers. I had never run this race before and was pretty unsure what my time would be and I lined up at 2 hours. I was running faster than that pace and the pacer was so far in front of me that I could not see them before the 7 mile mark and I finished at 1:59. Some one that was running in the 1:50 group told me that the pacer said we are going to shoot for 1:40. But that really is something that the race director really has little control over once the race starts.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    lyndagagne FIRST-TIMER '24

    Race is most difficult because of the trails and, at times, bottlenecks created because they are narrow with many people going through. If running for time, this can add to … MORE

    Race is most difficult because of the trails and, at times, bottlenecks created because they are narrow with many people going through. If running for time, this can add to frustration but if running with friends, it tends to be fine.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    lisah FIRST-TIMER '24

    There weren't many aid/water stations likely becasue of the terrian. Beautiful scenery. First 7 miles were paved and hills, last 6 were rocky, sandy, and ... you guessed it ... … MORE

    There weren’t many aid/water stations likely becasue of the terrian. Beautiful scenery. First 7 miles were paved and hills, last 6 were rocky, sandy, and … you guessed it … hilly. This race kicked my butt – I walked which I haven’t had to do before. Still loved the over all everything!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Loved the road/trail mix. Back half is all trail. At times narrow and rocky with a good amount of dips and climbs. Not conducive to finding a steady pace or … MORE

    Loved the road/trail mix. Back half is all trail. At times narrow and rocky with a good amount of dips and climbs. Not conducive to finding a steady pace or zoning out. Felt great to accomplish this unique and challenging course. I would not recommend to anyone who’s not familiar with trail running. Can’t beat February weather in Tucson! Seeing the sun rise over the mountains, lighting up the foothills and saguaro forest is the perfect distraction during the ascent miles 4-7. I estimate 10-15min slower than my road race time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    dbradley4383 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Beautiful race and sunrise start! Course wasn’t too challenging, more the desert weather I wasn’t used to. Single track was wider than expected. Make sure to stay hydrated! The sun … MORE

    Beautiful race and sunrise start! Course wasn’t too challenging, more the desert weather I wasn’t used to. Single track was wider than expected. Make sure to stay hydrated! The sun Beating down, dry heat and elevation higher than I normally train did take a bit out of me. Overall I’d totally do it again

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    mjenn66 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Yet another fine event from Vacation Races. This race was my 10th different location completed with them. Great desert scenery and beautiful weather. Approx 7.5 miles of paved desert roads, … MORE

    Yet another fine event from Vacation Races. This race was my 10th different location completed with them. Great desert scenery and beautiful weather. Approx 7.5 miles of paved desert roads, then the rest trails. A good mix, some rolling hills, challenging parts on the trails. Overall a fun varied mix of terrain, all with great views. Nice finish area. Easy access and parking. A little congested at the start, as everybody starts together in one wave. But after a mile or so it thinned out well. Close to the National Park and many other hiking trails. And not far from downtown Tucson also. Great event!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    yaya09 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Course was difficult but achievable. Made up of half road/ trail, rolling hills, 700+ elevation gain, and loose rocks/gravel. My first half marathon and finished under two hour goal. The … MORE

    Course was difficult but achievable. Made up of half road/ trail, rolling hills, 700+ elevation gain, and loose rocks/gravel. My first half marathon and finished under two hour goal. The medal is stunning and event was overall a great experience. Very well organized, friends/family were impressed as spectators. Fell mile 10 but kept going, eventually got stitches. Would recommend race but definitely train prior including hill workouts.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ra.chb FIRST-TIMER '24

    Be prepare that this is 7 miles of road running then into 6 miles of technical trail running. It’s a great course with great scenery. On the trail you’ll have … MORE

    Be prepare that this is 7 miles of road running then into 6 miles of technical trail running. It’s a great course with great scenery. On the trail you’ll have to watch where you’re placing your feet and watch for cacti.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    cmpress07 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was by far the toughest run I have done, but I don’t regret it at all! Packet pickup was easy. Plenty of parking on race morning. The weather was … MORE

    This was by far the toughest run I have done, but I don’t regret it at all! Packet pickup was easy. Plenty of parking on race morning. The weather was perfect at the start though warmed up quickly. The first 7 miles was as paved and had a legit steep hill midway. Otherwise rolling hills is an accurate description. The trail was rough for me and I was not prepared for the substantial rocks and slopes. I slipped and rolled my ankle several times and had to slow down, but many people seemed to do just fine. It was narrow and difficult to pass and let others pass at times but most people around me at least seemed considerate. The scenery was amazing! Don’t forget to take it all in! Definitely recommend!

    I also enjoyed the city of Tucson which had plenty to do and see including the Saguaro National Park and the museum. Highly recommend if you have time.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    treade FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was my first half, and what a perfect introduction to longer runs! Vacation Races does an incredible job with support and race day set-up, everything went perfectly smooth. I … MORE

    This was my first half, and what a perfect introduction to longer runs! Vacation Races does an incredible job with support and race day set-up, everything went perfectly smooth. I am from Tucson, but still loved every bit of the sunrise and scenery as I ran. I will definitely be doing this race again, and checking out some of VRs other offerings. Also, the finisher medal is killer!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ccurley FIRST-TIMER '24

    My first of many half-marathons! I was impressed with how well-organized this race was. I am so happy that the aid stations not only had water, and nutrition packs but … MORE

    My first of many half-marathons! I was impressed with how well-organized this race was. I am so happy that the aid stations not only had water, and nutrition packs but also places to drop off excess clothing. Definitely will be signing up for more vacation races in the future!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Rvjuggalo FIRST-TIMER '24

    Vacation races puts on a great race. Only disappointment was last year finished in Old tuscon and this year was changed. The course was a great mixture of road and … MORE

    Vacation races puts on a great race. Only disappointment was last year finished in Old tuscon and this year was changed. The course was a great mixture of road and trail. I would suggest this race to anyone that has not done it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '24

    This race was phenomenal. It was my fourth vacation race and was so fun. It was a girls trip with five of us from Florida. We rented an Airbnb that … MORE

    This race was phenomenal. It was my fourth vacation race and was so fun. It was a girls trip with five of us from Florida. We rented an Airbnb that was approximately 4 miles from the race start and we were able to go hike in the national park the day before.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    HikerRyan FIRST-TIMER '24

    The Saguaro Half Marathon was yet again a great event put on by Vacation Races. They never fail to deliver. The shirt design this year was really cool, and the … MORE

    The Saguaro Half Marathon was yet again a great event put on by Vacation Races. They never fail to deliver. The shirt design this year was really cool, and the overall atmosphere was great. With some great desert scenery the race really delivers if you are looking for a half in the early part of the year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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