Overall Rating
Overall Rating (58 Reviews)
4.6
(58 Ratings)  (58 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.8
SCENERY
4.9
PRODUCTION
4.3
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
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Recent reviews

    karaschulte FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was a great race. I have run several races before but this was my first half marathon. It was pretty tough because we ran the road portion first and … MORE

    This was a great race. I have run several races before but this was my first half marathon. It was pretty tough because we ran the road portion first and then the trail run. I am happy that I trained well for this race because there were many people who fell on the trails due to tired legs. I think running the trail portion first could be better but I think the trails might get congested more easily. This year the race was 13.6 miles. I hope they get it down to a true half next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    debrajb81 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Beautiful setting, nice mix of road and trail, and fantastic weather for mid February. Felt like a great introduction to half marathon running. MORE

    Beautiful setting, nice mix of road and trail, and fantastic weather for mid February. Felt like a great introduction to half marathon running.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Mabuetow FIRST-TIMER '22

    Just be prepared for half of it on a rocky trail but it’s a nice challenge but yet durable course for an average runner. My sister also did it who … MORE

    Just be prepared for half of it on a rocky trail but it’s a nice challenge but yet durable course for an average runner. My sister also did it who hates running but it was her bucket list and she ended up loving it and now we’re talking about another possible vacation race somewhere else.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    DRToohey FIRST-TIMER '22

    The Saguaro half may be the worst half I ran. 1. The parking situation - whoever planned it actually needs to be fired. There should have been a shuttle or … MORE

    The Saguaro half may be the worst half I ran.

    1. The parking situation – whoever planned it actually needs to be fired. There should have been a shuttle or a different location or FAR more people staffing it because it took me 75 minutes to get out of the parking lot. The company took next-to-no accountability, basically sending an email that amounted to “Oops! Well, you should have told us sooner! We never expected to need staff getting people out of a bottleneck!”

    Mind you, people had just run a grueling half. Had it been hotter that day, it would have been SEVERELY dangerous, between cars overheating and people getting heat exhaustion/dehydration. Many runners I ran into later that weekend said they had leg problems from being in the cars too long afterwards.

    2. The elevation map was deceptive. Squeezing the first 7 miles into a fraction of that on the map made the course seem to have a rough beginning before easing up, rather than a while half of the race at an incline.

    3. The trail running part was dangerous. It was too narrow and too rocky with far too many ups and downs. I’ve done and enjoyed trails, but this was hard to find a pace because of how much it bottlenecked and how dangerous the terrain was. I fell, as did many others.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    DRToohey Feb 25, 2022 at 3:27pm

    Response from the CEO of Vacation Races to me: “There are lots of other races you can run out there, and I'm sure they would love to have assholes like… MORE

    Response from the CEO of Vacation Races to me: “There are lots of other races you can run out there, and I'm sure they would love to have assholes like you as customers. As for vacation races we have a very strong no asshole rule, and I'm afraid we're going to have to fire you as a customer.” LESS

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    dana4201 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I wasn't able to make it to the race expo, so I was a little disappointed, but that was my fault. It was nice to be able to walk up … MORE

    I wasn’t able to make it to the race expo, so I was a little disappointed, but that was my fault. It was nice to be able to walk up and use the QR code this year for bib pickup. There were PLENTY of restrooms available at the start line, so you weren’t in line for a while.
    I know this is the second year they ran this race, and I loved having the trail portion on the back half. It really gave me something to look forward to. There were definitely quite a few slow moments on the trail. I trail run at home, so navigating the rocks, etc wasn’t a problem for me, but I’m sure there were some people not used to this. But you can’t beat the scenery-even on the pavement there was cactus all around!
    The pavement wasn’t the most even-not Vacation Race’s fault-just a little disappointing that the Tucson area hasn’t taken care of this road. We did not experience any of the traffic jam that was noted, however, our party was not allowed back in to pick us up, so we had to walk to them on the road. I could see how the logistics with the public coming in to visit the park and other nearby venues could make traffic/parking a problem. But I hope they continue to hold this race-I’ll come back just for the scenery and trail portion. And so nice to have something close to home!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    singlerunner FIRST-TIMER '22

    Most Beautiful Half I've ever run in AZ! This was half 142! The scenery is amazing! VR put on a well dialed half marathon from packet pick up, parking near … MORE

    Most Beautiful Half I’ve ever run in AZ! This was half 142! The scenery is amazing! VR put on a well dialed half marathon from packet pick up, parking near the start, coffee, and bananas in the am. I would have liked to run the trail portion first because it is very tough….and later could make up time on the road. We had 3 ladies that walked the trail slowly which cause a 20 plus person to clog up…you could not pass them…which was very rude…walkers and slower people need to let others pass! Thus my time showed how much of a clog up can affect you.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Dilbert FIRST-TIMER '22

    I would recommend any VR race. Well organized and right after the race the directors were asking how they could improve. Tough tough course but the atmosphere made up for … MORE

    I would recommend any VR race. Well organized and right after the race the directors were asking how they could improve. Tough tough course but the atmosphere made up for it.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    cmswalec REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This was my third VR (Yosemite and Joshua Tree), but by far the hardest. I've completed ultra trail runs and this was a surprisingly technical one. More spacing between racers … MORE

    This was my third VR (Yosemite and Joshua Tree), but by far the hardest. I’ve completed ultra trail runs and this was a surprisingly technical one. More spacing between racers would’ve been great, but I know the course is new and the team is learning. I always appreciate the VR series for their commitment to zero waste and community involvement — those aspects held true with this race. My only serious feedback is that the medical tent was not well stocked or prepared. They only had one size (small) bandages and no antibiotic cream (like Neosporin).

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    juliagadek FIRST-TIMER '22

    Well organized race— lots of great instructions and information/communication leading up to race day. Course was beautiful and challenging (lots of hills, would recommend trail running shoes!) Plenty of aid … MORE

    Well organized race— lots of great instructions and information/communication leading up to race day. Course was beautiful and challenging (lots of hills, would recommend trail running shoes!) Plenty of aid stations along the route. The only thing that could probably use improvement would be to stagger the start times more so runners don’t get clogged up on the trails. There were a few times when I was caught behind sections of walkers on very narrow trails, with limited opportunities to pass them. This probably impacted my overall finish time by two or so minutes, in total.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    melindajanemyers REPEAT RUNNER '22

    It was so beautiful running in a saguaro forest . The trail portion was harder than I thought and lot more difficult than the trails I trained on. I loved … MORE

    It was so beautiful running in a saguaro forest . The trail portion was harder than I thought and lot more difficult than the trails I trained on. I loved the race .

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    tundra.25 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Vacation Races puts on amazing races and they are all so different. This was was very difficult due to a 6 mile leg of trail running that was pretty much … MORE

    Vacation Races puts on amazing races and they are all so different. This was was very difficult due to a 6 mile leg of trail running that was pretty much single file the entire 6 miles. It was hard to pass walkers and slower paced runners, therefore it messed up some of our times. The trail had lots of rocks large and small that were hard to run on and or by. The aid stations had everything we needed and were placed accordingly. The staff goes above and beyond to make their runners happy and it was very pretty! I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to complete their series and or is an experienced trail runner, but bring your trail shoes!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    kubisiakrl FIRST-TIMER '22

    This race is really cool. You run through the desert. How cool is that?! There are some uphill climbs, but the road terrain is easy. The coned sides to run … MORE

    This race is really cool. You run through the desert. How cool is that?! There are some uphill climbs, but the road terrain is easy. The coned sides to run on gets confusing with random switches. Adequate hydration stations, just make sure you dont lose your reusable cups or you’re screwed and end up using your hands which is subpar at best, lol. The trail portion is so cool and could be so much fun except it only has space for single file running for the most part which can really stink when there are slower runners or random walkers. No disrespect to them, I stand in solidarity with anyone who’s moving, but if you cant pass, it provides for a frustrating experience and a result in a subpar time, and that’s disappointing. The course was longer at over 13.5 but they are working that out as well as parking kinks. The race otherwise is extremely well organized; everyone is very informative and helpful and I’ll definitely be racing with VR again, and overall recommended the race at Saguaro, but know unless you’re competing for overall prizes you’re going to get stuck or slowed on the trail portion unless something with if changes.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    natalieschumacher REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Beautiful views during the race. If I were to do it again, I’d definitely choose trail shoes. The first half of the race is up-hill road and the last half … MORE

    Beautiful views during the race. If I were to do it again, I’d definitely choose trail shoes. The first half of the race is up-hill road and the last half is difficult trail. Start out strong on the road, because you’ll likely be slowed down on the trail to avoid falls.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Naomi REPEAT RUNNER '22

    As a road runner I found the trail section difficult/technical, but having to focus on where you were stepping also helped keep it interesting. I would definitely recommend the course … MORE

    As a road runner I found the trail section difficult/technical, but having to focus on where you were stepping also helped keep it interesting. I would definitely recommend the course to friends, just be prepared for some hills and rocky trail.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    tlmorgan925 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The organization of a Vacation Race has always impressed me and this run was no different!! It is also fun to volunteer and be a part of the “crew” the … MORE

    The organization of a Vacation Race has always impressed me and this run was no different!! It is also fun to volunteer and be a part of the “crew” the day before the run. The difficulty of this run caught me off guard. The hills in the beginning portion of the run were long but I felt doable even from someone who hasn’t trained much on hills. The trail portion was much harder than I expected and not something I’m used to but even after tripping 4 times I never stopped and still competed this run faster than my goal! For sure a great challenge for anyone and would say anyone who completed this run should be very proud of their accomplishment!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    mtnbikr REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The race was well organized from check in through the medal ceremonies. The course was great, starting on the road to allow a good spread before the trail sections started. … MORE

    The race was well organized from check in through the medal ceremonies. The course was great, starting on the road to allow a good spread before the trail sections started. The course as a bit long but the organizers were upfront about that (more run for your money 🙂 ) Can’t wait to try it again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    krthomas FIRST-TIMER '22

    This run has it all - fantastic scenery, road running, trail running, and very challenging! The road portion has a long climb and the trail portion has technical portions that … MORE

    This run has it all – fantastic scenery, road running, trail running, and very challenging! The road portion has a long climb and the trail portion has technical portions that have some steep, short ups and downs that you won’t really pick up on from the course elevation map. Vacation Races are always well organized and the medals are great. There will always be some hiccups with so many runners in one place but they do a great job. This is a challenging run I’d definitely recommend!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This racecourse is the perfect balance of road and trail - taking you into the heart of the Arizona desert. The beauty is unmatched and the route pushes you physically … MORE

    This racecourse is the perfect balance of road and trail – taking you into the heart of the Arizona desert. The beauty is unmatched and the route pushes you physically as you navigate hills to trails. Second year and still my favorite race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    Luvhyg FIRST-TIMER '22

    I'm a trail runner at heart but didn't mind having road and trail in the same race, it made for a unique experience. The majority of the trail is single … MORE

    I’m a trail runner at heart but didn’t mind having road and trail in the same race, it made for a unique experience. The majority of the trail is single track and difficult to pass unless the runner ahead of you steps to the side, which often didn’t happen. The scenery is amazing and it’s within 30 minutes of a large city which makes it a very convenient destination.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    andyowens FIRST-TIMER '22

    Great introduction to trail running. If you are a road runner and interested in breaking into trail, this course allows you to do 60% of it on the road and … MORE

    Great introduction to trail running. If you are a road runner and interested in breaking into trail, this course allows you to do 60% of it on the road and 40% on the trail. Vacation races always does an amazing job in making these events fun for all different types of runners. I would definitely run this race again, overall the road portion was not very hard. If you’re not used to hills or have done no hill training it could be a bit challenging. The trail component you need to be careful due to loose rocks especially if you’re not familiar with trail running.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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  1. Races
  2. Saguaro Half Marathon