Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
2.6
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
3.4
SWAG
2.4
Enjoy beautiful Tucson winter weather with temperatures at the start averaging in the high 30s and reaching 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit by 11 a.m. The Tucson Marathon is primarily a downhill marathon, with some hills around mile 2-4, and mile 11-12 and 22-23. Come run your FIRST MARATHON or your FASTEST MARATHON. … MORE
Local Weather (Dec 08)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 54 52 58 67 64
L (°F) 38 28 37 38 54
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Recent reviews

    groundhogcat FIRST-TIMER '18

    Aid stations and volunteers were great, but the scenery was really boring if you can believe it. For much of the race the runners were only separated from traffic by … MORE

    Aid stations and volunteers were great, but the scenery was really boring if you can believe it. For much of the race the runners were only separated from traffic by traffic cones. The downhill was not that great. On the upside the hill was very tiny. I laughed when I reached the top.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '70

    The expo was so small, that I could not even get in the door. It was a small room with several tables set up, and only 2-3 people could be … MORE

    The expo was so small, that I could not even get in the door. It was a small room with several tables set up, and only 2-3 people could be let in.
    The course started early in the morning, where runners were bused. The first 2-3 miles were down an extremely steep hill, and then leveled out. The course itself was actually somewhat enjoyable, minus the first couple of miles. The shirt was a white poorly printed cotton shirt. Mine was so tiny, I asked for a larger shirt, which I was told I got what I ordered. I ended up leaving it behind. After the race, I wrote to the organizer and explained to her my issues with the shirt, and she promised to send my a larger one. I wrote her 3 times, and all 3 times she made the same promise over a 30 day period. Each time she acted as though she had never spoken to me before. I never did get a shirt, which was not a big deal, it was white cotton with a black iron on. The cheapest running shirt I had ever seen, even at this time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '15

    BOTTOM LINE: I ran thru the desert on a course all the same... If you’re a focused downhill runner seeking that elusive Boston Qualifier, then dry desert air and barren … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: I ran thru the desert on a course all the same…

    If you’re a focused downhill runner seeking that elusive Boston Qualifier, then dry desert air and barren scenery aside, Tucson may be your ideal marathon. But if you’re like me and much more comfortable going up (or staying flat) than coming down, you may want to think twice before committing to this race. And if you’re looking for a late-season BQ-friendly course that’s significantly easier on the quads, I’d recommend the California International Marathon which happens to fall on the same weekend as Tucson.

    Beware too the artificially smooth course elevation profile on the race website, which omits many of the smaller rolling hills that will drain the life incrementally from your legs.

    On the other hand, mile 23 hill aside, Tucson is much more intriguing as a speedy half marathon, where quads be damned you can throw caution to the wind and use the first 9+ miles of downhill to your PR’ing advantage. For those considering the 13.1 distance, I’d suggest you check out @dansolera‘s excellent post on his own Tucson Half experience here: http://dans-marathon.com/2010/12/18/state-eight-arizona-damascus-bakeries-tucson-half-marathon-2/

    And if you’re looking for race weekend lodging, look no further than the first-class host hotel. The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort offers reasonable rates and quiet, comfortable rooms, with the added convenience that the pre-race expo is held in one of the hotel conference rooms.

    PRODUCTION: Race Director Pam Reed ensured that everything about marathon weekend operated like a well-oiled machine. Speaking of which, any event that uses buses to transport runners to the start – and does so with nary a glitch – earns extra points on my scorecard. This is no Rock ‘n’ Roll event, and that’s a good thing – the course lacked spectators and entertainment for the most part, while oncoming traffic provided the only consistent white noise along with the occasional waft of exhaust fumes. The expo was quick to navigate and had a small-town feel, including a wild-haired Doc Brown-looking fellow peddling “Magic Stuff” ointment at the corner booth. And the post-race spread, which included local sponsor Damascus Bakeries’ flatbread roll-ups, seemed sufficient to satisfy any but the most epicurean finisher’s palate.

    SWAG: The official 2015 Tucson race shirt is an attractive (albeit bright) royal blue short-sleeve tech tee, while the finisher’s medal is a small and cartoonishly rendered red cactus that, if I were to learn had been designed by the local 3rd grade class, I’d think was really cool. Instead, it strikes me as more afterthought than thoughtfully considered keepsake.

    For more downhill desert details, check out my blog report at: http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2016/02/04/tucson-marathon-race-report/

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    slsadler FIRST-TIMER '15

    Don't be misled by the elevation chart for this race. The downhills will beat you up. Also, it starts at about 5,500 feet so unless you live at higher elevations … MORE

    Don’t be misled by the elevation chart for this race. The downhills will beat you up. Also, it starts at about 5,500 feet so unless you live at higher elevations it will take a toll on you as well. The hill at Biosphere starting at mile 10 is fairly brutal, then you end with a big but short hill at mile 23. Overall good course and nice small race but definitely far from easy.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Marinaw262 FIRST-TIMER '14

    This race is known as being a downhill course, and good to PR/BQ. I chose this race mainly because I wanted to visit the town, as I had some friends … MORE

    This race is known as being a downhill course, and good to PR/BQ. I chose this race mainly because I wanted to visit the town, as I had some friends here and had never visited it, and college towns are always fun with good food and drinks 🙂 The course was not of paramount concern to me, and I probably should have checked into it more, as the main thing to see for the majority of the run was cacti, or homes. The colors of the dessert are pretty, but over the span of 26.2 miles they can get boring. Finish line was nothing spectacular. Bottom line, a good race if you want to run fast for the major net downhill, but don’t plan to really enjoy much along the way.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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