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|Race||Distance||Location||Date||Result||My Raves||My Performance|
|Tucson Marathon||Marathon||Oracle, AZ||Dec 4, 2021||
Potential squandered with poor execution
I ran this race because it was local and logistically easy for me to plan. Despite all that it has going for it (including sleeping in my own bed the … MORE
I ran this race because it was local and logistically easy for me to plan. Despite all that it has going for it (including sleeping in my own bed the night before), I wouldn’t run this race again or recommend it to others.
– Tucson is a beautiful place, but this race is nowhere near the city of Tucson. It’s the Oracle marathon and most of the race is run along the shoulder of Oracle Rd. The initial sunrise is pretty, but the remainder is a dull, straight line.
– The marathon is marketed as a downhill race, but be aware that the course is definitely rolling. I thankfully had the opportunity to preview the course on long runs and was not surprised, but I can see this coming as a shock to out of towners. The hills are not insignificant.
– The race website had a bright red banner reading “RACE CANCELLED” and all information was for the 2020 race up until race day in 2021. There was little contact with the runners prior to race day. Instructions were limited and the disorganization showed the morning of the race.
– The expo is tiny and way out in Oracle. Definitely not worth the drive – race day packet pickup seems like a good idea for a race this small.
– The women’s marathon t-shirt was very, very ugly.
– Marathon parking moved to a new location for the 2021 race. This was a poor choice. The lot was not marked or directed by volunteers, nobody had any idea where to park or go for the buses, and the walk to the buses was dark and uneven.
– More importantly, it took me over an hour to get back to my car after finishing the marathon. It took 30+ minutes of waiting for the bus to fill enough to go, then another 30 minutes of driving before I was even at my car. I then had an hour long drive back into town. Not great for recovery.
– No Gu along the course, in contradiction to what the map showed. Water stops were understaffed and they weren’t prepared with water cups as we were running by. I missed several because I didn’t want to stop and wait in the middle of a race.
– Very little community spectatorship because there is no parking allowed along most of Oracle.
– Here’s the big one: the race measured .25 mi long for the half and .5 mi long for the full. The race course did not match the USATF certified course map. Ask any runner that was there that day and they will confirm the issue. This led to a lot of missed qualifying times and frustration. While I understand that mistakes happen, the radio silence from the organizers was unacceptable and deeply upsetting. All emails on the subjects received a non-committal “we’re looking into it” response. 6 months later and I still haven’t seen any acknowledgement or response.
The good: Very friendly volunteers, the Tucson running community is fabulous, the weather is generally reasonable (on the hot side in 2021), and the race is small enough that there are no corrals, battles for port-a-potties, etc.
All that said, I would not recommend this race to anyone, including locals.