Final Details of the 47th TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run
Celebrating 100 years of America's National Parks!

  1. Thanks to National Park Service
  2. Saturday Packet Pickup Information
  3. Monday Race Day Information
  4. Parking, Waste Management restrooms, Roadrunner timing
  5. Course Details
  6. Photography by Oro Valley Photography and Goatographer
  7. Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown
  8. TMC and other sponsors
  9. Beneficiaries
  10. Running Shop Race Awards
Below are race details, but first, let's take a moment to acknowledge our wonderful race location.  O
ld-timers will remember when this race was the Saguaro National Monument Run, and w e're proud to be part of the National Park Service, an American treasure celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  

We offer special thanks to our friends at Saguaro for allowing us to be one of the few races produced on National Park lands. Park Ranger Steve Bolyard, Rincon Mountain District Ranger Miranda Cook, and Saguaro Chief Ranger Ray O'Neill -- plus former Park Superintendent Darla Sidles -- have all provided above-and-beyond support for this race over the years.  It takes a lot of folks to help with this race, so if you see a Park Service employee, please thank them for their efforts!

Did you know that approximately 1% of the Park's total fee revenue comes from this single event?  Thank you for helping us support this local treasure.   The National Park Visitor Center will open at 6:00 am this year.  Your one-day park pass is included in your registration, so there is no need to purchase an additional park pass.   
Now, on to the race details.  Please make sure you're familiar with the items of importance -- including packet pick-up, parking, race route information, and more.

We'll see you this weekend!  

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact me.

Randy Accetta
Southern Arizona Roadrunners  | 520-991-0733

Do you notice anything different about the race demographics from this photo in the SAR newsletter 33 years ago?

Saturday, September 3rd
Pre-Race Packet Pickup

10:00 am - 2:00 pm T-shirt and Packet Pickup at The Running Shop (3055 North Campbell)
YES: Saturday morning will be crowded. Please be in a good mood and please be nice to the volunteers who are giving up their Saturday to help out.  

YES: T-shirt sizing is first-come, first-served, so get there early to get your first choice!  

YES: Go shopping!  Please support local running by shopping local -- get some shoes, clothes, and other running products from our friends at The Running Shop. The Running Shop will be open on Monday afternoon, as well, so you can take advantage of their Labor Day Sale after the race, too!

YES: You can pick up the shirt and number of someone else, but this is capped to 5 total people at a time -- please be respectful of the people in line and don't spend a year-and-a-half trying to figure out if the t-shirt is the perfect size.  

YES: you can become a member of SAR at the race.  SAR is a grass-roots, member-driven running club committed to making our region better through running.  SAR members receive discounts to our races, a quarterly newsletter, discounts to local businesses and a cool t-shirt.  See  to join the club!

NO: We do NOT guarantee that every runner will get the exact size that they want.  The shirts are once again from our popular Leslie Jordan supplier.

NO: At this point, you can not formally change your race distance.   However, if you want to do the 5k instead of the 8-miler, please tell the volunteers at Saturday's packet pick that you intend to do the 5k.  This will enable our timer to better manage your results.  There is no need to change your registration or your number.  Because this is chip-timed, your 5k time will be recorded. There are no provisions for moving from the 5k to the 8-miler.

NO: THERE IS NO RACE WEEKEND REGISTRATION  - only t-shirt and number pick-up.  

Race Day, When and Where

When - Monday September 5, 2016

Where -  Saguaro National Park EAST, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd
Times  - 6:20 am start time for the 5k run/walk; 6:30 start time for the 8-mile run

Monday September 5th
Race Day Schedule 

5:15-6:00 AM Packet pick-up at Saguaro Park EAST

You can pick up your shirts and numbers at the Maintenance Yard.  Go up the park road and turn right to the maintenance yard.  There is NO race day registration, only number/shirt pick-up. 
NOTE: Triple Crown: for the handful of you who have not already done so, you can pick up your Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown shirt and cactus medal at the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown tent. Every finisher will receive a medal, and Triple Crown registrants can add the TMC Saguaro medal to their cactus medallion.
6:00 am Visitor Center opens, with free giveaways, raffles, discounts, and air conditioning
6:10  5k walkers and runners line up at front, by flagpole.  8-milers can start to line up behind them.  In both races, please line up in order of your expected racing pace: 5-minutes/mile at the front; 6-minutes/mile behind them, and so forth.
6:10 A few words from the National Park Service, Ross Zimmerman and the Zimmerman family, and Julia Strange from TMC.  
6:20 5k start (note, all under-10 children need to have a waiver submitted - parents can do this at registration) 
6:30 8-Mile run start
7:00 and ongoing: All post-race snacks are provided by Tucson Medical Center, with drinks by Muscle Milk and Culligan Water
8:30 (approx) Children's Dash, presented by Craig Dabler Jewelers.  This is a free, playful 100 - 200 yard dash with no special awards.  No need to sign up ahead of time.  Waivers will need to be signed this year -- we'll handle that at the start of the Children's Dash.  Location to be announced. 
9:00 (approx) Begin Raffle Prizes and Race Awards, courtesy of The Running Shop

9:00 Official course closure -- the National Park Service reserves the right to pick up any participants still on the course starting at 9:00 am.  

PLEASE CAR POOL!   The National Park Service is creating a DROP Zone (get it? Drop Runners Off at Park - DROP).    This way you can drop off a car-load of runners in front of Saguaro East, then go park. 

Participants can park on Old Spanish Trail, Freeman Road, and Escalante.  Please obey traffic laws and don't park in driveways.  Please allow at least 2 car lengths between you and a stop sign.

Please be sure that you don't block the bicycle lanes -- keep your wheels to the outside of the road so that bike traffic is not impaired.  Please keep an eye out for bike riders and be sure to share the road.

The Arizona Rangers and the National Park Service will be on hand Monday morning to direct traffic and assist with parking.

Please note that the Pima County Department of Transportation is monitoring the race to ensure that we are complying with safety and legal regulations.   Due to the popularity of this race, authorities are considering requiring us require shuttle buses instead of allowing street parking -- please be smart, kind, and thoughtful when coming to the race this year so that we do not have to require a shuttle in future years!

Remember, the later you arrive, the farther away from the starting line you will have to park.

IMPORTANT: Please try to carpool -- it will be easier and safer for all.   
IMPORTANT: Do not bring pets to the event - and do not leave them in your car!!    

Please use restrooms provided by Waste Management at the Maintenance Yard and the front parking lot.  

NOTE: the restroom lines go faster if you make a line for each one and you stand closer to the doors!!!  

Do NOT go to the bathroom in the desert: the Park Service reserves the right to hand out fines.

At this point, you can not formally change your race distance.   However, if you want to do the 5k instead of the 8-miler, please tell the volunteers at Saturday's packet pick that you intend to do the 5k.  On race day if you must change to the 5k, please visit the timing tent BEFORE 6:00am.  This will enable our timer to better manage your results.  There is no need to change your registration or your number.  Because this is chip-timed, your 5k time will be recorded. There are no provisions for moving from the 5k to the 8-miler.

Please put your bib number on the front of your shirt using the pins provided at registration. Greg Wenneborg is our official timer, and he is using the chip-based timing system from IPICO, so your bib will have an RFID tag on the back of the bib. Please leave this on your bib and don't bend it. 

Souvenir Photography and Social Mediaphoto

Oro Valley Photography will be on hand to take souvenir race photos.  You can find their wonderful photos at -- please consider purchasing a souvenir keepsake for yourself or your loved ones!  

Friend of all, Goatographer, will be on hand snapping informal photos.  See the site and site for photos.  

Please tag the www.instagram/RunSAR and www.instagram/RunTucson sites with #RunSAR,  #TMCSaguaro, #runtucson, #gabezimmermantriplecrown and other creative hashtags of your choosing!!
Course and Staging Information course
No Headphones : Please do NOT wear headphones.  Headphones are strongly discouraged -- not only is it unsafe to run without one of your main senses, we want this to be a fun, community event -- so talk with the strangers you're running with, then outsprint 'em to the finish!!  

Plus, rattlesnakes rattle for a reason -- you will want to hear 'em if they get angry . . . 

(As an aside, for reasons of personal safety and public courtesy, we recommend that you NEVER wear headphones when you run outside.)

The 5k Run & Walk course covers a flatter (but still rolling) course that is suitable for  strollers and families.

This is an out-and-back with a 180-degree turnaround down by the picnic ground.  Please stay to the right the whole way.  About 40 minutes into the 5k the 8-mile lead runners will start to pass you -- please give them the right-of-way.  
  • All 5k participants: Please stay on the right of the road at all times -- go out on the right, turn around and come back on the right.
  • Strollers and walkers in the 5k-- please stay to the RIGHT on the route on both the out and the back - this will ensure that the 8-miler leaders can pass you during their final racing mile.   
The 8-Miler 
is hilly, so please be prepared for the sun and the heat.  If you plan on being on the course for more than two hours, please bring your own water to ensure your safety.   Please start  the race in approximate ord er of your estimate minutes-per-mile, with the fastest runners at the front. 

No strollers are allowed on the 8-mile course.

The 8 Miler is part of the Desert Grand Prix presented by the Running Shop. Thanks to Dave Hill for ensuring that we are a measured course.  The course is USATF Certified, #14-48-523.
No bicycles, wheelchairs, skateboards, roller skates or pets allowed on the 8 mile or 5k course. 
Water Stations - Long-time friend of Tucson running, Culligan Water will be located at approximately 2, 4, 6 and 7 miles -- and the 1 & 2 mile marks in the 5k.     Students from Sahuaro High School Cross Country will be at the 2 and 4 mile marks. Youth from Vision Quest will be at the 6-mile mark.
Thanks to our friends the Tucson Tri-Girls for handling the water stations at mile 7, which is also the 1 and 2 mile mark for the 5k.  The National Park Service will also have volunteers at the 7-mile mark.
Thanks to the cross country runners at St. Augustine High School for coordinating the refreshing water at the start/finish line.

Muscle Milk will be set up at the top of the Maintenance Yard, so after you finish grab some refreshing protein drink!
Be sure to use the garbage and recycling containers provided by   Waste Management .  
Rural Metro provides a dedicated ambulance at the finish line.  

Thanks to Waste Management, we have more port-o-johns than ever before, including one at the 4 mile mark. Please do not use the desert to relieve yourself: the Park Servi ce may fine you - and a snake may bite you!!

Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown triple

TMC Saguaro is the second event in the 2016 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown, to be followed  by the TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon and 5k.  Thank you to all Triple Crown participants for honoring Gabe Zimmerman and helping to contribute to his favorite organization, Child and Family Resources. Those few who have not yet picked up their Run Tucson Triple Crown t-shirts or cactus medals can pick them up on Monday at the race site.

Every finisher will receive the same commemorative medal.  The Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown registrants can attach it to their large cactus medal!

Sponsors sponsors

TUCSON MEDICAL CENTER A special thanks to Tucson Medical Center f or all their   support of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners and the local health and fitness community.  This race could not have such low entry fees without the support of TMC.  
Additional sponsors include The Running Shop; Cox Communications; Tucson Lifestyle; Arizona Daily Star and Caliente; The Workout Group; Muscle Milk, TMC Food Services; Waste Management; Rural Metro; My92.9; The Morning Blend; ProActive Physical Therapy; Vitamin Shoppe; Hager's Journeys Travel Company; Rincon Air Conditioning and Heating.

   2011 saguaro flag

Race Hotel
Looking for a place to spend Sunday night? Award-winning guest ranch, Tanque Verde Ranch, is offering all Saguaro participants a discounted week-end, single-night, or all-inclusive package.  Contact LeighAnn at 520-731-5562. See for details.

Awards awards
The TMC Saguaro National Park 8-miler is part of SAR's 2016 Running Shop Desert Grand Prix. Thanks to The Running Shop for all the award gift certificates. 

$50 Cash - Given to the fastest male and female who equals or betters their age in time in the 8-mile run (+10 minutes for women).

$200 for first man and first woman who sets a new course record in the 8-mile.

Women's Course Record: Stephanie Wessel 47:44 (1990)  
Men's Course Record: Craig Curley 41:39 (2008) 

8 Mile 
Overall 1st: $40 gc to Running Shop + one pair of Saguaro Running Shop socks
Overall 2nd: $30 gc + sock
Overall 3rd: $20 gc + sock
Masters 1st: $20 gc + sock
AG 1st: $15 + sock
AG 2nd: $10 + sock
AG 3rd: sock

Overall 1st: $25 gc + sock
Overall 2nd: $20 gc + sock
Overall 3rd: $15 gc + sock
Masters 1st: $15 gc + sock
AG 1st in 10-year categories U-10 - 70+: one pair of socks
In this race, there is no double-dipping.  Overall top three and first place masters will be taken out of all Age Group awards.

Beneficiaries beneficiaries
Thanks to your entry fees and funding from
Tucson Medical Center and our partnership with Cox Charities, we will donate $2,500 to Friends of Saguaro National Park, the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the National Park Service at Tucson's Saguaro National Park.
National Park Service: The National Park Service has been gracious about allowing us access to the beautiful park. The Park Service asks that all participants pay the standard $5 entry fee to the park. This amount will go directly to the National Parks Service.

Overall, we anticipate providing over $6,000 to the National Park Service, $2,500 to the Friends of Saguaro, and $3,000 to the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.

Where does your Park Service Money Go? By Jeff Wallner, Park Guide
Have you enjoyed a picnic in the shade of a historic shelter at Signal Hill? Have you learned about the natural and human history of the Saguaro from signs along the Freeman Homestead trail? Are you better informed by the new trailhead exhibits and maps found throughout Saguaro National Park? If so, you are enjoying facilities provided by park entrance fees, paid by you and other visitors to Saguaro National Park.

Like hundreds of recreation acres across the country, Saguaro National Park operates under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004. Many visitors are familiar with the "Fee Demo" signs of an earlier law: the Fee Demonstration Program. Under both programs, 100% of all entrance fees are put to use in the park system, and at least 80% of the funds stay in the park where they are collected. Your fees are not returned to the government's general fund.

The effects of time, use, and a rugged desert climate have been tough on the recreation facilities of the park. The picnic areas of the Tucson Mountain District were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conversation Corps. The structures are wonderful, but historic saguaro rib armadas require special care. Facilities in the Rincon Mountain District were installed by the National Park Service in the 1950's, when visitation was a small fraction of what it is today.

Projects paid for by fee dollars at Saguaro cover a wide range of visitor needs. Recently completed projects include new trailhead signs at the Broadway and Loma Alta Trails in the Rincon Mountain District, rehabilitation of eleven historic fireplaces at picnic areas in the Tucson Mountains, and installation of traffic safety signs throughout the park. Next year's projects include trails maintenance and renovating the interpretative exhibits at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center.

Whether you purchase a seven-day permit to the park, a Saguaro Annual Pass good for one year's worth of visits, or the Interagency Pass to be used anywhere in the USA, you can be happy knowing that your fee dollars are used for projects directly related to the facilities and resource of your Saguaro National Park.
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