Hello to the 2,500 runners and walkers who participated in last week's TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run -- and to all of our sponsors, vendors, and others who helped make this event happen.
Below is our full race report, with updates on the overall winners, the RRCA Championships, the volunteers who helped, the sponsors who made it possible, and the logistics of picking up remaining awards and souvenirs.
Thank you for helping us have the biggest and most fun race in Tucson!
Randy and Tia Accetta
Women’s Course Record Set at TMC Meet Me Downtown + RRCA Champs
On Tucson's hottest night of the year so far, Leah Rosenfeld came to Tucson from the snowy mountains of Flagstaff to smash the women's course record in the TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run.
Cruising the 3.1 mile Downtown route in 17:11, a chipper pace of 5:32 per mile, Leah (above in red and black racing shirt) took home the winner's purse plus the course record bonus.
Said Leah by email after the race, "Thank you so much for allowing me to race in the mile and 5k. [Tucson is] so kind and welcoming to the athletes and I appreciate all of your efforts to make this event happen! As spectators, my parents enjoyed watching the races, listening to the band rock out, and taste test at the food trucks. . . . a first class event!"
Following Leah to the line was fellow Flagstaff runner Courtney Barnes and in third place was Francine Nzilampa, also from Flagstaff. First women's master 5k runner was Tia Accetta, in a time of 20:33.
On the men's side, Flagstaff runner John Raneri snagged top honors sprinting to the tape in 15 minutes flat, with local standouts Harry Mulenga and Japhet Kipkoch hot on his heels.
Top master's male was Oro Valley's Orlando Velasquez, one of the top 40+ runners in the West.
Speaking of the West, the Festival of Miles was named the RRCA West Regional Championships, with top athletes receiving special medallions. The RRCA West Regional Champion in the Mile Run is Harry Mulenga, in a time of 4:19. The Master's Male winner is Brian Pasero.
Super Grand Master's Champ is Benito Gonzalez, while Grand Masters Champ is Steve Sluyk from Scottsdale.
On the women's side, the first woman across the line was Courtney Barnes from McKirdy Trained in Flagstaff. Her time of 4:53 makes her the RRCA West Regional One Mile Champion.
For the RRCA Championships, 66-year old Kim Andres from Irving, Texas was the first 40+ finisher, taking home the Super-Grand Masters title, while Lisa Kiser was the first woman in the Grand Master's Division, and Monica Polanco was the first place finisher in the 40-49 year division.
In the Battle of the Badges, Vincent Valenzuela from TPD took first place in a smoking' time of 5:08, with Steve Vanderlaske from Falmouth, Mass coming in second. First place woman was Erica Cramer in 7:03.
Once again, Mark Cromey ran the whole race in full Tucson Fire Department gear, finishing in 14:18.
Fitkidz: Thanks for all the 319 finishers and the almost 450 registrants.
As a reminder, all results follow "gun-time." The SAR webpage seems to be having problems listing all runners, so you can check
/ for all results and age groups.
If you won an age group award, you can visit The Running Shop at 3055 North Campbell any time on the month of June to pick up your award.
Thank you to volunteers for TMC Meet Me Downtown
Tia and I are overwhelmed by the community support for the TMC Meet Me Downtown Night Run. I am sure we’ve missed folks who helped, but here’s a partial list of those who helped at packet pickup and on race night. We cannot do it without help and we’re eternally grateful for such a great running community! Thank you! --Randy Accetta
Workout Group: Thanks to all the runners who run with us at The Workout Group for all the pre-race advice, all the set-up, all the race day chipping-in, and all the late-night clean up.
TriGirls and friends: Thanks to the Tucson Tri-Girls for handling the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown tent on race night
Southwest Endurance Training: Thanks to the gang from SWET for handling the finish line water stop.
Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists: Thanks to SDMB for handling the Beer Garden.
SAR Board: Thanks to Diane, Greg, Dave, Heather, Caroline, Steve, and Sheryl for all the race day help. Thanks to SAR Office Manager Lucas Tyler and to the full Board for all the pre-race communications and preparation help.
Educational Enrichment Foundation: Thanks to all the volunteers from EEF for handling the 2-mile water station.
Greater Tucson Leadership: Thanks to GTL’s leadership class of 2019 for handling the water stop near the 5-Points band!
Running Shop: Thanks to Sharon Bart from the Running Shop, and to Lucas, Geoff, Dan and the rest of the gang from the Running Shop for helping with packet pickup before the race and all the post-race follow-up.
The Whelan Clan: Special thanks to Linda Whelan for all of her pre-and post-race planning help and her race day efforts, and to Kerry Whelan for his amazing photographs. It's a lot of work to catalogue a race like this -- we're grateful to Kerry for his time and skill!
The Damion Alexander Team: Thanks to Damion for being the lead bike rider on the race course.
Rayleigh Thompson Instability: Thanks to the band members of RTI for volunteering their rock and roll services on race night at the EEF water station.
Rock n' Roll: Thanks to the band members of AFTER 7 and Parties with Townies for rockin' out with us on race night!
Tucson Medical Center: Thanks to Amy and the gang from TMC for helping with race day and preparations.
Thanks to all the folks who pitched in on a hot day and hot night! If we missed you, let us know and we'll add you to the list!
UPDATED FROM LAST WEEK
Wow -- thanks to all the runners and walkers and friends and family who came out to the 13th Annual TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run and Walk last weekend!
As you may already know, Tia and I came up with the idea for this race 13 years ago after a failed date night, when there was nothing to do in Downtown Tucson.
Downtown was in a bit of a funk back then, so we decided to throw a running party to highlight the Fox Theater, the arts district, and the few restaurants and bars. Well, since then a decade-plus of growth has made Downtown Tucson a hip spot to be for young and old alike, with plenty of galleries, restaurants, bars, and clubs.
We thank you for helping our community be a better place to live -- and we're grateful to the Downtown Tucson Partnership, Rio Nuevo, Hotel Congress, the Running Shop, SAR, the RRCA, and Tucson Medical Center for being long-term partners in helping us improve Downtown.
OK -- we will send a deeper post-race report in a few days, but below are a few quick housekeeping items.
If you did not yet receive your age-group award, please visit the
at 3055 North Campbell by the end of June to claim your award. All awards are given based on start-gun-time.
Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown
We are grateful for Emily Nottingham, Ross Zimmerman, and the entire Zimmerman family for allowing us to honor Gabe with this series of races. Thanks to your registrations and to funding from Tucson Medical Center, we are on track to provide over $8,000 to
for local health and wellness programming.
Triple Crown registration includes the teal GabeZ shirt, the MMD medal, and registration to both the September 15th TMC Tucson 10k and October 27th TMC Get Moving Half-Marathon and 5k (including race shirts and medals). Your registration will also enable us to provide an additional $10 to the BEYOND-Foundation.
Likewise, if you signed up for the Triple Crown but had to do TMC Meet Me Downtown virtually, please go to the Running Shop to get your shirt and medal.
We only have a few orange race shirts left, but we have extra "Run Tucson" hats and extra Gabe Z shirts, so if you did not get a shirt on race night, please take whatever works best -- and please be nice to the folks at The Running Shop. If you have any problems or are unhappy about anything, contact me at
and please do not take it out on the staff at The Running Shop.
If we have run out of your size, please accept one of the hats or other shirts that we have provided for you. The Running Shop staff has graciously offered to help folks get a souvenir, so please be kind to them as you sort through what works best.
Our long-time photo hero is Kerry Whelan, who is the best running photographer I've ever seen. His race photos can be found at
Kerry is working on thousands of photos, so give him some time and check 'em out at his FB page.
Another long-time friend of the race is Damion Alexander. Damion was the lead bike rider on the Mile Races and the 5k -- and he took some awesome photos and
put 'em on his FB page here
Check out the various photos tagged at our
. Also, check out the various hashtags on social media: #meetmedowntown5k, #gabezimmermantriplecrown, #runSAR, and #runtucson.
As a way of thanking you for being part of everything, please see below for discount codes to some of the upcoming races we produce.
For any race questions or future sponsorship inquiries, contact Race Director
Thank you so much for the opportunity to partner again on this wonderful event. What an amazing event it was! The race was well organized and we heard great things from the 483 individuals who made use of our courtyard and the Museum. On behalf of the Museum staff, Board of Directors and all the kiddos who ran, jumped and played on Saturday night…thank you! Autumn Rentmeester, Director of Development
Educational Enrichment Foundation:
Thank you so much for including us in this weekend’s event. It is always to incredible to a part of the Tucson Community coming together. We were also able to spread the word about what we are working on and learn about other folks in the community. On behalf of EEF and our TUSD students, thank you. All my best, Leslie Edwards, Executive Director
Greater Tucson Leadership:
Thank you so much for supporting Greater Tucson Leadership! We had a wonderful time on Saturday night, and it was awesome to see such a great turnout supporting the 5K. Thank you for all you do for our community! Warmest regards, Kasey Hill, Executive Director
More nice words from others:
That was the best race EVER!
You totally rocked it.
AND…I got to ring the PR bell.
What a great turn out.
Thank you for all you do!
: Randy we thank you for having allowed us once again to be a part of Run Tucson for 2019. WE had a great day in serving all those who participated in the Runs you all provided.
We were honored by many of the guests and runners once again by telling us they were glad we were there again as well. Many of them are people we serve through out the year at various venues.
We look forward to next year’s Tucson Run and working with you as well. Keep us posted on any other event that you may want us to be a part of please.
I wanted to drop you both a quick note to say thank you for putting on such a wonderful event this past weekend.
My wife and I are relatively new to Tucson, and this was our first time participating in the Meet Me Downtown. We appreciated the opportunity to be part of such a vibrant running community, and we thoroughly enjoyed the event, from start to finish.
Hope to see you around at future races. Have a wonderful day!
J and S
Here is the photo of my wife and I running the MMD race virtually as part of the San Diego RnR 1/2 Marathon relay. Note our lovely running shirts!
We have signed up for the Gabe Zimmerman series every year since it started. Even when we couldn’t run, we always felt good contributing to the cause.
We also have always loved the MMD run, particularly because of the cheering local residents, especially the ones with the garden hose showers as we go by.
Ironically, we have also loved the 1/2 Marathon Relay in San Diego, partly because it’s one of the few races we can do “together,” but also because it is such a fun event with 30,000 of our closest friends (and we are hopelessly addicted to the Pacific Beach and Encinitas Fish Shops).
Unfortunately, the two events are always the same weekend, so we have done the MMD run virtually the last 6 or 7 years since we discovered the RnR Relay.
Anyway, we both love what you and Tia do, and will keep running in your races as long as our rapidly aging bodies hold up.
September 15, TMC Tucson 10k
October 27, TMC Get Moving Tucson Events
Choose from three events:
- TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon
- Tucson Lifestyle 5k Walk/Run
- Cox Charities Mile and FitKidz Mile
Get Moving Tucson is Tucson's most popular urban half-marathon with three events to choose from and live music, a vendor expo, children's activities, jumping castle, food trucks, breakfast after-party, and more.
This is the third leg of the 2019 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.
The Half-Marathon is part of SAR's Running Shop Grand Prix.
NEW!!! November 2, Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon
Saturday, November 2: Our newest event, produced in partnership with the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center.
Join us on Saturday November 2nd for the Inaugural Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon in the Kaibab National Forest, just south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The 13.1 mile trail loops through the beautiful forest and high desert of the Kaibab National Forest. The course does not descend into the Grand Canyon, but all race participants can purchase a National Park Service pass and from the race site easily enter into the Grand Canyon National Park.
Souvenir race coaster-medallion, beautiful long-sleeve shirt, race goodies, and more to commemorate your iconic journey through the trails near the South Rim.
Hair of the Dog New Year's Day 8k
New Year's Day: Hair of the Dog 8k
We're excited for the second annual Hair of the Dog. This is a fast and fun 8k along the Pantano River Wash and through the Tucson Country Club Estates. Or you can do a 1 mile run/walk around lovely Udall Park, with or without your pooch. This is a great way to kick off the new year and keep the party vibe alive!
Benefitting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
Who Sends These?
Run Tucson (www.RunTucson.net) is the event production company for the largest run/walk events in Southern Arizona.
To promote our mission of making Tucson better through running, Run Tucson advocates for health & fitness, enhancing community engagement, and promoting the local economy.
In addition, we support worthy charities, raising over $370,000 for local non-profit organizations over the years.
Our partners include the non-profit Southern Arizona Roadrunners, plus Tucson Medical Center and a host of local sponsors. Our core team includes Linda and Kerry Whelan, Tim Bentley, Michelle Hawk, Dave Odom, and Doreen Davis.
Why Am I on This List?
You did the 2019 TMC Meet Me Downtown Night Run!
How Do I Get Off This List?
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For information about our events, the RRCA, and The Workout Group, contact Randy Accetta
For information about in-person, online, or group coaching, contact contact Tia Accetta.