Please accept a quick note of appreciation for doing this past weekend's TMC Saguaro National  Park Labor Day Run.  

Thank you for making Tucson running so much fun!

Produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners with help from over 1300 registrants and more than 100 volunteers, Saguaro raised over $10,000 for local charities, including Friends of Saguaro National Park and Child and Family Resources.

Check out the SAR facebook page for over 2000 awesome photos, most from Kerry Whelan and Scott Cnockaert, but many from the rest of you!    

  Like us on Facebook 


In my role as Director of Coaching Education for the RRCA, I'm privileged to travel the country 2-3 times a month teaching people how to be a running coach. 

There is great running all round the country, but some especially strong running cities are Little Rock, Boston, Kansas City, San Francisco, Houston, and Boulder. 

Still, after all my recent travels, I'm proud to say that Tucson is as strong a running town as anywhere in the country.   I think the Southern Arizona Roadrunners has a lot to do with that, but other groups such as the Meet Me events, the local running shoe stores, and the other event companies do a wonderful job of providing opportunities for runners and walkers of all ages and all abilities.  And of course, all of you make up this vibrant, kind-hearted, caring, and committed community!

It's important to remember that our sponsors also play a big role. I
ndeed, our media sponsors  are super helpful in getting the running word out -- so after your morning run, read the news in the Daily Star and check out Caliente to see what's going on in Tucson, listen to KHIT 107.5 for good ol' rock n' roll, subscribe to Tucson Lifestyle to see the hot items of Tucson, and when you've done your long run, grab a bag of ice and catch up on some tv with Cox.

And frankly, we've been fortunate to have
Tucson Medical Center play such a big role in community fitness.  Without TMC, we could not provide such low entry fees and cool t-shirts or donate funds to charities.  They even donated the post-race snacks!

Whether the Girls on the Run program or any of their regular medical services, TMC has become a major community leader.

Any chance you get, you should support TMC because they support you every chance they get!! 

Thanks again for doing the Saguaro race -- read on for details of race day . . .  


--Randy Accetta 
Race Director, Southern Arizona Roadrunners | 520-991-0733
Thank you volunteers:
Boy, this race requires more volunteers than any other race in town.  First of all, the National Park Service uses over 30 rangers and volunteers to manage the Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.  

The water stations are a way for some local schools to fund portions of their running programs -- this year Catalina High School students were at the 6-mile mark, St. Augustine High School runners and parents were at the finish line staging areas, and the teams from Sahuaro High School continued their long-standing tradition at Miles 2 and 4.   

Mile 7 and the 5k 1- and 2-mile mark was overseen by the  purple-shirted Tucson Tri-Girls, including Stacie LaPointe, Jennifer Strosin, Kara Vatthauer, Jane Sage, Kathleen Bober, Cheryl McKnight, and Richard Allen and Kacee Dwyer from Summit Hut.  In addition, folks from the Park Service and the Friends of Saguaro were on hand.

Many of the registration, pre-race set-up, and post-race clean-up duties were handled by members of SAR.  Sometimes SAR gets a bad rap as being snooty or clique-ish. But please know that there are many good-hearted folks who spend a lot of time ensuring that we all have great local races. Here is a list of folks who helped with registration, set-up, and break down.  I'm sure I forgot someone -- sorry about that!!

Steve and Sheryl Felde for managing all registration!
Connie Lopez

 Sandra Heater
Tim Bentley for announcing!
Michelle Hawk
Liz Farkas
Eve Shapiro
Marti  & Stephan Ackermann
Robin Gerard
Dari Duval

Diane Manzini
Shirley Hester
Mike Erickson and his daughter, whose name we don't know
Monica Bermudez
Steve and Jim Peller
Linda Whelan
Ron Lumm
Ann Hollis and Marc Janis -- Ann and Mark were especially helpful because a volunteer team from Wells Fargo never showed up and Marc and Ann did all the fruit cutting and set up -- thank you!!!
Leo Richard
Dennis Bonilla
Alyssa Hoyt
Doreen Davis

Don Branaman
Tim Spriggs
Steve Outridge
Tia Accetta
Lucas Tyler

SAR Membership: 
Speaking of SAR, won't you please consider joining our non-profit?  A part of the Road Runners Club of America, we're a grass-roots, member-driven running club committed to making our region better through running.  Members receive discounts to our races, a quarterly newsletter, discounts to many local businesses, and a cool t-shirt!  See for details on membership.

Training for Future Races: If you are interested in improving your running, you should check out the SAR running groups page here for a listing of many of the groups in town.  Of course, my wife Tia would be a great resource at The Workout Group, but there are some cool groups in town, from The Grinders or All About Running and Walking on the northwest side of town to the Running Shop in mid-town to Fleet Feet and ESTANDA on the far east and all sorts of others in between.

Fast Running: Craig Curley Romps to Easy Victory in Second-Fastest Time in 44 Year-History of Saguaro Race.

Craig Curley won the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler, running the second fastest time in the 44-year history of the race.   Running alone through the light mist and distant lightening of Saguaro National Park East, his time of 41:43 narrowly missed his own course record of 41:39, set when he was a Pima Community College student in 2008.  Using the race as a training run for the US National Marathon Championships next month in Twin Cities, Curley won $424 for his efforts on the hilly 8-mile loop.  

Second place in the field of 900 runners went to Benson's Trent Binford-Walsh in 43:59, while Stephen Schaefer, the 2011 champion, took third place in 46:08.  

Amy Cole, a University of Arizona graduate student, took first place for the women in a time of 53:25 for her first victory at Saguaro.  Second place went to former University of Montana runner, Aleta Jokisch, running in her first Tucson race.  Margaret Smith, stationed at Fort Huachuca, took third place in 56:46. 

Shane Carr defended his crown in the men's 5k, while Jennifer Garcia-Girvan was the first place woman in the 5k.

Thanks to Dave Hill for tracking the annual State Championship Records.  There were seven Arizona records set at Saguaro:
Samantha Andrade (F16)
Debra Lazar-Pearl (F54)
Nancy Fuller (F63)
Craig Curley (M25)
Richard Kutzner (M70)
Paul Robillia (M76)
Leonard Moore (M78)


 Sponsors: A special thanks to Tucson Medical Center for 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 Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club; The Running Shop; Culligan Water; Tile Outlet; Cox Communications; Tucson Lifestyle; Arizona Daily Star and Caliente; The Workout Group; Chris Cox Chiropractic; Waste Management; Rural Metro; Sprouts Farmer's Market, JulieBar, and KHIT 107.5

MMD TMC tentJosh at WaterMart brought out about 20 bags of refreshing ice that were used at the finish line.


Our friends from the Ham Radio Society of Tucson were at all the water stations and the finish line providing safety and logistical support


Rural Metro provided a dedicated ambulance at the finish line -- fortunately, with the overcast skies they were able to take a nap instead of treating fatigued or injured runners!


Thanks to Waste Management, we had more port-o-johns than ever before, including one at the 4 mile mark.


After the race, the Cortiva Institute provided free massages.  


Runners visited with Dr. Chris Cox tent for some chiropractic and massage care.


Our good friends at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club brought a booth to demonstrate some of the great family and adult-friendly activities at their facility on Country Club and the River Path.


The National Park Visitor Center was open all morning, providing sale items as well as a host of cool raffle prizes.  Again, Saguaro Chief Ranger Paul Austin has been a true friend to the fitness community and deserves our appreciation. Darla Sidles, Superintendent of Saguaro National Park, has been instrumental in allowing us to have this unique treasure of an event. 


Timing, Results and Awards

Results are posted at the SAR home page and can be accessed here:


If you have won an age-group award and were not at the awards ceremony, please visit The Running Shop to pick it up.


$50 Cash 
This prize went to 70-year-old Richard Kutzner for running faster than his age!!   
Special thanks to Sharon Bart at The Running Shop for donating prizes for age-group and overall winners at the race.  If you think you won a prize, please visit the Running Shop to pick up your gift certificate.

8 Mile Prizes: Gift Certificates to The Running Shop

Overall 1st $60, 2nd $50, 3rd $40 - $300 
Masters 1st-$50 = $100 
Age Groups 
1st $30 
2nd $20 
3rd $10 
5K: Gift Certificates to The Running Shop
Overall 1st $40, 2nd $30, 3rd $20  
Masters 1st $30 
Age groups 1st $15 


Thanks to The Running Shop! 


Friends of Saguaro National ParkThanks to funding from TMC and Cox Charities, SAR is able to donate $5,000 to the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the National Park Service at Tucson's Saguaro National Park.  As a result of these donations, the Park will enable hundreds of children and youth to have Park experiences.


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.

 SAR logo

2013 SAR Fall Schedule   


September 28 - FitKidz Free Mile at Sabino Canyon


October 6 - Jim Click's Run 'N' Roll 8K and 2-Mile Fun Run, University of Arizona  


October 13 - The Great Pumpkin 5k at Buckelew Farms, including Free Kids Mile!


October 20 -  TMC Get Moving Tucson Events: TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon, Tucson Lifestyle 5K run/walk, and Cox Charities Free One Mile, Downtown Tucson  


October 26 - Oracle Run 10K and 1-Mile walk/run, Oracle AZ


November 28 - Thanksgiving Cross-Country Classic 5K, Reid Park

December 15 - Winterhaven Run Through The Lights


Don't forget SAR's Social Runs 


* Every Wednesday night at 5:45 at La Encantada,check out Meet Me at La Encantada.  Come join the 150+ folks who meet at La Encantada for social runs, walking workouts, yoga, tai-chi, and more.  Perfect hill training for TMC Get Moving Tucson!


* Meet Me at Maynard's.  Every Monday night at Hotel Congress in Downtown Tucson.  This fall, every Monday night at 5:45 come run with others training for the TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon.  Informal social run -- bring your own water and go your own pace -- straight down Broadway, up and down A-Mountain, and back to Hotel Congress.  Start earlier if you want, go as far as you want.