20 (literally) questions about the 2019 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown

Randy Accetta March 19, 2019

It's about that time to motivate up and sign up for Tucson's popular three-race series, the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.  Here's a ton o' information, but if you still have questions feel free to email race director Randy Accetta at randy@runtucson.net.

Q: I'm new to this sort of thing. What is the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown?  
A: GZTC is a charity-based three-race series that includes running and walking events in three unique Tucson locations. The goal is to honor the late Gabe Zimmerman by promoting year-round fitness, enabling people to train for and complete by walking or running events that range from one mile to the 13.1 mile half-marathon.  

Q: In years past, Triple Crown participants have received sandstone candles, Ben's Bells, and medallion sets. What are the awards this year?
A: We've designed three stand-alone medallions, each with a different retro postcard theme.

  • The TMC Meet Me Downtown medal is inspired by Downtown Tucson, with the inscription indicating that you are part of the Triple Crown.
  • The TMC Tucson 10k honors Arizona's desert tradition and our beautiful mountain ranges.
  • The medallion for the Halloween weekend TMC Get Moving Tucson events recognizes the beauty of Tucson's skyline, including our iconic A-Mountain.

Q: Back up a second -- what are the three events and when do they take place?
A: 1) Saturday night, June 1: TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run/Walk, Tucson's largest running event in the heart of Downtown Tucson.  Beer garden featuring the new brew 26.2 Brew by Boston Beer Company + children's activities, concerts, magicians & stilt walkers, food trucks, after-party, and more!

2) Sunday morning, September 15: TMC Tucson 10k and 5k. Staged at Pima Community College West, you can run the 10k or you can walk or run the 5k. Scenic course in the rolling foothills of the Tucson mountains, children's activities, expo

3) Sunday morning, October 27: TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon Events in the heart of Downtown Tucson. You can walk or run the Tucson Lifestyle 5k or you can run or walk the TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon.  Live music, beautiful courses, children's activities, food trucks, and more. And yes, we're planning on the A-Mountain route again this year . . .

Q: What if I cannot be in Tucson for any of those dates? Am I out of luck or can I do the Virtual Triple Crown?
A: Over the years we've found that many people wanted to do the series but could not attend every race, so we created a Virtual Triple Crown. 
You can do one, two, or all of the races Virtually and still receive all the great Triple Crown stuff.
Sign up for the Virtual Gabe Z here.

Q: So if I have to miss the TMC Meet Me Downtown on June 1st, I can still do the Triple Crown?
A: Yes, when you sign up for the Triple Crown simply mark which race will be virtually. 

Q: If I have already signed up for the TMC Meet Me Downtown Run, can I transfer to the Triple Crown?
A: YES! We will send a coupon code to all TMC Meet Me Downtown registrants, or you can email Randy Accetta at randy@runtucson.net.

Q: Do I have to run, or can I walk?
A: You can do whatever you want: run or walk and you can hike, race or stroll, the goal is simply to be outside and be moving!

Q: I normally just walk at Meet Me at Maynard's -- do I have to be competitive to do this stuff?
A: NOPE!! The idea is to honor Gabe and celebrate Tucson by having fun exercising -- so come on out and walk or run as fast or slow as you want! 

Q: When are you going to show us the 2019 "Run Tucson" shirt?
A: We have the retro design and we're hoping to put it together in the next week or so . . .

Q. When are you going to show us the medallion set?
A: Soon . . .

Q: For those of us new to Tucson or from out of town, can you tell us about Gabe Zimmerman?
A: The 3-race series is named for Gabe Zimmerman. A Tucson native, Gabe lost his life in the January 2011 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords here in Tucson. Others murdered include Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy "Dot" Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Scheck, and Dorwin Stoddard. Gabe was murdered doing what he was best at: supporting his community, trying to make it a better place for everyone, regardless of their politics or their backgrounds. 
From the Gabe Zimmerman Davison Canyon Trailhead to the Gabe Zimmerman Meeting Room at the U.S. Capital, Gabe's presence will forever be a part of our community. We are grateful to Ross Zimmerman and Julia Strange at Tucson Medical Center for developing the concept of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.
We're thankful to the Arizona Daily Star and Caliente for helping implement it.
Gabe's whole family has been devoted to fitness, running, and the Arizona outdoors - thus, we are honored to be able to celebrate the spirit of Gabe and highlight the possibilities for Tucson through the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.
Our goal is to celebrate Gabe and motivate the community to aspire to individual and collective greatness - to work alone and work with others towards those goals we find valuable. 
To celebrate living, community, and good will.
To live with love, to live with passion, to chase dreams. As we all know, running shows us the power within ourselves. If we can go three miles in a hot summer night or slog our way up and down the hills of the Tucson mountains, the ups and downs of daily life are certainly manageable and we can rise to our other challenges. 
Special thanks to the thanks to the 4,500+ registrations that have been part of the Triple Crown these past few years!!
Q: Who are the sponsors and why are these Questions in teal?
A: Tucson Medical Center provides the sponsorship and support for the series. We are grateful to Julia Strange and the whole TMC community for working with us to develop the series. And teal is the color of TMC so we're honoring them!
The Arizona Daily Star has been a long-time supporter of the Triple Crown, with an emphasis on their Caliente section.
Special thanks to the local running specialty store, The Running Shop, for hosting the Virtual Triple Crown goodie-bag pickup.
Q: How much does it cost to participate?
A: Early registration price point has ended and currently the fee is $109, with a $5 mailing add-on for those doing it Virtually.

Q: What do registrants receive?
A: Race registration to the three events, including all of the race shirts and other goodies, PLUS:

  • The 2019 "Run Tucson" Triple Crown shirt, featuring the new retro logo
  • Three separate medallions for each of the three races
  • Recognition on the SAR Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown results page
  • Grand Prix points -- TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k and the TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon are part of the SAR's Running Shop Grand Prix
  • The happiness of knowing that a portion of your entry fees will go to the BEYOND Foundation, plus other local non-profit organizations: The Children's Museum, Educational Enrichment Foundation, Greater Tucson Leadership, Team Hoyt Arizona, Cox Charities, Southern Arizona Roadrunners, and others.

Q: Getting back to the Virtual Triple Crown, if I do a race virtually, how will I get my medals and shirts?
A: For those who live outside the general Tucson area, we will mail your race materials after the TMC Meet Me Downtown and again after the TMC Get Moving event. For those in town, we will bring the race goodies to The Running Shop at 3055 North Campbell in central Tucson and have them there for you to pick up until December 2, 2018.
Q: If I signed up for the regular Triple Crown but now want to do any of the races virtually, what should I do?
A: You can go into your own RunSignUp registration portal and modify your registration - or you can email us at randy@runtucson.net and we'll modify it for you.
Q: What happens if you cancel any of the races - will we get our money back?
A: All races take place rain or shine, but in the event of an emergency cancellation determined by the City of Tucson, Pima County, or some other governmental entity, we will fall back on the Virtual Triple Crown - and everyone will then be able to receive their specific race awards following the rules of the Virtual Triple Crown. Of course, we will communicate regularly in this event.
Q: I signed up but now do not want to do it. Can I have my money back?
A: We have already purchased medallions and shirts and guaranteed charity amounts based on your registration, so, no, there are no refunds or transfers. However, you are always welcome to shift your entry to the Virtual category.
Q: Is there a discount for members of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners or others? 
A: The pricing is already at about a 40% discount, so there is no discount for SAR or the other many worthy organizations.
Q: How do I register?
A: You can register one of two ways:
 Print a registration form from the SAR page and mail it in. Registration by mail must be postmarked by Monday, May 21
Register online with a credit card at
Q: What is the charity involved?
A: In 2019, the Triple Crown will donate $10 from each entry to the BEYOND Foundation. Last year you helped us provide $10000 to BEYOND. Additional Tucson-based organizations also receive a portion of the proceeds from the individual events. All total, over $85,000 has been donated due to the Triple Crown
The BEYOND Foundation offers a unique Rx health formula emphasizing four key pillars that supports optimum physical and mental health:
EXPLORE:  Getting outdoors and spending time in nature;
MOVE:  Engaging in regular physical activity;
NOURISH:  Eating healthy foods; and
CONNECT:  Connecting with one another as a community. 

The Southern Arizona Roadrunners is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and fitness in Tucson and Southern Arizona through running and walking.

southern arizona road runners