44th TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler and 5k Walk/Run News
Click here for the super-long race report thanking all the volunteers and detailing the event. Or just read on for a quick overview of the race itself . . .
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 on Monday, 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.
Seven Arizona state 8-mile records were set on the day.
Produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners with help from more than 100 volunteers, Saguaro raised over $10,000 for local charities, including Friends of Saguaro National Park and Child and Family Resources.
Full results can be seen at http://www.azroadrunners.org/results/detail/saguaro_national_park_labor_day_run_results_2013.
1. Craig Curley (25) 41:43
2. Trent Binford-Walsh (24) 43:59
3. Stephen Schaefer (22) 46:08
4. Damon Vasiliw (25) 46:18
5. Kurt Michels (29) 47:50
1. Amy Cole (29) 53:25
2. Aleta Jokisch (23) 54:18
3. Margaret Smith (33) 56:46
4. Anne Neuenschwander (40) 56:54
5. Stephanie Wenneborg (40) 57:15
Arizona 8-Mile State Age Group Records
Samantha Andrade (F16)
Debra Lazar-Pearl (F54)
Nancy Fuller (F63)
Craig Curley (M25)
Richard Kutzner (M70)
Paul Robillia (M76)
Leonard Moore (M78)
August 28 Update: TMC Saguaro Labor Day Run - well, the 5k has sold out thanks to 413 of you. (Yup, we extended the field). Registration for the 8-miler will be open through Thursday. Register online only, here. In the meantime, check out this link for all the news on the race!
* As of August 20th, only 111 slots remain for the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run - mail in registration is now closed - sign up online here
* TMC, Sprouts Farmers Market, and JulieBar are providing post-race snacks at the TMC Saguaro Labor Day Run—run, get tired, then eat . . .
* Announcement about Tucson Move a Million Miles kick-off at Jim Click’s Run n’ Roll coming soon - sign up online here
* A-Mountain Training Runs every Monday night at Meet Me at Maynard’s—starting at 5:45 from Hotel Congress—open to all paces—bring your own water!
* Hill workouts every Wednesday night at Meet Me at La Encantada—be at MMLE by 5:45 Wednesday’s nights
* Last-chance registration for the 2013 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown ends on August 25th—sign up for the final two legs online here
* Registration open for the Great Pumpkin Race—click here for details
RACE DIRECTOR GLORY DAYS 20TH ANNIVERSARY PRIZE MONEY: Twenty years ago I moved to Tucson for grad school at the UA and ran my first SAR race, at the time called the Saguaro National Monument Run. (The SAR race director back then was Elisa Kinder, a monumental leader for the Tucson running community.) Twenty years ago I got whupped over the final three miles by a guy wearing “Strapped Jock Reebok” gear, a guy who would go on to be my best friend and long-time colleague, Greg Wenneborg. Greg is now known as the timer for all SAR events and the Pima Community College Cross Country and Track coach, but he is also a three-time Olympic Trials Marathoner who has won Saguaro 9 times.
To recognize this 20 year anniversary, prize money is being awarded to the first runner who can beat my own time from way back when, plus an adjusted time for the women.
Thus, the first man who breaks 42:48 will receive $424.80, and the first woman who breaks 50 minutes will receive $500.
Who will do it? Local Olympians Abdi Abdirahman or Bernard Legat? Or Saguaro course record holder, Craig Curley? Over the past 20 years, Greg Wenneborg has 9 victories on the course, with his first in 1992 and his most recent in 2007. Brian Grosso and Bassirimo Soro have won it twice, with other winners over the past 20 years including Craig Curley, Jayson Fultz, Ian Johnson, Jason Colavito, Tim Finnegan, Stephen Schaefer, and Damon Vasilaw.
For the women, could it be Paula Morrison, who has won the race 5 times with a best of 50:10? Or Amy Cole, a top runner in town? The women’s race has been dominated by Paula, who has won it 5 times, with three-time winners Carolyn Collman and Tia Accetta, and local standouts such as Lisa Warneke, Tracy Riccitello, Caroline Gardiner, Gina Slaby, Pam Golden, and Karla Sokolovich.
AUGUST 2 UPDATE:
Gettin’ Ready for the 44th Annual TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run!
1) Thank you to all who voted for the color of the t-shirt. The SAR facebook page lit up with your suggestions, over 160 of them. It looks like we’ll order all three colors!
2) Speaking of Facebook, SAR VP Tim Bentley has created an event page here —spread the word about the hardest race in Tucson!
3) There are still a few hundred spots open for the race. You can register online here or register by mail.
4) I am sorry that our page does not have cool photos of the race, but the SAR pages are having some difficulty with photos this fall. Click on the SAR facebook page photo album for cool photos of past races.
5) The Cortiva Institute has once again agreed to bring out massage students to provide free massage to all participants after the race. So start running, get good and sore, and they will heal you up after the race!
A quick reminder that the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run registration fee increases on August 1st. Register online here. Print a registration form to register by mail here. See http://www.azroadrunners.org/races/detail/saguaro for all the registration details. As of today, there are about 350 slots available. ALSO: you can still register for the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown. See here for the details.
Follow this link to a ton o’ details about the Saguaro race. Please remember that registration is closed For last-last minute information or for car-pooling conversation, see our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SouthernArizonaRoadrunners. ANNOUNCING OUR FIRST-EVER VIDEO CONTEST: We’re trying to develop a cool youtube channel, but so far, we don’t have a lot on it. We’re looking for a video chronicle of the 2011 TMC Saguaro National Park Race. So here’s the deal: bring your flip video or phone video or major motion picture boom, and make a video of the race. Submit it to http://www.youtube.com/runtucson by Friday. The race director will select the five best videos, track you down, and send the top five videos $50 cash on the barrel-head. The Southern Arizona Roadrunners will have a membership booth set up tomorrow—if you join tomorrow, you will receive a free technical shirt.
When: Monday September 5, 2011
Where: Saguaro National Park East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd - see map for directions
5:15-6:00 am Packet pick-up at Saguaro Park EAST NOTE: There is no race day registration—and we cannot exchange numbers for a different runner at this late date.
6:10 5k line up at front, by flagpole. 8-milers line up behind them in leg speed order (5-minutes/mile at the front; 6-minutes/mile behind them, and so forth)
6:15 A few words from Ross Zimmerman and the Zimmerman family, a few words from Julia Strange from TMC, and the announcement of the 2011 Spirit of Rob Bell Award, presented by Performance Footwear
6:23 National Anthem by Kryshell
6:27 5k Run/Walk start
6:30 8-miler start
8:30 (approx) Children’s Dash, presented by Craig Dabler
8:45 (approx) Begin Spirit of Rob Bell Award presented by Performance Footwear, Raffle Prizes, and Awards
Participants can park on Old Spanish Trail, Freeman Road, and Escalante. Please obey traffic laws and don’t park in driveways or in the bike lane. IMPORTANT: Please try to carpool—it will be easier and safer for all. The later you arrive, the farther away from the starting line you will have to park. Please be thoughtful and safe - and carpool! Please do not bring pets to the event - and do not leave them in your car!!
Well, the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run registration is now officially closed. Thanks to all of you who signed up for the race! We have more than ever before—twice as many as just a few years ago, in fact. Packet pick-up is Saturday at The Running Shop from 10-3 and on Monday at Saguaro East from 5:15 - 6:00. Missed the registration but still excited about racing? Then register for the flat and fast Jim Click Run n Roll at the UA on October 2nd. Or test yourself against A-Mountain and do the TMC Get Moving Tucson Half Marathon and the flat Tucson Lifestyle 5k on October 9. Check out the race pages for all the details.
Two news items: 1) Mail-in registration is now closed for both the 5k and the 8-miler, and the 5k has reached its cap, so the only online registration available is the 8-miler. The National Park Service is allowing us to raise the cap in the 8-miler, with all online registration closing at midnight September 2nd. At the end of online registration, we will know if we can have any in-person registration for the 8-miler. Again, there is no more 5k registration. Thanks to everyone who has signed up!
2) This year, Tanque Verde Ranch is offering Saguaro runners a special discount on Labor Day weekend. The guest ranch is about 5 miles from the race start – one left hand turn and down Freeman and there you are. Their regular single is $99, but LeighAnn, the marketing manager, said to contact her for special rates, including a full (and very, very good) breakfast plus their great swimming pools. Horse riding and other cool things are extra.
LeighAnn Kindberg, Director of Guest Services, Tanque Verde Ranch
Honored as Top Ten Family Resort by Travel Channel, 2008-2010
Finalist for Top Ranch by Conde Nast, 2010
Recognized as “Best of the West” by Cowboys and Indians Magazine, 2011
Featured on the Today Show as “Top Five Spring Break for Families”, 2011
Selected as Top Wedding Venue in Arizona, The Knot, 2010
Due to safety and parking concerns, the 2011 TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run is limited to 1200 participants. About 300 spots are still open—see the race page for details on registration.
The annual informal Saguaro training runs will start on Saturday, July 30th. Run or walk at your own pace. The main group will leave at 6:00 am. Meet in the parking lot by the visitor center—bring your own water and a park pass or $5 for a day visit. Carpool if you can. You can park on Old Spanish Trail, but please follow all Pima County and Park Service rules.
Good news regarding Saguaro East and the Rincon Mountains! Thanks to District Ranger Paul Austin for passing along this press release:
SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK REOPENS RINCON MOUNTAIN DISTRICT and LIFTS FIRE RESTRICTIONS PARKWIDE AFTER TEMPORARY FIRE
The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park has reopened after temporary fire closures to trail use in both the Cactus Forest as well as up into the Rincon Mountains. Temporary fire restrictions put in place prior to the closures are also lifted. . . . [however, as] lightning continues with monsoon weather, there is still a risk of fire in Saguaro National Park. Fire crews will remain in position to respond to any reported fire activity. Though trails and campsites have reopened, fire officials warn that caution is still required by all who use the park backcountry. . . . (more)
Another World Record at the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run—over 1,000 registrants and almost a thousand finishers! Congratulations to all who finished the 8-miler and the 5k—those hills are brutal—with no cloud cover, even! What an awesome group of runners, walkers, volunteers, National Park folks, ham radio operators, sponsors, and partners—and Wilbur and Wilma, too. We’ll have a full post-race report soon, with a detailed thanks to the over 80 volunteers who worked hard to make today such a great time, including the Tri-Girls, Sahuaro HS, Rincon HS, St. Augustine Catholic HS, plus Pima CC for excellent timing, Sharon Bart at the Running Shop, and the great WOG and SAR family!
A huge thanks to everyone involved—especially Julia Strange and all the great folks from Tucson Medical Center for helping fund the event!! Thanks, too, to the Daily Star and Caliente for all the promotion, plus 92.9 The Mountain and Cox Communications—and REI, Muscle Milk, Worldly Soles, XOOD sports drink, Culligan Water, and Sunflower Market!
Congratulations, too, to Craig Dabler for being named the 2010-2011 Spirit of Rob Bell Award recipient. Rob, we miss you!!
Check out the SAR facebook page for hundreds of race photos—thanks to Tim Bentley and everyone else for posting photos and race updates!
We are super-excited about the 41st TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run scheduled for Labor Day Monday. All indications are that this will be the most popular Saguaro ever, with over 1,000 registrants. It should be a blast, so come on out! Below are some details for the weekend.
You can still register for the race on Monday morning at Saguaro National Park East from 5:00-6:00 am. If you have not paid, you will need to pay at the front gate and take a ticket to the maintenance yard to pick up your bib number and t-shirt. If you have already paid, walk through the main gates, head to the maintenance yard, and the team of volunteers will take care of you. . . . click on the News title above for all the details!
Early registration for both the 8-miler and 5k ends on August 5th. Online and mail-in registration options available.
Training runs on the Saguaro course start Sunday, August 1st at 6:00 am. The informal and free runs are led by long-time SAR member Bill Cuculic, though you can run or walk your own pace. Bring a few dollars for the park entry (or buy an annual park pass for $25 and receive $5 off your Saguaro race entry) and try to car-pool so that runners don’t overwhelm the parking spots. Have fun and meet new friends as you prepare for this Tucson tradition!
The TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run also announces a one-year experiment: the 2-mile fun run/walk has been changed to a 5k run/walk, complete with overall and age-group prizes. If you’re not quite ready for the hilly 8-miler, come on out and do 3.1 miles—the out-and-back starts a few minutes before the 8-miler and will head counterclockwise, with the turn-around down by the picnic area. The rolling hills and fine for strollers, kids, and runners/walkers of all abilities!
Click here for the updated 2009 Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run Results. Thanks to all for a great run!