Sunrise at Old Tucson Cross Country Trail Run
  • Make a Day of it!

    All registrations include free breakfast and entry into Old Tucson

    Registration is now open -- click here to sign up

    Remember: the race will take place rain or shine, with no refunds or returns

    Times and Location

    Race Distances and Courses

    The cross country trail race loops throughout the dusty streets, horse trails, and desert terrain of Old Tucson Studios, site of some of the greatest movies of all time. The 1 mile is designed to promote daily exercise, so bring the whole family along!  Adults, cowboy costumes, children, and strollers are all welcome!  PLUS: free Lil’ Pardners kids race afterwards, with prizes for each youngster . . .

    The Races
      * Women's Four-Miler starts at 8:00 am 
      * Men's Four-Miler starts at 9:00 am 
      * One Mile Walk/Fun Run starts at 9:00 am
      * Awards and Free Lil’ Pardner’s Fun Run starts at about 9:30


    Old Tucson Studios, 201 South Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85735 (Take Speedway from I-10 all the way west, turn south on Kinney and Old Tucson Studios is just ahead—or Take Ajo west from I-10 to Kinney Road and head north.  Plenty of parking in the main lots at Old Tucson Studios.

  • 12 Tips for Trail Racing, by Randy Accetta

    Cross country: natural, earthy, primordial.  Narrow, wooded trails, sweeping grass fields —or in Tucson’s case, harsh desert terrain, cactus, sandy washes, and rattlesnakes.  There’s no water stop here, no lining up by your estimated mile pace.  No stadium-size crowds.  Just you, the ground, and your competitors.  Here are a dozen quick tips for cross country racing.

    1. Know the course: You need to know the terrain so check for single track and sandy washes, for hills and other key landmarks.  Especially here in Tucson, be careful about cactus and rocks.  Most of our trail races are pretty rugged locations, so be nimble and keep an eye on where you put your feet.  If possible, jog the course ahead of time so that you can cut the tangents and stay on track.

    2. Elbows out at the start: At the start, protect yourself by angling your elbows outward, so that you create space between you and other runners.  Don’t knock over the grandmother next to you, but don’t be afraid to be aggressive.

    3. Be patient: Unless the course is so narrow that you will never be able to move up during the race, it is best to start within yourself.  If you get in oxygen debt too early, you’re in for a long, unhappy race, but an easier beginning will allow you to pass others with authority and surge when needed.  Be willing to relax, be patient, and run within yourself.

    4. Be aggressive on the hills: Once you’ve worked your way into the race, attack the course.  Surge up short hills.  Be patient during long hills, then surge at the crest of long hills.  Work the downhills.  If you find yourself discouraged while running uphill, remember that all things come to an end, and that this, too, will pass.

    5. Pass with authority: Racing is a head game and you can break your competitors by running fast when they don’t expect you to and when they don’t want to.  Throw in a burst of speed for 50-200 meters as you approach and go around corners.  Surge at the crest of hills.  Surge at the flat section at the bottom of a downhill.  If you can dash past tired runners and quickly distance yourself from them, often they’ll be too discouraged to catch up.

    6. Follow those who pass you: When someone passes you, don’t let them gap you.  Sticking with them may = give you a burst of positive psychological energy that allows you to maintain the quicker pace – plus, they may lose enthusiasm if they know you’re determined to keep the pace.

    7. Relax: You cannot expect yourself to sprint the whole race, so be willing to relax and be patient during parts of the race. Be willing to sit in the pack and let the miles slide by until it’s time to be aggressive

    8. Cover the break: When a group breaks away from you, go with it—you don’t need to lead the break, but you must be willing to keep contact.  Even if you are fatigued, maintaining contact with the group ahead of you will keep you motivated.  When you recover from the surge, you will be well-positioned to advance further.

    9. Think quick feet: You can speed up your running cadence by getting your feet down fast and bringing your heels around quickly.  Cross country courses in particular force your body to adapt to varied terrain and quick feet will help you navigate treacherous sections of the course.

    10. Think quick hands: Quick hands lead to quick feet, so use short, quick arm strokes to drive you forward.  On uphills, lean into the hill and keep your hips forward.  On downhills, lean down the hill and let gravity give you speed.  Avoid wind-milling your arms and keep a normal, fast arm swing.

    11. Accelerate around turns: Scampering out of sight is a good way to demoralize opponents and keep yourself aggressive.

    12. Be tough: In every race save a few, you’ll reach the point where continuing at your pace seems impossible.  Extreme weariness will set in: your legs will ache, your breathing will be labored, and your mind will urge you to back off and save yourself for later.  However, if you wish to race well, you won’t give in to this seductive voice.  Instead of backing off, you will push ahead, change your cadence, and run on.  Regardless of the discomfort, you will soon recover—your breath will return, the aches will fade.  Your pride will remain.

    Adapted from “How to Run Fast and Beat Your Friends: Tactics and Strategies for Successful Racing,” by Randy Accetta in The Running Times Guide to Breakthrough Running.  Ed: Gordon Bakoulis. 1999

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    Old Tucson Studios -- directions --  201 South Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85735 (Take Speedway from I-10 all the way west, turn south on Kinney and Old Tucson Studios is just ahead—or Take Ajo west from I-10 to Kinney Road and head north.  Plenty of parking in the main lots at Old Tucson Studios.
    Race Fees

    Special thanks to great Tucson tourist locations, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the International Wildlife Museum

    Thanks to The Workout Group for providing volunteers.

Tucson Medical Center