Valentine’s Day Races Updates: 2012

When and Where:
SUNDAY, February 12, 2012

Registration and Number pickup: Sunday 6:30-7:30 AM at Main Gate Plaza, at 814 East University Avenue, between Euclid and Tyndall

Races Start: 8:00 AM on UA campus in front of Centennial Hall, immediately east of the UA Main Gate
Free Little Kids Race: 9:00 AM or thereabouts, at the start/finish line at the Centennial Hall area. We’ll try not to give the kids too much sugar, but no promises . . .
Race Awards and Stuff: after race, starting at about 9:15 or so

T-shirts: there are no souvenir t-shirts for this race, but we will have about 300 FREE shirts left over from last year that can be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis.

As always, our great volunteer crew is led by Sheryl and Steve Felde who are coordinating all the registration and some of the course monitors. Thanks, too, to the crew from The Workout Group and ComeRun list for pitching in. If anyone wants to help hand out flowers, we’ll put you to work!

Awards and snacks will be back at the Main Gate Plaza – thanks to the Running Shop, Main Gate merchants, Roses and More, and some others, we’ll have some fun, low-key prizes and raffles. As we’ve indicated, we may also go back to providing stereotypical gender-based prizes: bottles of beer and golf balls for the men, flowers and cookies for the ladies. In order for a winning couple to receive their award, they must demonstrate a worthy PDA. Last year, a couple got engaged, so see if you can top that! These are some of the prizes:

• Gift packs from The Running Shop for couple’s categories
• His & Her T-Shirts from Ben’s Bells as raffle prizes
• His and Her Socks from Ben’s Bells as raffle prizes
• His and Her Bathrobes from the Marriott Hotel to the overall male and female winners
• His and her T-Shirts from Frog & Firkin
• 2- $10 Wilko Gift Certificates – age group awards
• 5-Free Pita Sandwiches from Eat-A-Pita – age group awards
• 1-$25 Fuku Gift Certificate—as raffle prize for volunteers
• 10-$10 Main Gate Square Gift Certificates – age group awards
• 4-$10 Wich Wich Gift Certificates – age group awards
• 2-$10 Frog & Firkin Gift Certificates – age group awards
One Ooo! Recycle Bag or Tote – volunteer raffle

Gift Certificates to Body Basics
• Couple: Married more than 10 years
• Couple: Combined Age Under 70
• Combined Age 70-110
• Combined Age 110+

Thanks to long-time sponsors The Running Shop and Main Gate Merchants for providing prizes and cool giveaway items. Thanks, too, to Body Basics and many of the Main Gate Merchants for all their help.

Motorola is our cool new sponsor: Get the boost you need with MOTOACTV—the new GPS fitness Tracker and Smart MP3 Player from Motorola. It’s like having an on-the-go personal DJ and trainer at the same time. For more information, visit

Last week, the UA started a construction project at the UA Stadium, and they have told us that we cannot use the ramps this year. (I know, most of you are happy about this, but I’m a bit grouchy because they had promised me that we could use ‘em!) However, they have given permission to use the outside of McKale Center, so we are going to do a version of the course that we did the first year. Here’s the web-based map: Click here.

You will start in front of Centennial Hall and head east on the UA mall. You will go around Old Main on the south side and continue due east past Cherry. After Cherry, you will keep heading east on the sidewalk and follow the chalk arrows to McKale Center – you will do one lap (counterclockwise) around McKale Center, running on the ramps around McKale – watch out for the barricades! As you leave McKale, you will take a right and do a well-marked lap of the grass then head all the way back to Old Main.

If you are in the Couple’s Relay, your sweet petunia will be at the west side of Old Main: at this point, you need to do some display of affection (kiss, hug, high five, etc). Your petunia will then head out and do the rest of the course and come back to the finish line. Remember: no display of affection, no relay!!

If you are an Open runner, you will do the turn-around west of Old Main and head out on your own, but nobody will hug or kiss you (at this point, you’ll be sweaty and stinky, so that’s probably good).

If you are doing the 2-mile, you will continue to the finish line after one loop, which is close to but not quite two miles.

The water table will be at the course turn-around by Old Main.

There are two sets of public restrooms at the Main Gate Plaza – one in the Geronimoz building on the west side of the plaza, and one at the south end of the plaza, near the parking garage.

Race History
The old-timers might remember that SAR did this race for a few years on a cross-country course at La Posada Country Club, then when Jim and Mike didn’t want to do it anymore, I got talked into being the race director and we moved it to the Rillito River Path for a couple of years – this is when we started the tradition of giving winners a big tub of Costco type cheeseballs. Then we had to move it from the riverpath, we brought it to the UA Main Gate area in an effort to highlight one of the cool local shopping districts in Tucson. The race course included a loop around the ramps of McKale Center. In year 2, we were able to get permission to use the UA stadium ramps – and then last year, we tried to make it bigger by closing University Avenue and doing it on Saturday afternoon, but that proved too difficult to manage, so now we’re back to a more informal Sunday morning race – and as we said above, this year we cannot use the stadium ramps, so we’re back to the McKale loop.