Home Events - SAR - Southern Arizona Roadrunners Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8 Mile and 5K run/walk – 9/2/2024

Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8 Mile and 5K run/walk – 9/2/2024

Monday, 9/2/2024, 5:00 am – Saguaro National Park East – 3693 S Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730

The 8 Mile is part of The Running Shop/Mizuno SAR Grand Prix.

The 2024 edition will be the 53rd Annual Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run, with an 8-mile run and a 5K run/walk. One of the few races actually taking place in a National Park, the Saguaro Labor Day Run is a regional tradition, with awards, prize money, and commemorative souvenirs. Produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, whose original founders created the race back in 1971.
Additional details:
Headphones: Headphones are discouraged; please be mindful of other athletes, rattlesnakes, and Park Rangers.
Strollers:  The 5K is fine for strollers but the 8-miler is probably not a great idea for pushing a young child, with lots of steep up-and-downs and the possibility of high heat for the child in the last few miles of the race once the sun comes out.
Chair athletes: The 5K would be moderately challenging for chair athletes, while the 8-miler is a demanding course with downhills possible dangerous for chair athletes.
Pets not allowed: We love pets but they cannot be on the grounds of Saguaro National Park East between 5-9 AM.  Service animals are excepted. See here for details on NPS pet policies.
Bathrooms: There will be 12 ACE portojohns in the NPS parking lot near the starting line, so please allow enough time to use the restroom before you begin the race. There will be one portojohn on the 8-mile course, near the overlook near Mile 4.
Please do NOT use the desert as a bathroom. Rattlesnakes and cactus may do some damage, plus the NPS will fine you!

Register Online for 2024 here.
Both the 8-mile and 5K have the same price
April 1 - June 30, 2024 - $40
July and August, 2024 - $50
*SAR members receive a 10% discount automatically
**Provide your National Park Service number to receive an additional $5 off

5:00 - 5:45 AM: Packet pickup. All shirt sizing is first-come, first-served. Note: There is no in-person registration in Saguaro National Park on race day.
5:30 AM - 8-mile walk start. Anyone can do the early start, but all early-starters are not eligible for awards
6:00 AM - 8-mile run start. This is the open start for all runners. You must start at 6:00 AM to be eligible for age group, overall awards, and Grand Prix points
6:05 AM - 5K run/walk start. The 5K event begins after the 8-mile start, at about 6:05 AM. All 5K participants start at the same time.
8:00 AM - Awards begin, most likely starting with 5K then 8-miler afterwards
9:00 AM - Route closes, with National Park Service reserving the right to pick up late-finish athletes, depending on safety concerns
9:30 AM - Approximate time when the park opens to all vehicle traffic

Note: Race sponsor The Running Shop will be open from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM on Labor Day Monday. Any remaining race shirts will be available at The Running Shop (3055 N Campbell Ave) through the end of September.

Click here to volunteer.

Saturday, August 31, 2024 - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM at The Running Shop, 3055 N Campbell Ave.

Shirt sizing is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here and here for the 8 mile course maps and here for the course elevation profile.

8-mile course: The loop 8-miler goes clockwise from the Visitor Center through the beautiful cactus forest at Saguaro National Park East in the foothills of the scenic Rincon Mountains. The paved course is hilly, with stunning views of the iconic Sonoran Desert, including a vista overlooking the entire Tucson basin. The water stops for the 8-miler will be at approximately 3 and 7 miles.  Please bring your own water and hydration as needed.

5K course: Out-and-back on paved rolling hills. The 5K participants stay to the right as they head into the Park on Cactus Forest Drive, then follow the chalk-arrows and turn right to head down the hill to the Javelina Picnic Grounds past the Freeman Homestead Trail. You'll turn around at the Turn-Around sign before you hit the picnic grounds, then reverse your route to the finish line. Please stay on the right coming back to the finish line. There will be a water stop with volunteers from the Tucson TriGirls at the Cactus Forest Trailhead, approximately the 1 and 2 marks in the 5K.

The National Park Service and Pima County Department of Transportation are both great friends of this race, but they're worried about public safety on the roads near the park, so please drive slowly as you approach the National Park, watch for cyclists, and watch for your fellow pedestrians. Please follow the posted rules and be safe.

• Please consider carpooling to reduce the vehicle footprint on the roadways. A drop-off section is located in front of the entrance.

• Parking is available on the sides of the roads, on Freeman, Old Spanish Trail, and Escalante.

• There is NO parking in the National Park.

• Do not park in driveways, do not park near hydrants, do not block traffic.

• Here's what the National Park Service has said: "Please pay attention to the NO PARKING signs along Old Spanish Trail! We'd rather not have to cite and tow folks who are blocking sight lines and bike lanes..."

The 8M has awards for the top 3 finishers in 5-year age groups, and the 5K in 10-year age groups.

All participants receive a race t-shirt.

Friends of Saguaro National Park

National Park Service

Southern Arizona Roadrunners

Safety is our first priority, but there are inherent dangers and risks involved in racing, and participants take part under their own responsibility.

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    Sep 02 2024


    5:00 am - 9:00 am

    More Info



    Saguaro National Park (East)
    3693 S Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730


    Randy Accetta