26-Year-Old Course Record Smashed at 47th Annual Saguaro Labor Day Run
Tucson newcomer Katie James won Monday’s TMC Saguaro Labor Day 8-Mile race in 46:39, smashing the previous course record by over a minute. Taking the lead in the first steps and outrunning the previous two winners, the 25-year-old James ran her first four miles in 23:12 and closed the second half of the race in a similar 23:27, for an average pace of 5 minutes and 50 seconds per mile over the extremely hilly Saguaro National Park East 8-mile road. Running comfortably, James broke the course record of 47:44 set by Stephanie Wessel 26 years ago in 1990.
Second place in the women’s race went to 2014 champion Autumn Ray, in 50:39, while Amy Cole, the 2015 and 2013 winner, took third place in 51:32.
Andrew Lemoncello, won the men’s race in a blistering 42:04, a mere 25 seconds off the course record set by former Pima Community College standout Craig Curley. A former British Olympian now living in Flagstaff, the 33-year-old Lemoncello easily outdistanced the field, beating second place finisher Robert Scribner’s 44:39 by over two minutes. Third place went to last year’s runner-up, Kurt Michels in 45:06.
Over 1,500 runners, the most in the 47-year history of the race, signed up to run Tucson’s oldest running race. The event raised funds for the Friends of Saguaro National Park, Cox Charities, Child and Family Resources, and the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.
Post Race Report: Read the post-race email to the race participants here, including the race report here . . . in which we congratulate the speedsters, thank the volunteers, thank the National Park Service and the sponsors (like Tucson Medical Center, the Running Shop, Muscle Milk, Daily Star, Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, The Morning Blend, and Cox Communications), and say how much we appreciate all of you for being such great members of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners community! Click here to take the post-race survey.
Photos: Erik Wilkerson from Oro Valley Photography has emailed race participants with information on purchasing your amazing souvenir photos from this scenic race. Here is the link to his catalogue of race photos. The social media sized images are available for FREE through the photo sponsorship by Costa Vida Tucson. You can post directly to your social media from the icons on the bottom of the image. Additionally, you can right-click on your image to download. The password for the FREE download is the avenue name for Costa Vida Tucson. For all of you using social media, please tag @RunSAR and @RunTucson with hashtags #TMCSaguaro #GabeZimmermanTripleCrown #RunSAR #RunTucson with photo credit to @orovalleyphotography.
More Photos: Kerry Whelan, aka, Goatographer, has taken some of the most beautiful running photos in the history of the world — you can see his work here at the SAR facebook page and here at his Goatographer page. Damion Alexander has become another wonderful running photographer — check out his photos at The Damion Alexander Team here.
Results and Awards: Check results here. If you won an age group prize, you can pick up your awards throughout the month of September at The Running Shop (3055 North Campbell). Questions about timing? Contact Roadrunner Timing here.
Shirts and Medals:
1) We’re in the process of ordering another round of shirts for the 78 of you who didn’t get a shirt on race day. These are customized shirts, and we hope to have them at The Running Shop for pick up within a few weeks.
2) The TMC Saguaro race medals are at The Running Shop, so all Virtual Triple Crown participants can grab their medal. Please postyour photos to the SAR facebook page tagging @RunSAR and @RunTucson with hashtags #TMCSaguaro #GabeZimmermanTripleCrown #RunSAR #RunTucsonVirtual Triple Crown medals at The Running Shop by September 9th.
3) We are working with our supplier to order more of the large Cactus Medal for the Triple Crown participants. At the moment, we count 16 people who need one. We’ll know more shortly and will get in touch with Triple Crown participants.
Questions? Contact race director Randy Accetta.