Saturday, January 30, 2021 • Surprise, AZ • Course Map
Set to mark its 27th annual running this year, the Desert Classic Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K takes runners on a long, mostly straightaway course just to the north of Arizona’s White Tank Mountain Regional Park, a 30,000-acre park filled with rugged, rocky, mountainous terrain and which lies to the west of the Phoenix metro area.
For runners in the half marathon — which is organized by the Arizona Road Racers running club — the course follows an out-and-back route over a paved highway road leading west from the city of Surprise, with ample views of the majestic mountain scenery in all directions around, as well as the thrill of running through a true arid, desert climate.
The race starts and finishes at Riverboat Village in Surprise (at 18300 West Bell Road), and the half marathon takes runners solely along the Sun Valley Parkway for 6.55 miles to the turnaround point, where runners then begin the trek back to the start following the course they have just run. It’s a long, gradual uphill to the half-way point, followed by a long, gradual downhill in the second half.
Runners in the full marathon who wish may choose to start as early as 6:00 AM — to do so, please notify the race director before the day of the race. For more information, contact the Arizona Road Racers at the website shown below.
Race Weather & Climate
With temperatures during January that average between 41°F and 68°F, the city of Surprise (located about 40 miles northwest of Phoenix) experiences moderately warm to mild and cool weather in the winter. The area is also mostly a dry climate, with just over an inch of rainfall for the month.
On the day of the race (Jan. 30), the average low is 42°F and the average high is 69°F.
- 7:30 AM – half marathon
- 8:15 AM – 5K
- $50 – $55 for the half marathon
- $26 – $30 for the 5K
- discounts available for ARR members
To sign up for the winter 2021 running of Surprise’s ARR Desert Classic Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the ARR Desert Classic Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.