Turtle Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

Saturday, September 2, 2017 • Roswell, NM • Course Map

activeregisterThis race is staged each September as summer is beginning to give way to fall here in the city that’s become synonymous with UFOs thanks to the 1940s “incident” and the television shows, movies and docudramas that have popularized it ever since.

The annual Turtle Marathon, Half Marathon & Labor Day 5K offers some of the lowest entrance fees of any race of its kind in the nation, as well as the beauty of the surrounding desert scenery and a course on which many runners may have a chance to actually win, thanks to the often small size of the participant fields.

Run on an out-and-back course that takes runners along the highways of Roswell, the race starts and finishes at the city’s Cahoon Park, located on West 4th Street.

From there, runners follow the course along bike paths for the race’s first couple of miles, and then head onto U.S. Highway 70, where they head west for the next few miles until they reach the half-way turnaround and begin the route back to the finish line at Cahoon Park.

The race typically draws a very small field of runners; in recent years, the race has drawn about 25 to 30 runners each for the full and half marathons. And true to its name, runners who finish any of the three races in the event receive ceramic turtles as awards after crossing the finish line.

Race Weather & Climate

Located among the flat, arid landscape of New Mexico’s southeastern corner, roughly 200 miles south of Albuquerque and about 200 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas, Roswell typically sees hot weather in the late summer, when temperatures regularly reach the mid- and upper 90s.

On race day (Sept. 2), the average low is 62ºF and the average high is 88ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Turtle Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 5:30 AM – half marathon, full marathon
  • 8:00 AM – 5K


  • $30 for the half marathon
  • price subject to increase as race day grows closer


To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Roswell’s Turtle Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at Active.com here.


Official Race Website



Ever run in the Turtle Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, New Mexico

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