|Arizona > Desert Dash Half Marathon & 5K
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The stark beauty of southern Arizona's rolling hills, mesquite bosques and giant Saguaro cactus along the edge of the national park by the same name are the kind of scenery found all along the course at the annual springtime running of Tucson's Desert Dash Half Marathon & 5K, a new half marathon event on the city's race calendar that marks its second annual running in the spring of 2010.
A fundraiser for the locally-based nonprofit World Culture Club, an organization that seeks to promote awareness of global cultures high school students in the Tucson area through a range of study and travel opportunities, the Desert Dash Half Marathon follows an out-and-back loop course that starts and finishes at the Lew Sorenson Community Center on East Tanque Verde Road just to the east of Tucson, within shouting distance of Willow Canyon to the north and Saguaro National Park to the east and south.
The 13.1-mile course for the race takes runners on what is roughly a clockwise loop route along Tanque Verde Road, East Redington Road, Cam la Cebadilla, North Wentworth Road, East Speedway Boulevard and then along North Tanque Verde Loop Road back to the finish line at the Sorenson Community Center. Though the course features a mostly flat route, runners can expect to hit the most significant uphill of the race in the first few miles, as the course elevation climbs nearly 100 feet in elevation between the first and the fifth mile markers.
Once runners pass the third mile marker, the course then evens out and features mostly mildly rolling terrain with a few hills here and there, but otherwise a largely flat route that takes runners past both residential areas as well as areas that approach the borders of the national park areas, where runners can expect to see ranches filled with grazing horses as well as the 20-ft.-high saguaro cactus for which this area is so well known.
After making their way along East Cape Horn Drive, Wentworth and then onto Speedway Boulevard, runners head out eastward along Speedway for roughly the next two miles, where they reach the turnaround point between the 8th and 9th mile markers, and then begin the trek back westward along Speedway toward the intersection with North Tanque Verde Loop Road, where they turn right and head home for the finish line. The last three miles of the race feature mostly a downhill descent toward the finish, with a slight uphill as runners make their way between miles 12 and 13.
Weather & Climate
Located among the rolling hills of southeastern Arizona, surrounded by national parklands and forest lands including Saguaro National Park to the east and the Coronado National Forest to the south, the city of Tucson typically experiences mild to moderately warm and usually very dry weather conditions in the mid-spring season, followed by very hot summers. In April, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 82°F and 54°F, while rainfall totals average about a third of an inch for the month.
$50 for the half marathon, if registered by March 24, 2010
$60 after March 24
To reserve your spot in the spring 2010 running of Tucson's Desert Dash Half Marathon or 5K, register
online at the event website.
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