Arizona > Grand Canyon Marathon & Tusayan Half Marathon
Grand Canyon, AZ • Saturday, November 12, 2011 • Course Map
Set for its fourth annual running along the roads and trails that wind through the Kaibab National Forest just south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Marathon & Tusayan Half Marathon take runners on a course that offers truly spectacular scenery for those running the full marathon as well as the chance to run through some of northern Arizona's most scenic and remote forests for those running the half.
Runners thinking of taking part in the race should note that only the full marathon includes stretches that run alongside and overlook the Grand Canyon itself -- the 26.2-mile course follows a point-to-point route that starts at the Bright Angel Lodge in Grand Canyon Village, overlooking the South Rim of the canyon. The half marathon, on the other hand, follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the finish line for both races, which lies at the National Geographic Visitor Center IMAX theater in nearby Tusayan.
For those running the half, the course still offers gorgeous natural scenery, as it takes runners on a 6.55-mile-long out-and-back route through the Kaibab National Forest. The route will feature stretches along dirt trails through the forest as well as along improved forest service roads, and runners will need to be ready for a high-elevation race and (most likely) quite chilly weather -- the race starts at about 6,600 feet above sea level, and temperatures are likely to be in the 30-to-40-degree range at the start of the race.
From the starting line in the gravel parking lot adjacent to the IMAX theater, runners then make a loop around the parking lot and head onto the Arizona Trail-Greenway for roughly the first mile and a quarter of the race. After they reach Fire Road 800, runners then turn onto the road and make another turn quickly to the left onto Forest Road 328, which they follow as it curves and turns through the forest and then onto F.R. 328A. The course follows 328A for a brief stretch before hitting the turnaround point (the half-way point of the half marathon), and then runners follow the exact course they've just run in reverse, all the way back to the IMAX theater for the race finish line.
Organizers had originally planned to start the half marathon race at 7:00 AM; the starting time has been moved back to 9:00 AM, they say, in order to take advantage of warmer temperatures and better light conditions for the start. Runners in the half marathon will have five hours to complete the course, which will close at 2:00 PM.
Weather & Climate
Located along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, roughly 75 miles northwest of Flagstaff and about 275 miles east of Las Vegas (by car), Grand Canyon village typically sees November temperatures that average between 53°F and 24°F, while precipitation is relatively scarce, averaging just over an inch for the month. On the day of the race (Nov. 12), the average high is 55°F and the average low is 25°F.
View the race route map for the Grand Canyon-Tusayan Half Marathon
$65 for the half marathon
$100 for the full marathon
To reserve your spot in the fall 2011 running of the Grand Canyon Marathon (full marathon) or the Tusayan Half Marathon, register online at the event website.
Official Race Website
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