Conquer the Desert: Tucson Half Marathon Takes Running to New Heights

‘Runcation’s’ are the best vacations. You train for a half marathon for weeks in anticipation to fly across the states and compete. And then you’re rewarded crossing that finish line! You then get to spend the rest of the weekend tasting all the food and cocktails! And sightsee all the incredible wonder’s that America has to offer. So where else would we pick to visit in snowy December, but warm weather Arizona. The Tucson half marathon offered just that, a nice downhill race with a luxury resort to lounge at after. And that’s exactly what we did!

The Run

The Damascus Bakeries half marathon is a scenic downhill run through Tucson. The host hotel El Conquestador supplies a shuttle from the hotel to the starting line, as the run starts uphill and gives a gentle down slope almost the entire way, (there’s a slight upslope around mile 12 that really upset Katie so be prepared). Dress warm for the shuttle as the start of the race is cold. But we were able to run in tank tops for most of the race once the sun came up. Although the race is mostly scenic, you are running along a highway so be cautious of cars driving by. The race has several wave starts giving you a “gun time” and a “chip time”. But Thanks to the slight down slope, I got my PR at 2:09.


I generally stay at the race’s recommended host lodge for several reasons. First, they often have a prearranged shuttle service to the start line. Second, the hotels are Gorgeous! I mean look at this resort! With that being said, I let you down as I don’t have anything else to share about the surrounding Tucson area because we never left the hotel! I ran this Half marathon when my son was 5 months old; so lounging by the pool and sleeping through the night were the highlight of my trip. Also, although it would have been neat to explore Tucson, having a hand stand contest with my best friends in our hotel room was well worth the laughs to make this weekend getaway memorable.

Wondering which state to run your next Half Marathon? Check out all our recommendations!

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