The Tucson Marathon has been testing the endurance and strength of runners for more than 20 years. Now, Tucson's annual fitness event – one of the flattest and fastest marathons in the country – is expanding its schedule to include more family-focused events.
This year, the marathon weekend will kick off with the Tucson Marathon Family Fitness Fest on Saturday, Dec. 6. The family-friendly running festival, which is being presented by the Canyon Ranch Center and the University of Arizona College of Public Health, takes place on the University of Arizona campus.
The Family Fitness Fest includes a 5K, 10K and a one-mile run. The event offers a flat course so that runners of all ages and abilities can run together. The course is also ideal for walkers, athletes in wheelchairs and parents with strollers. The top three male and female finishers of each race receive awards.
The Tucson Marathon is expanding its weekend schedule this year to include more family-friendly events — Photo courtesy of Tucson Marathon
The Family Fitness Fest also includes a one-mile obstacle course for kids who want to have some fun while running. Organizers will set up inflatable obstacles that kids must navigate before crossing the finish line.
Also new to the Tucson Marathon this year is the The Great Tribal 5K Challenge, which challenges families to race together as part of one "tribe." Teams of three to five family members can register as a relay team and pick a name for their team.
Judges will take the three fastest times to determine a winning team. The winning team is awarded a three-month membership to the YMCA of Southern Arizona.
The Tucson Marathon is also offering a new remote option to accommodate runners who want to be part of the festivities from afar. Remote runners set their own course and receive a race shirt, official bib, Certificate of Completion, race bag of goodies and a finisher medal.
Remote participants are encouraged to share their courses, finish times and photos with the Tucson Marathon community.
Of course, the main event of the weekend is the 26.2-mile run, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 7. The race is a favorite with local runners, but the event also draws runners from 48 states and from around the world.
The Tucson Marathon, which is mostly flat and downhill, is especially popular with runners looking to score a Boston Marathon qualifying time.
The registration fee for the full 26.2-mile marathon run starts at $100 per runner. Fees for shorter running events start at $15 per runner.
For more information about the Tucson Marathon, visit the event website.