Well, Tucson, it’s that time of year again. Most schools, including the University of Arizona, are back in session, and the weather has cooled down. Oh, wait. It’s still 104 degrees. Never mind.
Still, September in Tucson marks a new season, a time for renewal and a chance to start the running year all over again. To help make the most of the coming months, here is a listing of upcoming running and walking events in Southern Arizona. Check out the list, see what strikes your fancy, then make a goal to get moving and do some of them. It’s a great way to stay healthy, support local charities, and have fun.
For 44 years, the Tucson running season has started at Saguaro National Park East, and this year is no different. The 44th Annual TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler and 5K takes place Monday morning. A few spots are open for this event, which benefits the Friends of Saguaro and Child and Family Resources. Check out azroadrunners.org for race registration details.
On Sept. 28 at Sabino Canyon, the Southern Arizona Roadrunners will host the first free children’s mile in a new three-race series. In partnership with the Friends of Sabino Canyon, SAR provides a free entry to the FitKidz Mile to any child in the sixth grade or under. More info at azroadrunners.org
On Sept. 29. is the Everyone Runs Catalina State Park Reverse the Course 5.2 & 10.35 Mile Trail Run & Walk, a regional favorite on the dirt trails of the Catalinas. Learn more at everyoneruns.net
Oct. 5 sees the Beads on the Farm 5K and family fun run at Agua Linda Farm south of Tucson (check out “Beads on the Farm 5K & Family Fun Run October 5, 2013” on Facebook). Also that day, there’s a new mud run at Old Tucson Studios. Learn more at terrainracing.com
Oct. 6 is one of the biggest races in Tucson, the Jim Click’s Run n’ Roll 8k and 3K, a fundraiser for the UA’s Adaptive Athletics program. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will kick off a Tucson Moves A Million Miles challenge. See azroadrunners.org or mayorrothschild.com/walk for more details on that city-wide health and wellness challenge.
The next week, Oct. 13, is the Great Pumpkin Race at Buckelew Farms, a 5K run and walk through the pumpkin patch and corn maze at the farms, about 15 miles west of Tucson. Produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, this inexpensive family-friendly event will also host the second FitKidz Free Mile for children in the sixth grade and younger.
Oct. 19 is the 23rd Annual Bisbee 1000, a race up and down the thousand stairs in the historic mining town of Bisbee. As they say, this is a 5K that feels like a 10K. See bisbee1000.org for details on this classic Arizona event.
If that’s not enough, on Oct. 20 you can challenge yourself with one of three events at the TMC Get Moving Tucson in Downtown Tucson, a benefit for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Child and Family Resources.
The TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon is a 13.1 mile run that includes Sentinel Peak Road at A-Mountain.
The Tucson Lifestyle 5K is a 3.1 mile family friendly walk/run through downtown and the UA neighborhoods.
The Cox Charities Free One Mile Walk and Run is also the third race in the free FitKidz Mile children’s running series.
October closes out with more races: On Oct. 26.you can choose between the Oracle 10K in the northern foothills of the Catalinas (azroadrunners.org) or the Pink Ribbon 7K Run/Walk down in Vail (taggrun.com).
Of course, if you don’t want to spend any money on these worthy charity events, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and safe free exercise. In particular, check out the free Monday night Meet Me at Maynards walk or run, hosted at Hotel Congress in Downtown Tucson starting at 5:30 p.m. Mondays.
On Wednesday nights try Meet Me at La Encantada, a free fitness evening, with a walk or run and free yoga and tai chi. Fitness activities start at 5:30 p.m., with raffle drawings for all participants starting at 7.
As you can see, you have plenty of chances to get moving, Tucson — so lace ‘em up and get out there!