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Old Pueblo Endurance Runs 2024

March 2, 2025

runner at old pueblo endurance runs
Last Updated April 4, 2024 - Note: 2025 date is not confirmed

For trail runners seeking both adventure and history, Sonoita, AZ presents the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs - a testament to Arizona's rugged beauty and rich past.  At Strambecco, we consider it to be one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Southwest. What began as the footsteps of early Native Americans, ranchers, and miners has now evolved into a trail running extravaganza. Whether it's the chance to tread the paths of Arizona's pioneers or the tantalizing opportunity to win a Sterling Silver Ticket for the Angeles Crest 100, the Old Pueblo race stands out. Claim victory in the 50-mile event, and you might just find yourself bypassing the Angeles Crest 100 lottery system to participate in one of the original 100-milers of Southern California. Moreover, the Southern Arizona Triple 50 Series gives runners the chance to conquer three of the region's premier 50-mile races in one season, topped with special prizes and discounted rates.

The Old Pueblo team, a close-knit group of local trail runners who organizes the event, initiated and unknowingly set the groundwork for today's popularity of trail running in Arizona. This sport has since surged in popularity. Established in 1985, Old Pueblo has evolved with various routes, starting and ending points, distances, and race directors. Through its changes and challenges, its heart remains constant, always embracing the picturesque Santa Rita Mountains. The tradition endures.

Event & Course Info

Starting at 6am at Kentucky Camp's historic mining site, 50 mile and 25 mile course runners embark on a journey through the Santa Rita Mountains' southeastern regions. The route weaves under the imposing Mt. Wrightson—sitting at 9452 feet, one of southern Arizona's loftiest peaks. This 25-mile loop incorporates forest service roads, trails, and sections of the iconic Arizona Trail.

With the starting and finishing elevation pegged at 5142 feet, the course meanders between heights of 4031 and 6232 feet. The rocky and rugged paths challenge participants, presenting undulating terrains, unforeseen ascents, and descents, demanding utmost agility and stamina. The Old Pueblo Endurance Runs trail's average grade of 6% ensures that every mile is as exhilarating as the last.

Four aid stations, including the start/finish point, are strategically placed throughout the loop -  runners can expect water, electrolyte drinks, fruits, snacks, and sandwiches. Runners of the 50 mile event can utilize drop bags at every station, ensuring they remain equipped for the journey ahead. Yet, be warned: the initial aid station is a challenging 9-mile uphill stretch from the starting point. While the support team does their utmost to assist in emergencies, the remote nature of the trail means timely help is relative to location and terrain. Ensure you're adequately hydrated, refueled, and have studied the provided detailed map.

The 25-mile time limit is 7 hours with a race completion cut-off at 3:00 pm and the 50-mile 15 hours, with a halfway cut-off at 1:00 pm. March in Sonoita is unpredictable. From rain and snow to the warm Arizona sun, anything's possible. Historically, race days have started below freezing, so come prepared.

Every finisher is celebrated at Old Pueblo Endurance Runs. Besides unique awards and ample swag from sponsors, the top three male and female finishers of each event receive special honors. The post-race cookout is the perfect ending to a day of endurance and excitement.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

There is no official host hotel for the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs, however some of the hotels that are closest to the event venue include the Sonoita Inn, Rancho Milagro B&B, and La Hacienda de Sonoita. There are also some great options for vacation rentals to suit a variety of needs from adobe homes to guesthouses on winery row. Camping is available alongside fire rode 163 within the National Forest or other primitive camping is also allowed in other areas of the national forest, as well as at one of the many unique camping locations in the area.

Sonoita, AZ, boasts a culinary scene deeply influenced by its Southwestern roots, offering a blend of authentic Mexican flavors and American classics, all set within its picturesque wine country. With its burgeoning wineries and local eateries, the town provides a unique gastronomic experience that reflects its rustic charm and agricultural heritage. Local favorite include The Cafe, the Corner Scoop, and Tia Nita's Cantina.

Nestled in Arizona's high desert, Sonoita beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its vast landscapes, temperate climate, and unique terrains. As winter ebbs and spring brings forth a new lease of life in March, Sonoita becomes a hotspot for athletes looking to dive into nature's challenges. Sonoita's burgeoning wine country, with its undulating vineyards, presents a picturesque backdrop for long-distance runners and joggers alike - perfect for some training or cool down runs after the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs event. Chart a course through the vineyards of local wineries such as Arizona Hops and Vines or Rune Wines. Not only will athletes be treated to varied terrains, but they can also finish their run with a refreshing wine tasting session, savoring the nuanced flavors of the region's terroir.

Just a short drive from Sonoita, the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area boasts expansive grasslands interspersed with rolling hills, making it a haven for mountain bikers. Tackle trails like the Cottonwood Canyon Loop or the Road Canyon Loop. Each offers a blend of moderate climbs, thrilling descents, and opportunities to spot local wildlife, from pronghorns to a variety of bird species native to the region.

Surrounding Sonoita are the captivating Canelo Hills, offering hikers a chance to trek through a mixture of grasslands and wooded terrains. Popular trails like the Canelo Hills West and Canelo Hills East sections of the Arizona Trail provide varied difficulty levels, ensuring a rewarding experience for both novice hikers and seasoned trekkers.

Related Events

While the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs is the only event from its producer it marks the final leg in the Southern Arizona Triple 50 Series which includes Colossal Vail 50, and AZT Oracle Rumble 50 and is a Sterling Silver Ticket event for the prestigious Angeles Crest 100. Outside of these, trail runners in Arizona have their pick at a multitude of top shelf events in-state, including Black Canyon UltrasMcDowell Mountain Trail Run and the Xterra Black Canyon Trail Run which are both part of the Xterra Trail Run World Series.

For the multi-sport athletes out there, check out some of our best rated Road CyclingGravel Cycling, and Mountain Biking events that are held in Arizona and the broader Southwest. Some of them include the El Tour Series road cycling events – El Tour de ZonaMesaTucson, and the infamous gravel race Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Scottsdale from Monuments of Cycling which is part of its Quadrupel Crown of Gravel SeriesEpic Rides is a top producer of mountain bike events in Arizona including the Tour of the White Mountains,  The Whiskey Off Road, and 24 Hours of Old Pueblo.


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Sonoita, Arizona


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