Desert Runner Trail Series

Aravaipa Running and Maricopa County Regional Parks are proud to present the seventh annual Desert Runner Trail Series, Arizona’s premier trail and ultra running series!  This series of trail running events span the Valley of the Sun from October 2017 through March 2018. Each race features up to six distances, ranging from 5 kilometers to 100 miles. Earn points at each event and compete in the DRT Series Finale in March at White Tank Mountain Regional Park!

Sign up for the entire Fall or Spring series at once to receive a discount or sign up for each race individually!

We’ve updated our series passes and other information for the 2017-18 season! Check it all out HERE.

Series Standings

Quail Standings (Short Series)
Roadrunner Standings (Middle Series)
Owl Standings (Trail Series)
Hawk Standings (Ultra Series)

Series Mail-in Form

Fall Series Mail-in Form
Spring Series Mail-in Form

Online Series Sign Up:

Fall Series Pass – Online Sign-up (Cave Creek Thriller, Pass Mountain & McDowell Mountain Frenzy)
Spring Series Pass – Online Sign-up (San Tan Scramble, Coldwater Rumble, Elephant Mountain & Mesquite Canyon)

Fall Race Schedule

October 14, 2017 – Cave Creek Thriller
5KM, 10KM, 24KM, 50KM @ Cave Creek Regional Park

November 18, 2017 – Pass Mountain
5KM, 10KM, 25KM, 50KM @ Usery Mountain Regional Park

December 2, 2017 – McDowell Mountain Frenzy
5 Mile, 10M, 25KM, 50KM, 50 Mile @ McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Spring Race Schedule

January 6, 2018  – San Tan Scramble
9KM, 17KM, 26KM, 50KM @ San Tan Mountain Regional Park

January 20-21 2018  – Coldwater Rumble
4 Mile, 20KM, 20 Mile, 52KM, 52 Mile, 100 Mile @ Estrella Mountain Regional Park

February 3, 2018 – Elephant Mountain
12KM, 22KM, 35KM, 50KM @Cave Creek Regional Park

March 17, 2018  – Mesquite Canyon
8KM, Half Marathon, 30KM, 50KM, & 50Mile @ White Tank Mountain Regional Park


Race Perks:

Gender specific running shirts to all participants

Finisher glass to all participants

Scenic, challenging, well marked courses

NEW- Accumulate series points in four divisions: Quail, Roadrunner, Owl, or Hawk Series

Well stocked aid stations manned by great volunteers

A race distance for all abilities at each event

Post run meal and at each race

NEW: Cupless Events!

In an effort to continually lessen our race footprint, we are expanding our cupless events to the Desert Runner Trail Series. We will have UltrAspire reusable cups available at registration and on race day or feel free to bring your own! You buy one directly on our website HERE.

Series Details:

There will be four divisions in the Desert Runner Trail Series: Short, Middle, Trail & Ultra. Points will be awarded for the following race distances at each event:


Race Quail (Short) Series Roadrunner (Middle) Series Owl (Trail) Series Hawk (Ultra) Series
Cave Creek Thriller 5 KM 11 KM 24 KM 50 KM
Pass Mountain 5 KM 10 KM 25 KM 50 KM
McDowell Mountain Frenzy 5 Mile 10 Mile 25 KM 50 KM, 50 Mile
San Tan Scramble 9 KM 17 KM 26 KM 50 KM
Coldwater Rumble 4 Mile 20 KM 20 Mile 50 KM, 50 Mile
Elephant Mountain 12 KM 22 KM 35 KM 50 KM
Mesquite Canyon 8 KM 13 Mile 30 KM 50 KM, 50 Mile


Within each series (Short, Middle, Trail, Ultra), points will further be categorized by Male and Female. In each of these four categories, the winner of any given race will be awarded 1000 points. All other runners in that category will receive a percentage of 1000 equal to the ration of the winner’s time to their time. For example, if the winner finishes in 4:00 and you finish in 5:30, you will receive (240 minutes/330 minutes) * 1000 = 727 points (points will be rounded to the nearest whole number). The Mesquite Canyon Championship will award points out of 1250 instead of 1000.

A runner’s series score will be determined by adding the top 3 scores from individual races. Although running a single race will enter you into the point series, running 3 races will provide a competitive score. Running more than 3 races will provide an opportunity to improve your score. Note that points are not shared between series, so points scored in the Trail Series do not apply to the Ultra Series, and vice versa.  However, points from both the 50 mile and 50 km races will count towards the ultra series (points are calculated separately for each race).

At the end of the series, awards will be given to the top 3 runners in the Trail Series and Ultra Series, Male and Female. Additionally, awards will be given in both the Open Division (all ages) and the Masters Division (age 40+). Age is determined by a runner’s age on the day of the Mesquite Canyon Championship. If a Masters Division runner claims an award from the Open Division top awards in the Masters Division will go to the 2nd place finisher on down.

An updated list of points will be provided by Ultra Signup as the series progresses at the links at the top of this page.