mcdowell mountain frenzy

McDowell Mountain Frenzy Trail Runs

Saturday, December 4, 2021
50M | 50K | 25K | 10M | 5M
McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills, AZ


6:00 AM – 50 Mile Start 
6:45 AM – 25 Km Start
7:45 AM – 50 Km Start
9:00 AM – 10 Mile Start
10:00 AM – 5 Mile Start

The McDowell Mountain Frenzy is the second race in the Aravaipa Running – Fall Desert Runner Trail Series, Arizona’s premier trail & ultra run series.

Quick Links: Race Info | Registration | Course Info | Results | Photos | Race Day

COVID-19 Guidelines

We are working towards an approval for this event from Maricopa County Regional Parks thanks, in part, to our Event Safe Plan which has been approved by permitting agencies. We encourage all entrants to look over and read this plan prior to signing up and attending.
Aravaipa Running Event Safe Plan

Here are the major takeaways for the event that you should know below:


Run the Fall Series! This race is part of a Series Pass with discounted entries! Check out some options HERE! 

Competitive Track parking lot (first left after ranger booth)
McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Fountain Hills, AZ. Directions

Course Summary
This year’s 50 Mile & 50 Kilometer courses include rolling single track trails within McDowell Mountain Regional Park and a traverse of the McDowell Mountain Range within the City of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

50 Mile runners: You will get a chance to run the Maricopa Trail via Gooseneck heading North towards Brown’s Ranch. This loop has you exit the regional park while running on the Gooseneck and Redbird trails within the Sonoran Preserve before returning to the Granite Tank aid station. You must hit this aid station twice before heading south on Gooseneck and Rocknob towards Dixie Mine aid station.
Additionally, you need to hit Dixie Mine aid station before climbing to the top of Thompson Peak, meaning you will also hit Dixie Mine aid twice. From the Dixie Mine aid station, you’ll continue making your way on the Dixie Mine trail with a nice little climb out of the aid station offering amazing views of the Four Peaks and Superstition Wilderness. After enjoying some great winding single track, you’ll connect back with the Pemberton Trail. You’ll then depart the Pemberton trail, heading towards the Competitive Track where you’ll actually come in to the finish line before heading back out on your final 8 mile loop.

The 25 Km, 10 Mile & 5 mile courses will all stay within the competitive track trails featuring winding single track trails and short but steep climbs and drops.

UTMB Points *

50 Miles 3 Points
50K 2 Points

*These points will be applied for the 2022 UTMB                    

Forecast for Fountain Hills, AZ

Bib/Shirt Pickup

Thursday, December 2
Packet Pickup 5:00-7:00PM

Aravaipa Running Warehouse – Drive Thru
2401 S 24th St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 346-0554

Friday, December 3
Packet Pickup 10a-5pm

Aravaipa Running Warehouse – Drive Thru
2401 S 24th St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 346-0554


Saturday, December 4
Packet Pickup 5:15a-10:30 AM
McDowell Mountain Regional Park

We are once again partnering with the newly renovated We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center which is conveniently located just a few miles from the race. Rates at $119/night- See below for more details!

Aid Stations

Aid stations every 3-10.5 miles including water, ice, electrolyte drink (Gnarly Hydrate), sweet snacks, salty snacks, and fruit. We do not stock our aid stations with gels so please plan on bringing your own. Additionally, please plan to run with at least one bottle of water.

50 Mile and 50 Km runners: You have a stretch of 10.5 miles from Granite Tank aid to Dixie Mine aid that is exposed and challenging. We always see runners arrive at Dixie Mine without water and in rough shape. Utilize your drop bags and/or carry additional water during this stretch to make sure you keep your race moving!

Aid station distance chart:
**NOTE FOR 2020: There is NO drop bag at Granite Tank for 50Km- 50K will have a drop bag at Dixie Mine still.
50 Mile will have a drop bag at Granite Tank, Dixie Mine, and the start/finish

Race Perks
Gender specific cut race shirt
Chip timed race results displayed at finish line
Scenic and challenging course on desert trails
Well stocked aid stations every 3-10.5 miles
Post race food (bagels, fresh fruit) & socializing
Finisher award pint glass
50 Mile finishers award

Awards to top 3 male & female finishers at each distance.
All finishers will receive a finisher award.
Points earned in the Desert Runner Trail Series.

Volunteer Helpers
If you would like to join our volunteer team, we are looking for help with event setup, aid station captains, aid station helpers, timing, photography, videography, social media and event breakdown. Volunteer perks include a piece of Aravaipa merchandise or race goody and Aravaipa Race Credits. You can see our current opportunities and sign up here: McDowell Mountain Frenzy Volunteer Form


Entry Fees*

  Until 8/3 Until 11/13 Until 11/30 Race Week
5 Mile $47.84 $58.47 $69.10 $79.73
10 Mile $58.47 $69.10 $79.73 $90.36
25 KM $79.73 $90.36 $100.99 $111.62
50 KM $122.25 $138.19 $154.14 $170.14
50 Mile $164.77 $180.71 $196.66 $212.60

Save $7.97 (including tax) with our no-shirt option! Shirts are only offered & guaranteed on race day if ordered by 11/13, otherwise shirts will be available if there are extras. 

*Entry fee includes tax

Entrant Limit
600 Runners
Entrants Lists

Registration Options
Online via Ultra Signup
Mail-In Entry Form

Online registration closes on Monday, 11/30, at 11:59PM. Registration will be available after online registration closes at all packet pickup locations and race day as long as we have not reached our capacity.

Double Down! 
We also hold the Mayhem Night Runs at this park the same day as Frenzy. Finish any distance at both races and receive a unique custom medal for completing our Double Down! Races for Mayhem begin at 6 p.m. and include a 5 Mile, 10 Mile, and 25K.

Cut-Off (adjusted for 2020 wave starts) 
15 Hour Cut-off for the 50 Mile (9:30 PM).
13.75 Hour Cut-off for the 50 Kilometer (9:30 PM).
11 Hour Cut-off for 50 Mile (Mile 33.5) at Dixie Mine (5:30 PM). Runners need to be leaving Dixie Mine by 5:30 PM, not arriving.  

Medical –      

We will have our MedStar Solutions medical staff based at the start / finish headquarters. This team is here to help you with most basic and advanced first aid right on site. We reserve the right to pull you from the race if medical officials deem it necessary. Please understand that these decisions are made for your safety and do not argue. Continuing on in a state where you cannot safely navigate is a recipe for disaster and we are here to prevent that.

NOTE: If something happens to you or another runner, do NOT call 911 right away. Our medical team is highly trained in these scenarios, has been with us at this race the last three years and understands the terrain and driving access points. Please call their 24-hour number that will be answered by a real human being and they will dispatch accordingly.

MedStar Solutions Race Day Number: 480-269-4126


The 5 mile, 10 mile and 25 Km runs take place on the rugged, rolling, and beautiful McDowell Competitive Track desert trails. The McDowell Competitive Track varies from 2 to 10 feet wide and is designed for challenging one’s skills.

The 50 Km features a single loop format including the fantastic single track of the Escondido Trail, parts of Pemberton loop and trails in the gorgeous McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

The 50 Mile course will run along the 50 km route but also includes a lollipop towards Saguaro Nest Trails and and also the infamous out and back to the top of Thompson Peak after completing 31 miles already (you’re welcome).

50 Miles

Elevation Gain 4,495 Feet | 1,370 Meters

Frenzy 50M Profile
50 Km

Elevation Gain 2,854 Feet | 870 Meters

Frenzy 50K Profile

25 Km

Elevation Gain 1,119 Feet | 341 Meters

Frenzy 25K Profile
10 Mile

Elevation Gain 763 Feet | 232 Meters

Frenzy 10M Profile

5 Mile

Elevation Gain 326 Feet | 99 Meters

Frenzy 5M Profile

Course Maps

                                                                                                                                      Close up of  50 Mile Course ~ Miles 11.8-18.3

GPS Files
50M | GPX | KML
50K | GPX | KML
25K | GPX | KML
10M | GPX | KML
5M | GPX | KML

*Note on GPX & KML files: Right click and select “Save link as…” to download files.
GPX files may be opened by downloading the demo version of TopoFusion for free. KML files may be opened in Google Earth.

Below is a semi-interactive gpx map of both the 50 Km route and 50 mile route. If you click on the 50 Km route it will pull up just that route. When you click the sections that are unique to the 50 mile route it’ll pull the 50 mile course. The GPX files linked above are accurate and updated following the 2018 race.


Click following button or element on the map to see information about it.
Lf Hiker | E.Pointal contributor

Frenzy 50 Mile   


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Frenzy 50 km   


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Course Records
50 Mile | Male – 6:57:31 – Keith Laverty (’18) | Female – 7:44:12 – Kim Dobson (’19)
50 Km | Male – 3:22:54 – Rob Krar (’12) | Female – 4:06:14 – Lauren Besenfelder Coury (’18)
25 Km | Male – 1:33:36 – Mike Popejoy (’15) | Female – 1:55:14- Corrine Shalvoy (’20)
10 Mile | Male – 1:00:41 – Forrest Boughner (’13) | Female – 1:15:55 – Katie Purpura (’14)
5 Mile | Male – 35:32 – Bill Dittman (’17) | Female – 38:34 – Brooke Andrus (’15)

2020 | Results
2019 | Results
2018 | Results
2017 | Results
2016 | 50M | 50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5M
2015 | 50M | 50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5M
2014 | 50M | 50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5M
2013 | 50M | 50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5M | Kids
2012 | 50M | 50Km | 25Km | 10M |
2011 |  50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5Km
2010 | 50Km | 25Km | 10M | 5Km


2020 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery | Let’s Wander Photography
2019 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2018 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2017 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery | SweetM Images
2016 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2015 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2014 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2013 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
2012 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery | Justin Lutick
2011 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
12/2010 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery
1/2010 | Aravaipa Photo Gallery


Race Day Schedule
Please arrive early to park, check in and warm up prior to your run. Restroom facilities are located at the start line at a permanent park facility.

5:15 AM – Packet pickup / race day registration begin
6:00 AM – 50 Mile Wave Starts Begin
6:45 AM – 25 Kilometer Wave Starts Begin
6:50 AM – Begin civil twilight
7:18 AM – Sunrise
7:45 AM – 50 Kilometer Wave Starts Begin
9:00 AM – 10 Mile Wave Starts Begin
10:00 AM – 5 Mile Wave Starts Begin
5:20 PM – Sunset
5:30 PM – Dixie Mine Aid Station Cutoff (adjusted for 2020 wave starts)
5:47 PM – End civil twilight
6:00 PM – Mayhem Night Runs Begins
9:30 PM – 50 Mile & 50 Km Final Cutoff / Races End

Park Entry Fee
Remember the park now charges a $7 park entry fee per vehicle. Please arrive early and have correct change (cash) available on race morning for a smooth entry process. Carpool to save!

Trail Running & Trash
Please respect the trails and the beauty of the desert by disposing of any trash at one of our aid stations.

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!

Trail Etiquette
Remember to always remain on designed trails, no short cutting.
If you decide to use headphones, please be respectful of runners behind you attempting to pass. Also, remove ear buds as you approach aid stations, volunteers, or a road crossing.
Please do not listen to music with a speaker (yes, we know you listen to the best music).
This course includes some legit single track. If you are fast and attempting to pass, please alert the runner in front of you before flying past them. Likewise, if you hear a runner approaching you from behind, attempt to find a spot to allow the runner to pass.

As a general rule, when passing a runner, announce, “on your left.”
Uphill runners/hikers have the right of way to downhill runners. Remain in control as you descend and respect the other runners.
Everyone is after the same goal here so let’s be respectful of each other’s races and have fun. Please.

Race Timing
We will be utilizing a chip timing system at this event to record your time at the finish. You will be provided with a timing chip attached to the back side of your race bib. It is important to pin this bib on the FRONT of your body, not crease, or fold the the timing chip to ensure your finish time is read. There will also be two remote timing points on course. Friends and family can follow along on 

Drop Bags

50 MILERS: Similarly, please plan on arriving to Granite Tank I (mile 11.6) without your drop bags. Once you return from your Gooseneck Loop to Granite Tank Aid (mile 18), they will be there. It is possible they will be there for the first time arriving but we aren’t able to guarantee that. 

A drop bag will be allowed at Dixie Mine Aid Station (mile 22) for 50 Km runners.
Drop bags for 50 Mile runners will be allowed at Granite Tank, Dixie Mine, and Start/Finish Aid Stations. Please have your drop bags labeled with your name, bib number and aid station location and place in the appropriate signed location by 6:00 AM (50 mile) and 8:30 AM (50K) on race morning. The truck will leave at 8:30 AM Sharp for Dixie Mine Aid station and there will not be a second trip! Bags will be returned to the finish line as aid stations break down. Please keep in mind Dixie Mine will be one of the last to break down, so your drop bag may not be back from that aid station until close to 8:00 PM.
NOTE: Once you have finished with your drop bag, please ask the volunteers to keep it in a “used drop bag” area in case we are able to bring them back before the station closes.

Crews and Pacers


Due to permit restrictions on part of the course, we are only allowing pacers for the 50 mile runners once they head out for their final 8 miles. Pacers are not allowed for any other distances. No pacer bib is required but please inform our timing tent that you will be heading out with a pacer for your final section. You will have your temperature taken before being admitted into the active participant zone. 

Aid Station Helpers
We cannot produce these trail runs without the help of our amazing volunteer team. You can even help and run on race day. If you would like to join our volunteer team, we are looking for help with event setup, aid station captains, aid station helpers, timing, photography, videography, social media, course sweep and event breakdown. Volunteer perks include a piece of Aravaipa merchandise or race goody and Aravaipa Race Credits. You can see our current opportunities and sign up here: McDowell Mountain Frenzy Volunteer Form

Course Marking
The race courses will be well marked with orange plastic ribbons with black polka dots. Trail junctions and turns will be well marked with colored laminated signs that correspond with your race’s color (5M = Blue, 10M = Green, 25K = Yellow, 50K = Red, 50M = White). Please pay attention to these signs at each junction as there are multiple race distances and race courses! In addition, blue & white checkerboard plastic flagging will be hung to designate non-race or “WRONG WAY” trails. All runners are responsible for understanding the layout of the courses. Please familiarize yourself with the course maps on our website prior to race day and/or print a map to bring along with you.

And as always, don’t just follow runners through an intersection- check your signs and proceed.

Parking / Start Area
The start/finish line is located at the competitive track parking area. Overflow parking will be across the street in the Four Peaks Staging Area. 

We are excited to once again partner with the gorgeous We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center conveniently located just a few miles away from our McDowell Mountain Frenzy race this year. You can book directly with the resort by visiting their site here! Or you can call them directly here: 480-789-5320, or toll free: 844-493-5672. A limited number of rooms are available for our runners at $119/night with the $25 resort fee waived! Be sure to mention Aravaipa Running and the McDowell Mountain Frenzy race. Book your room now if you need lodging for the race! *This deal is only valid until November 16th unless otherwise posted*

McDowell Mountain Regional Park offers 76 individual sites for tent or RV camping. Each site has a large parking area to accommodate up to a 45′ RV and is a “Developed Site,” with water and electrical hook-ups, dump station, a picnic table and a barbecue fire ring. All restrooms offer flush toilets and showers. The south loop of the campground also offers handicapped-accessible restrooms. All sites in the campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping Fees

You may also camp with us on Friday night at the start/finish. Camping passes for Friday night run $22 which includes your vehicle entry and may be purchased at the entry gate or visitors center. You may also pay $22 to stay Saturday night as well. 

From central Phoenix, take Loop 202 east to Beeline Highway (SR 87). Continue northeast on SR 87 to Shea Blvd. Travel west on Shea Blvd. to Saguaro Blvd.; turn north. Continue through Town of Fountain Hills to Fountain Hills Blvd; turn right and travel four miles to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park entrance.

16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.
MMRP Arizona 85255

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