RunSedona half marathon, 10K and 5k



January 31, 2020

sea-of-runnersYou may have seen them around town – more than 3,000 runners from around the world prepping for tomorrow’s RunSedona half marathon, 10K and 5k. The Chamber is the proud owner of RunSedona, a local favorite and a showcase for Sedona’s beauty and mild winter weather to visitors in tune with our health and wellness values. Thousands of runners from 47 states and 12 countries participated last year.

The economic boost is considerable. Last year’s race injected almost $5 million into our economy, with data showing dining, hiking, biking, shopping and sightseeing as the most popular visitor activities. Thousands stayed at least one night, booking 6,775 hotel rooms. We can expect a similar impact this year.

Just as important for our quality of life and environment, RunSedona is moving closer to a zero-waste status. RunSedona volunteers will sort leftover food for on-site composting and will help the public sort out general waste. Sponsors are switching to electronic coupons, using little or no Styrofoam, and minimizing single-use or plastic marketing items. Runners are switching to reusable water bottles instead of relying on in-race paper cups. This is excellent progress. RunSedona is out to an early 2020 lead in reducing waste at our popular events.

The Community Pulse event this month featured updates on two more local favorites – the Sedona International Film Festival in February and the Mountain Bike Festival in March.

Opening Night at SIFF features “A Tribute to Roots,” with Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, and Kimberly Fields. Actor/director Rob Reiner will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, and actor/singer Lainie Kazan will be a special guest, along with writer/producer, Bryan Cogman, one of the great minds behind Game of Thrones. SIFF attracts low-impact visual artists who naturally appreciate Sedona’s beauty and environment, an ideal visitor group. The word-of-mouth from SIFF is invaluable in spreading the news of our sustainability commitment to other well-connected and influential people. The Film Fest is also an important economic jolt, of course, adding $3.9 million in local spending last year.

 The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival has emerged as a true leader in sensitive event planning and giving back. Last year, event organizers teamed with the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund to raise more than $20,000 for trail maintenance.  When the weather turned rainy, the Festival led the way in keeping wet trails safe from damage, and they joined with Can’d Aid to build and donate bicycles to every first grader at West Sedona Elementary. They will be just as active this year. The event drew more than 4,000 enthusiasts from across the US and 13 countries, adding an astounding $6.5 million in local spending.

These events, along with many others (with the help of the Sustainability Alliance) are working hard to set the gold standard for sustainable Sedona events.

I hope to see you out there for RunSedona tomorrow.  Please note that there will be road restrictions and lane closures near the Dry Creek Road area.  Plan accordingly and visit for maps and details.  Be sure to mark your calendar for the events coming in February and March that help make Sedona the best place to live, work, play and visit.

                                                          –Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO