Nationally Known Runner to Participate in TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k

If you figure it’s about 3,000 miles coast to coast in the U.S., that means nationally-known runner and writer Amby Burfoot has crossed the entire country at least 34 times.

Burfoot, who estimates he has put more than 103,000 miles on his running shoe tread during his running career, will be putting Tucson roads to the test for the TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run/Walk on June 2.

The event, which benefits Child & Family Resources and a number of local charities, is a downtown block party and a run/walk all tied together, with post-race concerts, an outdoor movie, children’s activities and deals from downtown businesses.

Burfoot, a Boston Marathon winner who has written books and served as the executive editor of Runner’s World magazine, said he was drawn to the fact it was a downtown, evening race, with a focus on healing and wellness.

This year, the Pennsylvania resident will mark his 50th year in a row running the 5-Mile Road Race in Manchester on Thanksgiving Day. “The idea of lifelong and lifetime fitness through running and jogging and bicycling and walking is very important to me,” said Burfoot, who estimates he runs 25 miles a week.

“Running and walking are the best and simplest and least expensive ways to burn calories. When obesity is a national public health crisis, it’s not an entire answer, but a big part of the answer.”

Randy Accetta, a board member of Southern Arizona Roadrunners and organizer of the race, said he was thrilled to bring one of his personal heroes and mentors to Tucson, crediting Burfoot with bringing fitness and running information to millions of people throughout his career.

Accetta said there are a number of reasons to participate in the race. Aside from the fact it’s fun, healthy and for a good cause, it helps celebrate downtown and community.

It’s also the first leg of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown – a series of three races which honor the 30-year-old outreach director who was slain at former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event on Jan. 8, 2011.

This is the second year for the race series, which raises an estimated $50,000 for local charities.

“This year, as we get farther away from those moments of horror, we are more able to say: Gabe would love this. It begins to feel less like mourning, and more like a continuing celebration,” he said. 

The race series is good for both beginners and more advanced participants, he said. For beginners, a 5k is challenging and gets them off the couch. But with the culminating race in October a half-marathon up A-Mountain it’s still challenging enough for more experienced runners as well.

“We’re really grateful to TMC for its assistance,” Accetta said. “The whole question is how to lead a healthy life and prevent illness and TMC gets it. By spending money on these events, it helps our city be better. And that’s what we’re all trying to do.”

 Participants can register up until the night of the June 2 race, which begins at The Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. For more information, check out

For those interested in saying hello to Burfoot, who is considering relocating to Tucson, you can head to a wine and cheese happy hour on Friday, June 1st at The Running Shop, 3055 N. Campbell. Runners can register for the race and pick up T-shirts and race packets at the event, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


  1. […] Increasing your cardiovascular ability and being able to running a half marathon, or losing that extra pregnancy weight or reducing your cholesterol by 50 points are specific, but are they realistic? I’ve been caring an extra 30 pounds around since pregnancy and have not managed to take AND keep off the weight. I’m not alone. As a country, our widening waistlines are impacting our health so losing weight is not an uncommon, or unworthy goal. Now 30 pounds within the next year may not be realistically attainable, but taking 10 pounds off and keeping it off, well that might actually happen. Likewise, if you’re a solid coach potato, with bad knees, the TMC A-Mountain half-marathon next October might not be in the cards, but coach to a 5k program resulting in the TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k June 1, that is more realistic. Check out this 8-week beginners program from Amby Burfoot to get you started .(You can also check out Amby’s connection with TMC & Tucson right here.) […]

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