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Run, walk or stroll the historic staircases that connect Hot Springs' business and residential areas. Choose from 3 challenging and breathtakingly beautiful routes.
Welcome summer with friends, family and visitors as we honor the men and women who died to preserve our freedom.
The 9th annual Stars, Stripes & Steps race is going to be interesting. Road construction throughout our route could send you on even more twists and turns than usual. The routes won't be finalized until the last minute this year, due to all the road work unknowns.
HALF/MARATHONERS: We should be back to the full six flights of steps this year. The road construction is mostly completely on the end of town that takes you out to the Windmill Wobble!
We will have a large kid zone again, and welcome additions to that fun stuff. No band this year, as most folks go home to early to take advantage of the music, and we feel the money is best used toward the great needs of the local Boys & Girls Club. We hope to have beverages and snacks, but still working on that. We will keep you posted and as always we are eager for community ideas and participation.
CASTLE CRUNCH staircase deteriorated badly over the past year. Happily, the city has agreed to make the repairs and they expect to get them done before our race. If not, we will decide as we get closer if we should skip that staircase this year, or let you dodge the orange cones!
STAIR REPAIRS IN GENERAL. We continue to watch the staircases and work with the city to try to make decisions about best approach to keeping these treasures intact. While two of the staircases could really use complete reconstruction, the costs are huge, so the longer we can hold off the better.
Jeff Alley heads up Challenge Dakota's SAVE THE STEPS committee to explore options to help the community repair/replace this historic landmark staircase. If you are interested in the committee, contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All three of our STAIR-CLIMBING routes navigate the trails, hills, streets and steps that make downtown Hot Springs such a beautiful place to run, walk or stroll.
Children four and under are welcome to accompany parents or guardians at no charge
(no tee shirts, bibs, medals or SWAG), but be aware that these stairs are steep and strollers are absolutely forbidden, except on the zero-stair flip-flop romp!
We are a walker-friendly event (except for the Knee High Hilly Half Marathon). Some of our participants stroll the Sock Hop or Crazy Crew, window shopping and enjoying the scenery!
Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome, but you must follow the City's rules and regulations.
This two mile route is a great "starter" stair climb, terrific for kids and also good for those who are recovering from injuries. Many fast runners like it too—we are always surprised when those speedsters cross the finish line like rockets! You will share your route with the Crazy Crew and Knee High Hilly Halfers, making it lots of fun! You will pass two water stations along the way and lots of volunteers will cheer you on.
This challenging route is our most popular event among men, women and kids. Although only a mile longer than the Sock Hop, those three extra staircases make it much more challenging—in fact more challenging by far than your ordinary 5K. The dogs love it too! Lots of steps and gorgeous views. You can run or take your time. You will pass two water stations. You will share the route with the Sock Hoppers and Hilly Halfers, so you will never be lonely!
This route takes you on a challenging tour of the steeps and steps of Hot Springs and a bit beyond and is not for the faint of heart. There are serious hills to climb as well as a few reasonably flat miles to stretch your legs and take in those astounding Hot Springs vistas. And of course 744 steps to climb on five town core staircases and the one private staircase in what we like to call the "outer limits" (PRIVATE STAIRCASE NOT ACCESSIBLE IN 2022). This route is mostly on paved walkways, streets and highways but also includes a bit of meadow) and a few gravel roads. THIS IS NOT WALKER FRIENDLY. COURSE CLOSES AT 2:00 P.M. You will be supported in the town center with the same water stations as the shorter routes, and in the outer limits there will be roving support cars with water, encouragement and a bail-out ride if you need it. (But you won't need it 'cause you are training, right?)
The 2nd annual Capture the Climb Contest now includes both of our stair-climbing events. You may enter 2 photos per event, so be sure to participate in or attend both for great photo ops. This year's rules will be posted soon.