McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50 Mile Race Info

Summary: Located in McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, the 50 miler is one of several races going on in the park, along with running in the City of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. 50 Mile runners will run the 50k loop plus a lollipop and out and back section, and while much of the race is on runnable, non-technical trail, the steep climb up and down Thompson Peak will have runners yearning for flatter ground again. Other distances offered include 50k, 25k, 10m, and 5m.

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • Remember the park charges a $7 park entry fee per vehicle
  • Cupless event – come prepared
  • With several races going on at once, make sure you know which ribbon color marks the course you should be on (50M = white)
  • It will be cold at the start of the race, especially before the sun comes up, so plan accordingly for what you wear pre-race and to start
  • Single track trail is very runnable in many sections of the course
  • Easy to go out fast with the beginning part of the race being relatively easy, rolling, runnable trail
  • Exposed trail – it will get warm and bring sunscreen! There is no shade!
  • The descent from Bell Pass (~mile 28) is more technical switchbacks until you hit Thompson Peak Road, which is ~ 1 mile
  • The climb up to Thompson Peak is very steep, both up and down, and the hardest part of an otherwise very runnable, non-technical course
  • Be ready for one last little hill before getting to the start/finish aid station heading into mile 42
  • Bring enough water at all times between aid, especially the 10.5 mile section without aid, as weather can change fast and get hot very quickly, even if it starts out cloudy.


Total gain/loss: 4495/4495

Total climbs: 3 major (700ft from ~25-28.5, 1000ft from ~5-16, 1600ft from ~30-32.5), ~7 minor of 100-200ft

Longest climb: 1000ft/11 miles (from miles ~5-16)

Steepest climb: 1600/2.5 miles (from miles ~30-32.5)

Link to Course Map / Link to Elevation Profile

Aid stations

Total aid stations: 8

Furthest distance apart: 10.5 miles

Locations: 6.7, 11.8, 18.3, 28.8, 33.5, 38.8, 42, 44 (Bold indicates crew accesible)

What’s available: Water, electrolyte drink, sweet snacks, salty snacks, and fruit

Crew access

Access Locations: Start/Finish, which is also mile 42 aid station


Yes, only for 50 milers in their final 8 miles

Race qualifiers

4 UTMB points

Race reports

Keith Laverty’s 2018 50m Race Report

Jonny G’s 2018 50k Race Report

Jonny G’s 2017 50m Race Report

Race Photos for course recon

Strava activities and GPX files

GPS Files found on race website for download

Race Website