Arizona Distance Classic is coming

The mountains and native scenery are major reasons the Arizona Distance Classic has made it 10 years in Oro Valley.

File photo by Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Juan Cardenas will be doing more than just running the Arizona Distance Classic Half Marathon on March 23. Besides running, Cardenas will be asking people to pledge money towards his race in efforts to raise a minimum amount of $5,000 for The Tucson Boys and Girls Club.

The Tucson Boys and Girls Club is a program that helps the self-esteem, values and skills of youth in a safe and loving environment. The program serves more than 8,000 youth and has been a part of the Tucson community since 1957.

This will be the third time that Cardenas has run a marathon to raise money for an organization or family. He has run in the New York Marathon and Niagara Falls Marathon. A month ago he became a board member of The Tucson Boys and Girls Club. Shortly after, he decided that he would run to raise money for the club.

“I was invited to see the club and then have lunch,” said Cardenas. “The stories I heard and saw affected me. They are in need of money so I decided that maybe I should raise money for them.”

Cardenas is asking that people pledge a minimum 20 cents for each runner that he passes during the race. The only runners that count are those who are participating in the half marathon.

In order to make the race more challenging, Cardenas will start five minutes after the last runner crosses the starting line. Also, the first 100 runners that he passes will not count as many participants often walk the race. People are free to pledge any amount. If a person pledges 50 cents per runner and Cardenas passes 200 runners than $100 will go towards The Tucson Boys and Girls Club. 

Pledge amounts can be sent to Cardenas at or to Nancy DeRose at Each pledge is tax deductible. Cardenas will send the results a day after the race. It is asked that each person who pledges commit to sending the check within a week after the race.

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