The Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge or the World’s Toughest 6K

This race was not for the faint-hearted. What sounds like a fun way to start a Saturday, a 6k run or walk, is still kicking my butt more than 30 hours later.

One Word: Uphill

The Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge is an uphill 3.7-mile race with an almost 2,000 feet elevation gain. It’s your not so easy Saturday fun run.

The walk option starts at 6.30 am. And if you consider ever doing this race, I highly recommend walking it and starting at 6.30 am. Yes, it’s still dark, but that’s good in Palm Springs. It means the sun isn’t out yet and the first hour will be fairly cool (compared to desert standards). If you are set on running it, train for tough hills. In fact, so tough that you pass a sign that recommends drivers to turn off their air conditioning.

Another good reason for starting early in the morning is that you get to see a beautiful sunrise.

The Easy Part

There also is an easy part – ENJOY IT!

I trained for this race with trail hiking in the mountains and I am so glad I did. This is a road race, so if you train by hiking or running trails in the mountains, you are well prepared. There is a sidewalk on the Tram Road. If you are local, you can train on the actual race course.

about 50 yards later…

The Finish

Forget negative splits. The toughest incline is right at the end. You can hear the cowbells ringing and the band playing. But all you see is the incline. Then you finally hear the announcer call out your name. Your immediately forgive him for mispronouncing your name, ’cause all you are looking for is a place to sit.

I really liked this race. It’s a challenge for sure. And my butt is reminding me all day today (a day after) how amazing it was! 🙂 A fast flat road race like the Surf City 10 is fun, but the Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge is memorable.

To truly enjoy the downhill, you must conquer the uphill

I don’t know the origin of this quote, but YES! After the race I decided to walk back down instead of taking the shuttle. These were the sweetest 3.7 miles I ever walked downhill.

And yes, I am going to do next year’s Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge!


Have you had a race or hiking event that you liked a lot? Share in the comments!

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