The Tough Turtle is a challengingly-fun obstacle race for the whole family and for a great cause. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Ithaca Children’s Garden.

Race Day

Walk-up Registration

We encourage every Tough Turtle to register ahead so we can be sure to have the right number of supplies and food for every racer, and so that we don’t waste materials by overestimating! Please help us stretch every resource raised (and get a reduced rate too!) with this event, by registering in advance. A limited number of walk-in registrations may be available; we will keep folks updated as race day approaches through social media.

When you arrive on race day, you will check in, get your racing bib, t-shirt, and any other details vital for maximum enjoyment on the big day.

Starting Point

Tough Turtles can expect to climb, sprint, crawl, and slide through the course along the Cayuga Waterfront and Black Diamond Trails on the south shore of Cayuga Lake. Tough Turtle, Tough Turtle Jr., Field Day, and After Party all kick off  at Ithaca Children’s Garden. Course details will be revealed as we approach the big day!

Want to get a better sense of what to expect? Take a look at these 2018 Tough Turtle photos from Ithaca Journal.

What are you waiting for? Register today.


All racers are encouraged to coordinate ride sharing, arrive by bike, LimeBike, on foot, Lyft, or bus, because it reduces congestion along the race course and also because it’s good for the planet (and more fun too!) For those of you coming from out of the area, or who otherwise need to drive, parking will be available along the north edge of Union Fields. Attendees with ADA permits will be allowed access to the parking area to the south of Union Fields (in between Union Fields and the park area with the Kiwanis Pavilion and playground, just north of Ithaca Children’s Garden.) More detailed parking information will be available as race day approaches.

Prizes & Awards

This year we will not be offering a fundraising category through Tough Turtle as we have in years past, but rather everyone will register at a flat rate. However we wanted to show these awesome folks who have raised the bar on connecting children to the living world!

While we know everyone who participates in Tough Turtle is a winner, when you come in first in your heat, we will take your picture and post it for the world to see! Prizes will also be awarded to best costumes.

Scroll to top