2018 Running Trip Preview – Arizona


In 2012, I turned 30, had my first mid-life crisis, and decided to run 60+ miles over the course of eight days in eight states. Six years, two kids, the same great wife, two repaired shoulders, $23,500 raised for a great cause, and a little extra belly fat later, the annual running trip now enters its seventh year. I am delighted to have my best pal since kindergarten Travis Griffith by my side throughout the trip as we travel the state of Arizona this October. Travis and I grew up across the street from each other in Fort Dodge, Iowa and were a bit inseparable. Our great friendship continues today, and I’m excited to share the joys of the running trip with him.

This will be the first running trip that only encompasses one U.S. state, but the diversity of Arizona will keep us on our toes, literally. My running trips have sparked something for me, and I’ve kept my journey going on this blog.

The Goal:

Run 7 miles each day, in 7 incredible Arizona locations, over the course of 7 days and raise $3,000 for Iron Phi in the process.

Iron Phi

The Cause:

I will once again be raising funds for Iron Phi, a program I helped develop at Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity to support Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) research while developing college men through leadership training opportunities. Since 2010, nearly 4,000 individuals have signed up for Iron Phi, 730+ have become Iron Phis (raised $1,000 and achieved an athletic event), and we’ve collectively raised $1.5 million.

We’ve made some exciting advancements with the program over the past year, and Iron Phi is now a program of The LiveLikeLou Foundation, and entity that Phi Delta Theta is helping to scale to have a national scope. My friend and mentor Neil Alexander and his wife Suzanne started LiveLikeLou in Pittsburgh when Neil was diagnosed with ALS, and they did many amazing things, including funding the creation of the LiveLikeLou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute. Neil wanted LiveLikeLou to be a national organization, and I have the honor of working with Suzanne to make this dream a reality.

My fundraising goal for this year’s running trip is $3,000, bringing my total to $26,500.

To celebrate the generosity of those who donate, I’ll be continuing the scavenger hunt approach. Below is a list of all the locations that I will be running during my trip. In return for a donation, you’ll get a picture of me with a personalized thank you sign that recognizes you in front of a landmark during that run. I will be blogging throughout the week and my posts will include the pictures thanking donors. Make sure to include which day you want to support when you make your donation.

You can make a donation on this page by clicking on the “Make a Donation” link below my fundraising total. You can also send a check made out to Iron Phi to me if you’d rather donate that way. Message me on Facebook for my address.

The Schedule:

Friday, October 19 – Saguaro National Park (Tucson)

Saguaro National Park
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Saint Augustine Cathedral
University of Arizona
Monterey Court Sign
Borderlands Mural
Greetings from Tucson Mural
Bill Walton Riding A Jackelope Mural
Vergiss Mural
Eating a Sonoran Hot Dog
Drinking a Tucson Beer
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Make a Donation

Saturday, October 20 – Phoenix

Camelback Mountain
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Chase Field (Diamondbacks)
The Biltmore
Tailiesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright)
Arizona State University
Love Sculpture
Tovrea Castle
Arizona State Capitol
University of Phoenix Stadium (Cardinals)
Drinking a Phoenix Beer
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Make a Donation

Sunday, October 21 – Sedona, AZ

Old West Wickenburg, AZ
Granite Dells – Watson Lake – Prescott, AZ
The Hills of Jerome, AZ
Downtown Cottonwood, AZ
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Red Rock State Park
Bell Rock
Submarine Rock
Drinking a Sedonian Beer
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

A new prospective of the Cathedral 📷by @therollingvan

A post shared by Sedona, Arizona (@visitsedona) on

Make a Donation

Monday, October 22 – Flagstaff, AZ

Meteor Crater
Humphrey’s Peak
Northern Arizona University
Wupatki National Monument
Drinking a Flagstaff Beer
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Make a Donation

Tuesday, October 23 – Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
Coalmine Canyon
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Dramatically different than other viewpoints at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Toroweap Overlook peers out over an abrupt 3,000-foot drop into the canyon. Volcanic cinder cones and ancient lava flows make this area unique, but the part that makes it unforgettable is the view down to the Colorado River flowing like a shimmering ribbon. Access is challenging and demands skill at negotiating difficult roadways. Services are non-existent with no access to water, gas, food, lodging or phone service, but the uncrowded views and peaceful solitude make it worth the planning and effort. Photo by Peter Kang (www.sharetheexperience.org). [Image description: Sheer cliffs dropping several thousand feet to a river at the bottom of a narrow canyon.] Thanks for posting @usinterior #GrandCanyon #Arizona -mq

A post shared by GrandCanyonNPS (@grandcanyonnps) on

Make a Donation

Wednesday, October 24 – Northern Arizona Border

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
Lake Powell
Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon
Horsehoe Bend
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Make a Donation

Thursday, October 25 – Monument Valley

Monument Valley
West Mitten Butte
East Mitten Butte
John Ford’s Point
Forrest Gump Point
Petrified Forest
Petrified Desert
Route 66
Wigwam Hotel
Apache Trail Scenic Byway
Theodore Roosevelt Lake
Canyon de Chelly
Goldfield Ghost Town
Hubbell Trading Post
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice
Runner’s Choice

Make a Donation

I hope that you’ll share this incredible adventure by supporting me in my journey. Your donations will be put to great use, helping us battle ALS and supporting college-aged men as they become the greatest version of themselves.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!



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