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 – Josh Lembrich
  • Mission San Xavier del Bac – Andrew Norrie
  • Saint Augustine Cathedral – Randy & Lori Good
  • University of Arizona – Mario Villa
  • Arizona Stadium – Brad & Mindy Carlson
  • Monterey Court Sign – Sean & Michele Wagner
  • Borderlands Mural – Bill & Lindy Good
  • Greetings from Tucson Mural – Mike & Debbie Purdy
  • Bill Walton Riding A Jackelope Mural – Ross & Megan Roti
  • Vergiss Mural – Brad & Mindy Carlson
  • Eating a Sonoran Hot Dog – Dylan Berg
  • Drinking a Tucson Beer – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Runner’s Choice – $10
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz

Make a Donation

Saturday, October 20 – Phoenix

  • Camelback Mountain – Mike Hyatt
  • The Biltmore – Mike Hyatt
  • Tailiesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright) – Mike Hyatt
  • Chase Field (Diamondbacks) – Scott Lynch
  • Dynamite Road – Tom & Colleen Good
  • Arizona State University – Keith Wysocki
  • Love Sculpture – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Tovrea Castle – Brad & Mindy Carlson
  • Arizona State Capitol – Andrew McGuire
  • University of Phoenix Stadium (Cardinals) – Scott Lynch
  • Drinking a Phoenix Beer – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Runner’s Choice – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz

Make a Donation

Sunday, October 21 – Sedona, AZ

  • Chapel of the Holy Cross – Stephen Bloomer
  • Red Rock State Park – Luke Benfield
  • Bell Rock – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Submarine Rock – Ryan & Nicole Galles
  • Old West Wickenburg, AZ – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Granite Dells – Watson Lake – Prescott, AZ – Bill & Lindy Good
  • The Hills of Jerome, AZ – Dean & Carla Breneman
  • Downtown Cottonwood, AZ – Tom & Kae Roti
  • Drinking a Sedonian Beer – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Runner’s Choice – Sparky Reardon

Make a Donation

Monday, October 22 – Flagstaff, AZ

  • Meteor Crater – Andy Max
  • Humphrey’s Peak – Shane & Jenna Omann
  • Wupatki National Monument – Matt & Kysa Lind
  • Northern Arizona University – Mario Villa
  • Louie the Lumberjack Statue – Scott Lynch
  • Lowell Observatory – Brad & Mindy Carlson
  • Downtown Flagstaff – Kristen Morrison
  • Drinking a Flagstaff Beer – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Eating a Diablo Burger – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – $10

Make a Donation

Tuesday, October 23 – Grand Canyon

  • Grand Canyon View – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Grand Canyon View – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Grand Canyon View – Debbie Smith
  • Grand Canyon View – Brad & Kelly Becker
  • Grand Canyon View – Alex Stefanic
  • Grand Canyon View – Roger & Paula Griffith
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Runner’s Choice – Kerrie Herren
  • Runner’s Choice – Sparky Reardon
  • Runner’s Choice – $20
  • Runner’s Choice – $20
  • Runner’s Choice – $20

View this post on Instagram

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

  • Horsehoe Bend – David & April Etler
  • Antelope Canyon View – Jennifer Morrow
  • Antelope Canyon View – Drew Miller
  • Vermillion Cliffs National Monument – Marc & Jennifer Mores
  • Glen Canyon Dam – Brett Zimmerman
  • Lake Powell – Clay Coleman
  • Page, AZ – Kelly Derickson
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Runner’s Choice – Sparky Reardon
  • Runner’s Choice – $10
  • Runner’s Choice – $10


Make a Donation

Thursday, October 25 – Monument Valley

  • Canyon de Chelly – Tyler Cronk
  • Monument Valley – Debbie Smith
  • West Mitten Butte – Kevin & Renee Lefter
  • East Mitten Butte – Ben Fleming
  • John Ford’s Point – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Forrest Gump Point – Nicholas Scalice
  • Petrified Forest – Kerrie Herren
  • Petrified Desert – Linda Carlson
  • Route 66 – Jon Rogowski
  • Wigwam Hotel – Jeff & Julie Larson
  • Apache Trail Scenic Byway – $20
  • Theodore Roosevelt Lake – Robbie Marsden
  • Goldfield Ghost Town – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Hubbell Trading Post – $15
  • Runner’s Choice – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Runner’s Choice – $10


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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