2019 Running Trip Preview – Utah


The annual running trip now enters its eighth year, and it’s about time I do a little something to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve recently found myself gravitating to the Western United States, and last year’s running trip through Arizona left me wanting to explore more. After returning from Arizona and chatting about the trip with others, I started to hear a theme – “If you loved Arizona, you have to do Utah!”

Sign me up. So Utah it is this year, and what a trip it’s going to be. After ordering a Utah travel guide (Get one!), and obsessing through the state’s plethora of travel gems, the route seemed pretty clear – Five National Parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands) coupled with two incredible cities (Park City and Salt Lake City) over the course of nine days, flying in and out of Las Vegas. Oh yeah, I’ll be living out of van for the majority of the trip. Showers will be scarce, but the views will be endless. I’m pumped up for this experience.

A common theme of my running trips lately has been to share the experience with a friend, and this year’s will be no different. I am delighted to have my great friend Bret “Zim” Zimmerman by my side throughout the trip as we travel Utah this October. Zim and I met in college through Phi Delta Theta and our great friendship continues today. He’s a proud owner of a VW Westphalia in Minneapolis, so the van life approach made sense. I’m excited to share the joys of the running trip with him.

The Goal:

Run/hike 10 miles each day, in 7 incredible Utah 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, 4,500+ individuals have signed up for Iron Phi, 900+ have become Iron Phis (raised $1,000 and achieved an athletic event), and we’ve collectively raised $1.83 million. It’s been an amazing (and quite fulfilling ride).

Iron Phi is now a program of The LiveLikeLou Foundation, an 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. We’re off to a great start!

My fundraising goal for this year’s running trip is $4,000, surpassing $31,000 raised during these trips over the years.

To celebrate the generosity of those who donate, I’ll be continuing the scavenger hunt approach. Below is a list of all the locations (91 to be exact) that we will attempt to visit during the 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/hike. I will be blogging throughout the week and my posts will include the pictures thanking donors. Make sure to include which landmark you want to support when you make your donation. I can’t wait to thank you!

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:

Saturday, October 19 – Zion National Park

  • Valley of Fire State Park – Jennifer Morrow
  • In-N-Out Burger – Gavin Jensen
  • St. George (Utah) Temple – Brad & Kelly Becker
  • Red Cliffs Trail – Myra Duritsch
  • Zion National Park Sign – Tom & Colleen Good
  • Angel’s Landing – Stephen Bloomer
  • Angel’s Landing – Suzanne Alexander
  • Angel’s Landing – Sparky Reardon
  • The Narrows – Linda Carlson
  • The Narrows – Josh Ehlen
  • Watchman Campground – Ross & Megan Roti
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – Tessa Good
  • Runner’s Choice – Rich & Nancy Hansen

Make a Donation

Sunday, October 20 – Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Scenic Byway 12 – Drew Miller
  • Bryce Canyon National Park Sign – Suzanne Alexander
  • Bryce Canyon Lodge – Grace Jensen
  • Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive – Jennifer Morrow
  • Sunrise Point – Jonathan Hernandez
  • Navajo Trail – Andrew Norrie
  • Sunset Point – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Inspiration Point – Tom & Colleen Good
  • Bryce Point – Lauren Good
  • Fairyland Loop – Bryan & Kristin Pates
  • Bryce Canyon Campground – Alex Stefanic
  • Hoodoos – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Calvin Good
  • Runner’s Choice – Matt & Kysa Lind

Make a Donation

Monday, October 21 – Capitol Reef National Park

  • Scenic Byway 12 – Mike & Debbie Purdy
  • Kiva Koffeehouse – Suzanne Alexander
  • Calf Creek Falls – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Hell’s Backbone Grill – Aaron & Lindsey Good
  • Burr Trail Road – David & April Etler
  • Capitol Reef National Park Sign – John & Susan
  • Capitol Reef Scenic Byway – Ryan & Nicole Galles
  • Hickman Natural Bridge – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Grand Wash Trail – Talan Jensen
  • Cathedral Valley – Stephen Bloomer
  • Fruita Campground – Kristen Morrison
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Will Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – Tillie Good
  • Runner’s Choice – Jon & Ellen Collier

Make a Donation

Tuesday, October 22 – Arches National Park

  • Goblin Valley State Park – Debbie Smith
  • Arches National Park Sign – Adria Brown
  • Park Avenue – Debbie Smith
  • Three Gossips – Bill & Lindy Good
  • Balanced Rock – Roger & Paula Griffith
  • Garden of Eden – Ronald Brown
  • The Windows – Bill & Lindy Good
  • Delicate Arch – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Fiery Furnace – Brad Carlson
  • Skyline Arch – Brad & Lindsay Klein
  • Landscape Arch – David & April Etler
  • Double O Arch – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Marching Men – Graham Davidson
  • Devil’s Garden Campground – Kerrie Herren
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Adam & Lindsey Good

Make a Donation

Wednesday, October 23 – Canyonlands National Park

  • Moab, Utah – Sean & Michelle Wagner
  • Canyonlands National Park Sign – Ronald Brown
  • Island in the Sky – Mike & Debbie Purdy
  • Shafer Canyon Overlook – Scott & Lisa Mietchen
  • Mesa Arch – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Green River Overlook – Ben Fleming
  • Buck Canyon Overlook – Caleb Good
  • Grand View Point – Kevin & Renée Crist Lefter 
  • Upheaval Dome – Kerrie Herren
  • False Kiva – Sophie Griffith
  • Dead Horse State Park Overlook – Sparky Reardon
  • Kayenta Campground – Stephen Bloomer
  • Living the Van Life – Kevin & Renée Crist Lefter 
  • Runner’s Choice – Jim Rosencrans
  • Runner’s Chocie – Jason & Jadee Purdy

Make a Donation

Thursday, October 24 – Park City

  • Deer Valley Resort – Mike Hyatt
  • Brighton Resort – Debbie Smith
  • Solitude Resort – Ruth Carlson
  • Donut Falls Trail – Randy & Lori Good
  • Historic Main Street – Nick Scalice
  • Park City, Utah Sign – Andy Tomka
  • Wasatch Brewery – Travis & Steph Griffith
  • Park City Mountain – Ryan Boatman
  • Iron Mountain – Marc & Jennifer Mores
  • Olympic Park – Joe & Sarah Wechsler
  • Living the Van Life – Tiffany Conrad
  • Runner’s Choice – Peyton Griffith
  • Runner’s Choice – Keith Lopez
  • Runner’s Choice – Ross Cain

Make a Donation

Friday, October 25 – Salt Lake City

  • Great Salt Lake State Park – Tim Bell
  • Gilgal Sculpture Garden – Don & Anne Davidson
  • Salt Lake City and County Building – Kyle & Ashley Schilling
  • Capitol Theatre – Dean & Carla Breneman
  • Vivant Smart Home Arena – Robbie Marsden
  • Temple Square – Jason Brannon
  • Utah State Capitol – Kevin Marks
  • University of Utah – Mario Villa
  • Phi Delt House (Utah Alpha) – Will Schick
  • Olympic Cauldron Park – Mindy Carlson
  • Rice-Eccles Stadium – Miles Carlson
  • The Living Room Hike – Josh Ehlen
  • A Salt Lake City Brewery – Andrew McGuire
  • Living the Van Life – Joe & Sarah Wechsler
  • Runner’s Choice – Shane & Jenna Omann
  • Runner’s Choice – David Almacy

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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