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 $3,000, surpassing $30,000 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

  • In-N-Out Burger – $25
  • Valley of Fire State Park – Jennifer Morrow
  • St. George (Utah) Temple – Brad & Kelly Becker
  • 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 – $25
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Myra Duritsch
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson

Make a Donation

Sunday, October 20 – Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Scenic Byway 12 – $30
  • Bryce Canyon National Park Sign – Suzanne Alexander
  • Bryce Canyon Lodge – $25
  • Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive – Jennifer Morrow
  • Navajo Trail – Andrew Norrie
  • Hoodoos – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Inspiration Point – Tom & Colleen Good
  • Sunset Point – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Fairyland Loop – $30
  • Bryce Canyon Campground – $25
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Jonathan Hernandez
  • Runner’s Choice – Lauren Good

Make a Donation

Monday, October 21 – Capitol Reef National Park

  • Scenic Byway 12 – Mike & Debbie Purdy
  • Calf Creek Falls – Rob & Julie Waltz
  • Escalante, UT (Kiva Koffeehouse) – Suzanne Alexander
  • Burr Trail Road – $45
  • Capitol Reef National Park Sign – John & Susan
  • Capitol Reef Scenic Byway – $25
  • Hickman Natural Bridge – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Grand Wash Trail – $25
  • Cathedral Valley – Stephen Bloomer
  • Fruita Campground – $25
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Will Davidson
  • Runner’s Choice – $15

Make a Donation

Tuesday, October 22 – Arches National Park

  • Goblin Valley State Park – Debbie Smith
  • Arches National Park Sign – $25
  • Delicate Arch – Mike Scarlatelli
  • Fiery Furnace – Brad Carlson
  • Balanced Rock – Roger & Paula Griffith
  • Garden of Eden – $30
  • The Windows – Bill & Lindy Good
  • Park Avenue – Debbie Smith
  • Three Gossips – Bill & Lindy Good
  • Landscape Arch – $40
  • Skyline Arch – $30
  • Double O Arch – Mike & Deb Sedlacek
  • Devil’s Garden Campground – $25
  • Moab, Utah – Sean & Michelle Wagner
  • Living the Van Life – Scott Lynch
  • Runner’s Choice – Graham Davidson

Make a Donation

Wednesday, October 23 – Canyonlands National Park

  • Dead Horse State Park Overlook – Sparky Reardon
  • Canyonlands National Park Sign – $30
  • Mesa Arch – Taylor & Haley Abel
  • Shafer Canyon Overlook – Scott & Lisa Mietchen
  • Grand View Point – Kevin & Renée Crist Lefter 
  • Green River Overlook – Ben Fleming
  • Upheaval Dome – $25
  • Island in the Sky – Mike & Debbie Purdy
  • Kayenta Campground – Stephen Bloomer
  • Living the Van Life – Kevin & Renée Crist Lefter 
  • Runner’s Choice – Caleb Good
  • Runner’s Choice – $15
  • Runner’s Choice – $15

Make a Donation

Thursday, October 24 – Park City

  • Historic Main Street – Nick Scalice
  • Park City, Utah Sign – Andy Tomka
  • Olympic Park – Joe & Sarah Wechsler
  • Donut Falls Trail – $30
  • Park City Mountain – $25
  • Iron Mountain – $30
  • Deer Valley Resort – Mike Hyatt
  • Wasatch Brewery – $20
  • Living the Van Life – Tiffany Conrad
  • Runner’s Choice – Debbie Smith
  • Runner’s Choice – Ruth Carlson
  • Runner’s Choice – $15
  • Runner’s Choice – $15

Make a Donation

Friday, October 25 – Salt Lake City

  • Temple Square – $65
  • University of Utah – $30
  • Phi Delt House (Utah Alpha) – $40
  • Capitol Theatre – $25
  • Utah State Capitol – Kevin Marks
  • Salt Lake City and County Building – $40
  • Olympic Cauldron Park – Mindy Carlson
  • A Salt Lake City Brewery – Andrew McGuire
  • Rice-Eccles Stadium – Miles Carlson
  • The Living Room Hike – Josh Ehlen
  • Great Salt Lake State Park – $35
  • Living the Van Life – Joe & Sarah Wechsler
  • Runner’s Choice – Robbie Marsden
  • Runner’s Choice – Don & Anne Davidson

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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