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On Saturday, October 12, 2019, hundreds of people will gather throughout the state of Arizona for AZT in a Day. Hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians will stage themselves along the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) with the goal to collectively complete its entire length— over 800 miles—in 24 hours. This will be the first time a National Scenic Trail has been completed in this fashion, and the second attempt at a full trail completion on the Arizona Trail.
Registration is being managed online by the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), the nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, maintain, enhance, promote and sustain the Arizona Trail as a unique encounter with the land. To learn more visit: https://aztrail.org/events/aztinaday-2019/.
Participants can choose from 100 different sections ranging from 2.1 to 15.6 miles in length. Arizona’s rugged terrain and sometimes harsh climate require that all participants be well prepared. Several access points need 4-wheel drive or high clearance vehicles. For the remote sections, participants familiar with backpacking may need to camp at least a day before the actual event to be ready to complete their portion on October 12.
“We are excited to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to explore the Arizona Trail’s deserts, mountains, canyons, forests and communities during this unique endeavor,” said Matthew Nelson, Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association. “It took tens of thousands of volunteers over three decades to build the Arizona Trail, and now we’re delighted to be able to invite everyone to share this amazing public resource. No matter how far you can hike, run or ride, we hope everyone commits to spending some time on the AZT throughout 2019 and especially on October 12 for AZT in a Day.”
Last year, the same celebration gathered 796 people along the 800-mile path, and participants were successful with completing 96% of the trail’s miles, amassing 5,784 miles before the end of the day. Some were training for future races and thru-hikes, some had anniversaries and birthdays that coincided with the weekend, and many were simply looking to spend time with family and friends during a beautiful time of year. Others like William Prokop, who completed a rim-to-rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon said that, “We’d like to be a part of something great. Bigger than ourselves.”
This year, the ATA plans to engage nearly 1,000 people from all over the world as they go for a 100% trail completion. This massive undertaking is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and the ATA hopes to utilize October 12 as a way to introduce new people to the natural beauty of Arizona’s landscapes and communities.
AZT in a Day will help honor the sustained effort that has gone into building, maintaining and preserving the Arizona Trail over the past 25 years. Some participants are also choosing to fundraise leading up to AZT in a Day to help support the ATA in its 25th year, and the programs that uphold their mission. Funds allow the ATA to maintain meaningful outdoor youth education programs, empower young women with skills in the outdoors, hire youth crews and conservation corps, partner with groups to promote “volunteer vacations”, and host trail skills workshops for youth and adults.
For more information about AZT in a Day or the Arizona Trail, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (520) 261-8460. Photographs, maps, logos, interviews and other resources are available upon request.
Here are some other resources for AZT in a Day:
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/450836582316518/
Promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww5DPf-J1bI
Hashtags: #aztinaday2019 #LoveAZT
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