Race Across Arizona Details

We have several races planned in Arizona.

AZ01 – Border to Border (15 Marathons)

The City of Parker is surrounded by the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation.

Our journey across Arizona will start at the Colorado River in the town of Parker. Parker is surrounded by the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation. This particular reservation is home to the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Navajo and Hopi nations. On Day 2, we will start near Salome. This small town founded in 1904 as a depot area for the mines that are prevalent in the surrounding mountains. U.S. Route 60 transects McMullen Valley which is an 80 mile stretch of desert separating the Vulture, Harquahala and Plomosa Mountains to the south and the Harcuvar and Buckskin Mountains to the north. The majority of the valley looks like just what most of us think of as desert — sand, scrub bush, cactus, lizards and snakes, buzzards, isolation and desolation.

Wickenburg, AZ bills itself as “where the West is still wild.”

Wickenburg, AZ bills itself as “where the West is still wild.”

On Day 5, we will arrive in Wickenburg, AZ which bills itself as “where the West is still wild.” The town certainly looks the part with an historic and well-maintained downtown that could be right out of the late 19th century. Along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River, farmers and ranchers began to settle this area following the end of the Mexican-American war in 1848. The downtown area of Wickenburg is vibrant with almost all the buildings occupied by cafes, saloons, western wear stores, and Indian art and souvenir stores. After seven total days of running, we will take a break in Phoenix to visit local schools, telling students about the journey and also inviting them to join the 100 Mile Club®.

As we climb, we will run through the Sonoran Desert where the Saguaro cactus grows.

As we climb, we will run through the Sonoran Desert where the Saguaro cactus grows.

During the second half of our journey, we will enter perhaps the most difficult part of journey. You see, Arizona is the state with the largest climb of the entire Race Across USA Marathon Series where the runners will climb the equivalent of Mt. McKinley with over 22,000 ft. of elevation gain. As the route climbs out of the “Valley of the Sun” on our way to “Rim Country,” the temperature will move in the opposite direction. The chilly temperature and the thin air will make running through this area very difficult. As we climb, we will run through the Sonoran Desert where the Saguaro cactus grows. This species grows up to 25 feet in height, is tree-like and columnar, covered in needle-like spires, and it grows upward tilting branches (properly called arms) as it ages. The elevation for the last six days will remain over 6,000 ft as we continue along U.S. Route 60 through Payson, Heber-Overgaard, Show Low and Springerville near the border with New Mexico.

This is part of the Race Across USA marathon series. You will be running with the Core Team who are going coast to coast from California to Washington DC. Runners need to arrive the night before at 5pm to check-in.

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AZ02 – Valley of the Sun (4 Marathons)

Join us from Salome, through historic Wickenburg to the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve‎. Wickenburg bills itself as “where the West is still wild.” The town certainly looks the part with an historic and well-maintained downtown that could be right out of the late 19th century. Along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River, farmers and ranchers began to settle this area following the end of the Mexican-American war in 1848. The downtown area of Wickenburg is vibrant with almost all the buildings occupied by cafes, saloons, western wear stores, and Indian art and souvenir stores.

This is part of the Race Across USA marathon series. You will be running with the Core Team who are going coast to coast from California to Washington DC and the State Team who are running all the way across the state. Runners need to arrive the night before at 5pm to check-in.

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AZ03 – Beeline and Beyond (4 Marathons)

Challenge yourself as you run up and over the Beeline Highway starting in Sunflower, AZ all the way to Forest Lakes. As we climb, we will run through the Sonoran Desert where the Saguaro cactus grows. This species grows up to 25 feet in height, is tree-like and columnar, covered in needle-like spires, and it grows upward tilting branches (properly called arms) as it ages.

This is part of the Race Across USA marathon series. You will be running with the Core Team who are going coast to coast from California to Washington DC and the State Team who are running all the way across the state. Runners need to arrive the night before at 5pm to check-in.

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The following is a list of suggested accommodations for state runners. We take no responsibility for the accuracy of these listings or for the quality of the establishments.



Photo Credits (in the order that they appear)

  1. Used with permission from Colon Terrell.
  2. Used with permission from Colon Terrell.
  3. Photo licensed under Creative Commons from Race Across USA.