TRAVERSE THE ARIZONA HIGH DESERT ON FOOT AND MOUNTAIN BIKE FROM THE WORLD-FAMOUS METEOR CRATER TO THE SOUTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON!
150 miles over three epic days from Arizona’s Meteor Crater to the Grand Canyon including 22 blistering miles on foot to Humphrey Peak, 12,631 ft.
29 APR - 3 MAY / 2024
150 MILES (242 KM) ON FOOT AND BIKE
HOTEL AND CAMPING
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, USA
3 DAYS /
DIFFICULTY RATING: CAN I DO THIS?
You should be a confident cyclist with experience of back to back days in the saddle.
3 nights accommodation (hotel and camping)
All in-event transfers from the moment you arrive at Flagstaff to the moment you leave.
GUIDES AND SUPPORT
Professional support vehicles, guides, water safety, medical and welfare.
Flexible transfer policy.
High quality medal, rat rag and premium t-shirt for all participants.
Professional local and UK safety staff, medics, drivers, route safety staff and Rat Race experts on hand throughout. Audited and accredited to BS8848 expedition safety standard.
All meals included as standard, at hotels. Breakfast, Pit Stop support, and Dinner.
LINK TWO INCREDIBLE ICONS OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST – METEOR, AZ AND THE GRAND CANYON
EXPERIENCE SOME OF THE BEST SECTIONS OF THE ARIZONA LONG-DISTANCE TRAIL
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE HISTORY AND LEGEND OF THE DESERT, PLUS BAG THE HIGH POINT OF ARIZONA – HUMPHREYS PEAK AT 12,637 FEET
PACKING A LITTLE TARMAC ON ROUTE 66, OUR ROUTE IS 80% REAL OFF-ROAD USING SUPER-SWEET TRAILS
Traverse the Arizona high desert on foot and mountain bike, linking up some of the absolute icons of the American Southwest on a journey that traces a rough n’ tumble route from the world-famous Meteor Crater at Meteor, AZ to the south rim of the Grand Canyon – and bagging the high point of the state on the way!
Beginning your journey at the rim of the eponymous asteroid crater at Meteor, AZ you will set out on foot with a hot, dusty and super-scenic trail running blitz through Diablo Canyon, before transitioning to bikes for a classic blast along iconic Route 66. Arriving in Flagstaff at the end of day 1, the action turns on day 2 to a serious assault on the amazing AZ Trail, taking you some 22 blistering miles on foot to summit Humphreys Peak. At 12,637 feet this is the high point of the state and is a serious objective in its own right. On day 3 you’re back on the bikes for a big day in the saddle as you bash your way across 70+ off-road miles of the AZ Trail, reaching journey’s end at the magnificent south rim of the Grand Canyon. Along the way, you’ll experience the real magic of the high desert as well as bearing witness to some of its greatest icons, on a route that takes in the famous, the infamous and the down-right surreal of the great state of Arizona.
The following schedule outlines our proposed itinerary and the disciplines and approximate mileages, too. Please note at this stage, the plan is approximate. Distances, daily stages and in-trip logistics may change between now and departure and even during the trip, such is the nature of this major adventure undertaking.
DAY ONE: FLAGSTAFF ADMIN AND PACKET PICKUP DAY
The meeting point for our dabble in the desert will be downtown Flagstaff, exact location to be confirmed nearer the time, but likely to be a good quality hotel, with whom we will have rates in case you wish to stay here tonight also.
We will do some registration activities and you can collect your event packets. This is also the place to head for rental bike pick up, gear check and some event briefings. We will set a meeting time of 4 pm or later, to allow arrivals earlier that day into Flagstaff by road or air.
Once you have registered and attended the event briefings and gear checks, you will be free to make your own plans for dinner and lodgings, although we will have some rates at a hotel in town and we will make an optional plan for dinner in case you want to meet some of your compadres.
MEALS: Dinner is optional and at your own expense
DAY TWO: TO THE CRATER!
A very early start will see us heading to Meteor for a spectacular desert sunrise, before we count you down and set you on your way from Crater to Canyon! (If you wish to make your own way to Meteor you can do so; or ride in our complimentary transportation.
Canyon Diablo is your first objective – packing 20 miles of super-sweet trail running to bring you to the Old West ghost town of Diablo Canyon and the transition to bikes. The cool of the morning will allow you to make good going in the canyon and as the day heats up, you will swap onto the bikes for a fast 35 mile blast up Route 66 back to Flagstaff. This section of riding is on the smooth stuff but you will still need a mountain bike, as what is ahead of you on day 3 most certainly is not!
This whole area is awash with history and legend of the American Southwest. From the Apache death cave in the canyon, to the ruins of Old West ghost towns and derelict trading posts plus Navajo heritage for which the area is famous, the desert will captivate and fascinate in equal measure. At day’s end you will swing into town and we will accommodate you in quality hotel digs. Enjoy a hot bath or shower and join us for dinner in town.
ACCOMMODATION: Flagstaff Hotel
MEALS: Pit Stop support stations, Dinner
DAY THREE: FLAT N’ FAST DOWN THE VALLEY
Switching back onto foot, you’ll come face to face with the wonders of the Arizona Trail as you make your way out of Flagstaff on foot. Today is a massive day and while the mileage may not sound too much at 28 miles total distance, you will be making for an enormous objective – which will be looming on the skyline all day ahead of you. At 12,637 feet, Humphreys Peak is the high point of the State and you will be making for the summit as part of today’s route. Traversing off of it for a mellow 6 mile descent, you will find yourself wearily making your way to our high desert camp – and you will definitely sleep soundly tonight!
ACCOMMODATION: Rustic desert camp
MEALS: Pit Stop support stations, Dinner
Of course day 3 is a big day! There ain’t no small ones on this baby! First up, you’re back in the saddle for a super-engaging 74 mile section to finish up at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Starting with a super fun and gradual descent that brings you out of the high country around Humphreys Peak, you will then climb up to Coconino Rim, before descending again to journey’s end at the Canyon itself.
A beer has most well and truly been earned and we will not disappoint tonight, as you kick back with the views of the most famous national feature in all of North America stretching out in front of you and a cold bottle of suds in hand. Enjoy a wrap up to your journey with a meal on us and some lodgings right here in this most wonderful of settings, at the end of your Crater to Canyon journey.
ACCOMMODATION: Grand Canyon eco-campsite
MEALS: Breakfast, Pit Stop support stations, Dinner
Our accommodation features 3 distinct types: NIGHT 1: HOTEL IN FLAGSTAFF DOWNTOWN, NIGHT 2: RUSTIC DESERT CAMP and NIGHT 3: GRAND CANYON ECO-CAMPSITE
Where we use a hotel, all accommodation is offered on a double or twin room basis; or you can request a single supplement if you prefer not to share. If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participant of the same sex in a twin room unless you take the single supplement. If you have a preference for who you share with, you are able to specify that prior to departure.
Hotel accommodation will be of a high standard with plenty of in-room and in-property amenities.
For the campsites, the ‘rustic’ desert camp is just that – it will be basic and you’ll really enjoy the true character of the high desert. There won’t be much in the way of facilities: Toilets- yes. Showers- no. We will serve up hearty food and provide tents for you to sleep in. You will provide your own sleeping bag and mat and we will transport this for you. Alternatively, you can rent these from us.
At journey’s end at the canyon, the camping will be of a more comfortable facility than our rustic camp – but it’ still camping although here will be showers; and a proper sit-down meal will be served to finish up our epic trip.
Breakfast will vary with our location day-to-day. When we are stating “early” (which comes part and parcel with such an epic journey!) then we may provide ‘grab n’ go’ materials – pastries, fruit, oats, yogurt, and other simple items that you can either eat before you set off, or take with you on the initial portion of the route that day. There will be a full cooked option at the hotel in Flagstaff. Throughout, there will never be a shortage of good, hot coffee!
We will provide inclusive food menus at the campsites; you will pay for your own drinks. At the hotel in Flagstaff, you can choose your dinner plan and wander out into town, or eat at the hotel. In all cases we will ensure there are Gluten-free and Vegan options available where we offer a catering services.
During the challenge you will have access to our famously well-stocked Pit Stops multiple times throughout the journey: A minimum of 3 times per day when you are on the route. On all stages, these will typically be set-up from our mobile support team at set spots on the route.
Pit stops will typically have the following available:
Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Sports Food Bars – oat-type bars for maximum energy.
Electrolyte / Energy Drink or similar carb-based product.
Salty snacks – such as chips and peanuts.
Savory treats – We will feature sandwiches, local foods, pastries, cheese and other goodies at selected pit stops, around lunchtime.
A fruit option – such as oranges or bananas.
Candy – such as Skittles (vegan) and local speciality sweet candy treats.
Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have – if you use gels and other such products – you should plan to bring these with you. If you have any special dietary requirements then please also plan for this and pack your gear accordingly. Rat Race aims to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional, catering to as broad a mix of needs and diets as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and availability of this will depend on demand. If peanuts are served these will be in individual portioned bags to reduce the chance of contamination but Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving.
Please take care when consuming food with dirty hands. Please please please take care with your trash and help us in our aim of leaving our venues and routes tidier than we find them.
The date-range is set and the route is tried and tested. However, our challenges unfold in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Sometimes we do have to change plans on account of weather, injury or other unforeseen factors. If we do have to do so, you will be informed and usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavor of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end! That having been said, our route is likely to remain largely intact, regardless of any on-the-ground changes.
We are mindful that people will inevitably have varying distances to travel to get to Flagstaff – some from out of state and some from their homes in town perhaps! Our plan is to meet at a downtown hotel on day 1 in the afternoon, do some briefings and some admin tasks and take it from there. This will allow folk time to fly in earlier that day, or you may choose to arrive the day before and stay locally, allowing you plenty of time in the morning to do some preparations. If you wish to book extra lodgings for this pre-departure night in Flagstaff, you can do here.
We have designed this challenge so that you may travel at your own pace. See below for our notes on route-finding and guidance. There will also be some ‘cut-offs,’ but in the true Rat Race tradition these will be generous and we will always look to help you to achieve your goals in finishing this challenge, vs having to pull out. Of course, we will give you some early starts to allow the very best possible window for route completion, particularly on the longer days (and the especially hilly one!). But, if you need us and if you need to abandon the route for whatever reason, we are there for you and can pick you up with our support vehicles. The absolute key is that you enjoy this amazing journey across the desert; at your own pace and within your own limits.
We want you to concentrate on the views and the hard work of putting one foot or wheel in front of the other. So we don’t want you to be staring at maps or navigational aids any more than you have to. There is no formal course marking (i.e. signs) used on this event. Instead of course markings, we will be providing and then be asking you to download a route file that you will be able to download onto your smartphone or GPS device. You will follow this ‘line’ when on the bikes and can use this as a back-up at all times. You may use your own device or rent one from us. The route will show the stage start and finish locations of course, plus also show you pit stop locations, so you know exactly how far you are from support along the course.
We will then augment this with some marshalled junctions or key turning points on some of the stages, to ensure there is no doubt on route choice in any locations that we think it could be tricky.
At all times, the GPS device can be used to back yourself up on route-finding as and where required, as it will have the full route loaded onto it. If you choose to rent a GPS device from us, we will provide high-tech Garmin Edge navigational aids and Garmin Fenix navigational watches. The Edges are designed specifically for cycling and mounted to the handlebars with a special cradle, for optimum visibility when you are on the move.
Don’t worry – you won’t get lost. But if you do – support is never far away.
We will use a mixture of safety staff in vehicles, on the trail on bikes or foot and we will also concentrate support services at our pit stops. If it does get too much, if you get injured, get too hot, need sustenance, motivational support or otherwise, we will be able to assist and out team will never be far away out on the route. You are in good hands.
It is always good practice to be self-contained when out on these types of challenges, so when you leave pit stops, we will expect you to leave with some snacks on board, a full water bottle and bike tools and spares on board just in case for those stages….just like any other regular ride in the back-country.
Yes. You need a decent travel policy covering you for general travel and which covers participation in outdoor sports. You will also need what is called an Evacuation Insurance Policy, which is for if we need to send you back to the closest city for urgent medical attention via a helicopter or similar. We also recommend you have this in place as soon as you enter this event and that if you book flights, we highly recommend booking a flexible option for any last-minute changes you might need to make or to ensure you have maximum flexibility if you cannot attend for any reason.
Travel insurance is compulsory for our events, so please make sure your insurance policy covers the activities you will be participating in. There are a number of specialist providers available including Mann Broadbent.
Click ‘Buy Event Voucher’ and go through the sign-up process, you’ll then be issued with an event voucher which will automatically reserve you a place in the event you have chosen.
Rat Race require you to be over 18 on the day of Registration for this adventure. If you wish to participate as a family group or with a responsible adult and you are 16+, we will consider applications on an individual basis. Please contact us if this is the case.
Getting to the start line is important and we are there to help you as best we can. However, if you feel on reflection that it is just not your time yet, we do have a transfer system that you can use to transfer out, receive Rat Race credit and come back again next year or do something else. Credit is typically valid for 12 months and there is a fee to be paid for transferring out in this way. We want to be really clear that this option is there for you if you need it, but it does have a deadline. View our full terms and conditions here.
This is definitely a mountain biking event. There is a road-stage on day 1 on Route 66, but on day 3, it is all off-road. So the mountain bike is the machine to choose. If you rent a bike from us, it will be a good quality hardtail mountain bike with front suspension.
Of course. If you run for Children with Cancer UK and raise the target amount for this event per person, we will refund your entry fee up to the amount of £2500. You are of course more than welcome to fundraise for any cause close to your heart. Click here to find out more.
Of course. If you run for Children with Cancer UK and raise the target amount for this event per person, we will refund your entry fee up to the amount of £2500. You are of course more than welcome to fundraise for any cause close to your heart.
Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, you will be kept in the loop closer to the event when we will send out our Essential Event Information approximately 12 weeks ahead of the event, detailing the full itinerary, what you need to bring and other important information relating to the specific event you have signed up for. We will also host webinars which you will be invited to (again, closer to the event), where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and go through your kit. There will be a final email one month ahead of the event, just to check you’ve completed all the important forms and are ready for the event ahead.
If you have chosen to pay in instalments, we will also get in touch with you if any of your payments have been missed.
Rat Race have been audited and accredited to the prestigious BS8848 expedition safety standard. We have firm emergency protocols and response systems in place whilst out on our adventures. Our main priority above all else is to keep you and our staff safe. Before we leave for each trip a comprehensive in-country risk and threat assessment has been conducted by the Head of Expeditions. All protocols are put in place relating to those assessments. We make sure that the staff involved have the highest level of first aid training; a higher level of medical cover is also put in place if needed; all instructors have qualifications and/ or competencies to match the adventure we will undertake. In the event of an emergency, Rat Race staff and appointed contractors have comprehensive knowledge of procedures which will rapidly be put in place. If needed, our staff will provide first aid and then further medical assistance and evacuation if needed in line with a published Medical Procedures Plan. We have medical back-up and Clinical Directorship provided by a specialist events medical company and we have further emergency response support services provided by competent contracted partner. All our cover is available 24/7 while operations are underway. We use our knowledge and emergency procedures to provide the best possible care in our often remote and austere environments. Before leaving on a trip, we will advise on the insurance cover you are required to have in place for the trip; we will ask for a copy of these insurance details before the departure date.
Race entry includes a glorious finishers medal and bespoke event Rat Race tee. We will request your tshirt size and this will be the size you will be given at Registration.
The short answer is no. The price for this event is for everything outlined on the website and it is very difficult for us to split this out. Our accommodation is based on group rates and is on a shared basis. All of our event logistics, support and organisation has been designed to have all the participants in the same locations to allow transfers, briefings etc to run smoothly and to let you bond with your fellow #ratracers! You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation if you wish but this will not result in a reduction in the event fee from us, you will also then be responsible for ensuring you are at our meeting points at the arranged time and we will not be able to transport you to and from your own accommodation, you will need to be able to do this independently.
Hot! We will, however, also be going up pretty high and at 12,637 feet on the summit of Humphreys Peak, it may be chilly. So in addition to the usual hot weather gear, you will also need some more robust gear for the mountains. You will also need a sleeping bag and sleeping mat for our high desert camp. But these items can be rented. A full gear list will be provided later.
Yes. There will be a mechanic supporting the trip throughout. However, they won’t have a limitless spares inventory so you will need to carry with you a range of spare parts specific to your bike. If you are renting a bike, all the above will be provided with your rental.
If you need to bail while on the course, we will collect you via the Sweeper vehicles if we can reach you – or you simply get to the next Pit Stop and we collect you from there. We will always look to move you forwards on the course (subject to medical advice if it is a medical issue that has forced you to pull out). We are unable to transport you backwards (i.e. we cannot take you back to the start of that stage). You can choose to re-start further up the course if you still want to do some riding or running/ trekking that day, or we can take you to the end of the stage. It is always best to bail at a Pit Stop, where we have vehicles standing by. You can retire from the route at any time and we will always be there to support you.
We are not into ‘once you stop you can’t restart.’ That is not our thing. If you bail and wish to restart, as laid out above (and subject to medical advice) – no problem.
A kit list for this event will be published in due course.
You may of course choose to bring your own bike, but if you do not wish to travel with your own we can provide high-quality mountain bikes. These will be hardtail, with front suspension. All rental bikes are provided with helmet, bottle cage, tool kit and spare tube. Price is $250 and this will be delivered to the registration and packet pick-up venue for fitting; and then collected for you from the Grand Canyon, so you do not need to worry about moving it.
These items can be added to your basket at point of purchase or you may choose to add later on.
GPS DEVICE RENTAL
You will require a GPS device with which to follow our event route. You can use your own GPS watch or handheld device. If you don’t have a device or if want to rent instead, that is also possible. Your Garmin Edge GPS device is specially designed for use on bikes. It features a handlebar cradle so you can view the route while in the riding position. It will feature our pre-loaded route, allowing you to push a button and follow the route all the way though the event, without any uploading of GPX files required to your own device. You can use the Edge on foot too as a handheld device.
If you want to go for the ultimate tech option here, choose to pair the Edge with a Garmin Fenix watch, too. The watch also has the route loaded onto it and will provide you with the very best route viewing devices for both cycling and foot stages. Watch: Ideal on foot. Edge: ideal on bikes.
PAY IN INSTALMENTS
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All prices are in US Dollars. An admin fee of 2.99% will be added to all payments. Your first payment is your Registration Fee .
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All prices include VAT and are subject to an administration fee of 2.99% at point of purchase.
PAY MONTHLY INTEREST FREE!
ENTER NOW AND SPREAD THE COST INTEREST FREE WITH OUR INSTALMENT PLAN
We’ve put together a fantastic new instalment plan that allows you to choose how many months you want to spread the cost of this brilliant adventure over. You can pay it off all in one go or spread it over as many months as you like, totally interest free*. The payments will be split equally allowing you to budget and plan for this stunning journey. All payments to be made before January, 3 months prior to the event.
*When you sign up to the instalment plan Rat Race will then set up a reoccurring payment and your card will be debited on the same date each month. If there is an error with your payment you will receive reminders from Stripe, our payment provider, and also the Rat Race customer service team. After 3 attempts to contact you if the outstanding balance remains unpaid we will assume you wish to cancel your entry and will withdraw you from the event and you will not be eligible to enter our transfer process and no monies will be refunded.
Please see here for full terms and conditions and our cancellation policy.
PROTECT YOUR NON-REFUNDABLE BOOKING WITH REFUND PROTECT
Add Refund Protect to your booking during purchase and receive a full refund of your entry fee if you are unable to attend the event due to a qualifying unforeseen circumstance. PLEASE NOTE this protection is with our 3rd party partner Refund Protect and NOT Rat Race. In the event you make a refund application this is administered by the Refund Protect customer service team, Rat Race are not privy to the application and cannot intervene on your behalf to influence the outcome determined by their team.
To check the full list of qualifying unforeseen circumstances that are protected please click here to view Refund Protect terms and conditions.
To add Refund Protect (administered by a 3rd party) to your Rat Race booking simply select this option when presented during the entry process. Refund Protect cannot be added retrospectively. Rat Race will then send you name and booking details to Refund Protect in order to protect your transaction with them. If you opt to pay in instalments and transfer your entry before the entry cost is full paid you will be liable to ensure the cost of Refund Protect has been fully covered. This total amount will be deducted from any Rat Race credit due through the transfer process or you will be invoiced by Rat Race for the outstanding amount as Rat Race have paid this on your behalf to Refund Protect at point of entry.
RAISE AT LEAST £2000 (EXCLUDING GIFT AID) FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK AND GET UP TO £900 OF YOUR ENTRY FEE REFUNDED!
Our longstanding partnership with Children with Cancer UK gives #ratracers the opportunity to raise much needed funds for this great cause in exchange for a refund of their entry fee. So far our #ratracers have raised over £1.6million for Children with Cancer UK and we would love for you to join the team to help us chase down that £2million target!
The funds you raise will be invested into vital specialist research to improve survival rates in children and young people and help more of them ring the end of treatment bell.
All you need to do is set up a Just Giving page and start your fundraising! You will have until 1 month after the event date to hit your target and then send us the link to your page which will allow us to process your refund. Refunds will be made 2 – 3 months after the event completion date.
Refunds are not mandatory you are welcome to opt-out of receiving a refund. Should participants opt-out their refund will instead be used by Children with Cancer UK to help fund their research.
If you choose to support Children with Cancer UK and raise £2000, you will also receive:
A Children with Cancer UK fundraising and training pack
Regular Children with Cancer UK updates
A dedicated point of contact at the charity
A technical Children with Cancer UK t-shirt to wear with pride
For more information on Children with Cancer UK please visit www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk.
Alternatively please contact the Sports Team on 020 7430 7788 or email email@example.com.
Children with Cancer UK is a registered national charity (no. 298405)