WTB athlete Jay Petervary is currently hiking across the Grand Canyon, his bike disassembled and strapped to his back, on the home stretch of the 2015 Arizona Trail Race starting at the Arizona / Mexico border and ending at the Arizona / Utah border. This is just 3 weeks after Jay P won the Iditarod Trail Invitational in an awesome finish with Jeff Oatley. You can read about it HERE. Jay P went from -40 degree temps in Alaska aboard a fatbike trying to avoid freezing, to dealing with tyrannical Arizona hike-a-bikes over scraggly remnants of trail riddled with thorns and cacti. Here's a quick sampling of the flora from Jay P's Facebook:
Whole lotta thorns...
This race has been quite a showdown too. Aaron Denberg and Jay P were neck and neck seemingly well ahead of others until recently as Jay P pulled ahead and Denberg has reportedly gotten some much needed rest and food. Now, Dylan Taylor of Bozeman, MT is just entering the Grand Canyon as Jay P hikes his way out. These guys are nuts. The Arizona Trail Race 750 is a single-stage, unsupported bikepacking race following the grueling, draining, and demanding Arizona Trail. Trackleaders kindly posts and follows the racers' locator beacons, monitoring and constantly updating their movements. No outside support is allowed and many push through on little to no sleep. A 300 mile option also beckons racers to the brink. Last year, Salsa rider and Prescott geology professor (who teaches a course titled "Geology through Bikepacking") Kurt Refsnider reset the 300 record in fewer than 48 hours at 1 day, 21 hours and 7 minutes. Kurt also holds the AZT 750 mile record at 7 days, 6 hours and 35 minutes.
These people are crazy. And awesome. Really awesome.
So, peep http://trackleaders.com/aztr15 and watch a momentous finish of herculean efforts and tonight when you're restless, awake in bed trying to fall asleep, just think, all those racers are still out there, still racing, probably not sleeping.
Here's to the beasts and heroes of bikepacking, long live the Arizona Trail Race.
Check out more about the Arizona Trail Race HERE.