Take A Walk in the Woods Virtual Challenge

Fri January 1 - Fri December 31, 2021

A Walk in the Woods Virtual Challenge

$0 Registration ends June 30, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT

The Take a Walk in the Woods Challenge is a free and fun way to virtually hike/run/bike/swim 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail just like Bill Bryson did in his hilarious adventure book, A Walk in the Woods. (If you want to read A Walk in the Woods you can purchase it through the publisher)  Every 40 miles we will reward you with a digital badge quote that will remind you of the book. Our course begins at Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail and heads north to Front Royal, Virginia. Make it your goal in 2021 to stay fit with your friends and family, and revisit the book or read it for the first time. Read all about the event in the 1/24/2021 Arizona Daily Sun High Country Running column

To enhance your experience on your virtual Appalachian Trail adventure, check out these useful tips.  

Once you register and are ready to log your activity, click on the "submit virtual results" button at https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/105190#resultSetId-234971;perpage:100 .
After waiting a few minutes, click on your name in the results to go to your results page. Then click on the "compare results map" and drag the yellow human icon onto your location. This will show you a 360 degree view of your stopping point. How cool is that? You can take a screen capture and share with friends on social media. You can also add friends to your progress map to see their progress and where they have set up camp for the evening. 

For every 40 miles you complete, you will be rewarded with a badge (there are exceptions to this; after your 440 badge your next is 500, and then one at 520. Find and click on your name in the results page and then click on the blue badge. This will open up one of Bill Bryson's hilarious quotes from his book. 

If you enjoy Facebook groups, I have created one at https://www.facebook.com/groups/712878626085205 Right now this is a public group, so you can share posts and invite friends to join the fun. I will make it private in a heartbeat if anything inappropriate such as ads, political posts, or profanity shows up. After new registrations slow in the next few weeks, I'll convert it to a private group. 

Also from your results page, you can upload pictures from your daily activity. I was surprised to find out that several of you have already done so. Keep in mind the photos are open to the public, so please be careful about what you upload.

If you wish to do your activity wearing a bib, I created one from a photo that co-race director Karen Brockman took on one of her trips on the real Appalachian Trail. Go to your runsignup profile and click on "view bib" to print out. 

Co-race director Karen Brockman and I hope this event will safely keep you fit, connect you with friends, and make some new ones all year long. We have 800 miles to go, so let's do this!


Take a Walk in the Woods virtual challenge is brought to you free by Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association (NATRA LLC).  Founded in fall 2001, NATRA’s mission is to promote trail running in Northern Arizona to folks of all abilities. We organize group runs of 5 to 8 miles at various trails on Saturday mornings whether there is rain, snow or shine!  If you are new to running or a seasoned veteran, come join us off road and discover the incredible forest trails of Northern Arizona.

We also organize the October 9th 22nd Annual Soulstice Mountain Trail Run. The race is limited to 225 entrants, and since 2003, has been a sellout. Entry is done through a lottery system held on April 1st. In Spring 2011, Runners World listed Soulstice as one of the top 32 trail races in the United States, calling it "one of the best post race parties anywhere." Soulstice is put on entirely by volunteers.  All proceeds of Soulstice benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff mentoring programs helping Northern Arizona children succeed in life.  You can learn more about Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association by visiting our web page. 


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