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Merry Vertmas Vertical Challenge

Fri December 1 - Mon December 25 Phoenix, AZ 85034 US

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


2401 S. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ US 85034


Oh come all ye faithful and join our Ram Fam this holiday for a 25-day vertical challenge: Merry Vertmas!

Participants step up starting December 1st! The objective is to rack up vertical feet as we count down to Christmas day! Choose between two categories (teams): Vert Is Real (outdoors, no treadmill)  or Virtual Vertmas (mix outdoor and treadmill). Both categories offer you an opportunity to push yourselves this holiday season and stay motivated while also staying connected! Track your progress and see how you measure up on our Vertmas Leaderboard on RunSignup.

Plus, for those looking for a little holiday cheer this time of year, come play the "RamDeer Games!" Unwrap more vertical gain by playing these virtual games! Every week we will reveal an additional goal or contest. Participants have multiple chances to complete the goal to win cool prizes such as Run Steep merch, race credits, and more! 

Choose Your Challenge

As with all Aravaipa Virtual challenges, the main goal is to keep it inclusive and serve every runner’s needs or environment. So whether your medium is the mountains or a cranked-up treadmill, there are two categories, or "teams", available to get you higher: Vert Is Real and Virtual Vert. Before the challenge begins, you’ll select your canvas for climbing and compete against others in your category("Team"). Please know that the live results will not filter runners by "Team" or vert category.  However, you will be able to see which category runners are in.  In addition, the final results that are posted on the Aravaipa Running website will be filtered out by vert category.

Vert is Real

No treadmills allowed. The Vert Is Real category is all about the outdoor climb. From big peaks to neighborhood hill repeats, the great outdoors puts you in the Vert Is Real category. Because, in nature, what goes up must certainly come down. That’s more miles, and more punishment on the quads.

Virtual Vert

Treadmills allowed. The Virtual Vert category gives you permission to max out the grade and grind in place to reach your climbing goals. You’re welcome to throw some trails and outdoor features into the mix, but if a treadmill is involved for a single step along the way, then Virtual Vert is the category for your uphill mission.

Unlockable Badges

Like other virtual races and challenges, YOU are in control. You get to design your course, choose your location, mix up locations each day as you like, and keep track of your progress through the week. Keep us updated each day by tagging us on Instagram @AravaipaVirtual & @RunSteepGetHigh and use the hashtag #MerryVertmas to share your summits as you trek toward the next level. Earn a virtual badge for every virtual mountain and level you conquer! 

Ram Deer Games 

Oh yes! RamDeer Games! Each week throughout the course of our Merry Vertmas event, we will have a different interactive challenge for a chance to win amazing prizes! Stay tuned to our Instagram page @AravaipaVirtual as we will announce the weekly contest (and the past week's winners) every Monday. Each week, we will be giving away amazing prizes from Squirrels Nut Butter, Run Steep Get High, and more! You won't want to miss out!

Uploading Your Results- Best Practices

Entering your results into the Run Signup dashboard is a very user friendly process.  The easiest way is to manually enter your run time, distance, and vert in the Run Signup results portal.  You should also be able to upload a .tcx file into the dashboard as well, however different platforms will read the file differently which may cause you to lose vert.  To ensure fairness and fun-ness please do your best to follow the best practices listed below.

Please enter your activities frequently.  In order to get the most out of this experience, and to see your spot on the race leaderboard, we encourage you to enter your results every day. 

Keep evidence of your activity.  If you want to be considered for any awards during this event, you must have proof of your activity.  This can be as simple as sharing your Strava activity links for your runs, or taking a photo of your treadmill screen if you are running indoors. We will reach out to you if we need to see evidence of your activity.  Otherwise- we are operating on an honors system-- so be honest :).

ALL RESULTS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 11:59p Arizona Time on December 25th.  Please get your results submitted early.  If you are having any tech issues at any point during the event please reach out.  If you don't have your results submitted into the Run Signup Portal by 11:59 p.m. on December 25th, those results will not count. No exceptions. Although our Worldwide community does extraordinary things, the one thing we cannot do is fly around the Earth really fast in reverse like Superman to turn back time.

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