While everyone else in town is buzzing about looking for the best pumpkin spice latte and planning their Halloween costume, Maricopa County’s Parks and Recreation Department is preparing for the launch of their annual 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge on Thursday, November 1.
“As the fastest-growing county in the nation, with one of its largest park systems, we know that our trails and open space are a huge draw for residents and visitors alike,” said Boards of Supervisors Chairman Steve Chucri, District 2. “The 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge is a great way to get to know our diverse parks and kick-start the outdoor season in Maricopa County.”
“The 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge is a great way to draw attention to our impressive regional parks and Maricopa Trail system,” said Supervisor Bill Gates, District 3. “I encourage runners, hikers, bikers, and equestrian riders of all ages and abilities to hit the trails and log their miles.”
While the Challenge initially started out as a Centennial celebration, it has become an annual program. The goal of the program is to log 100 miles in 100 days. Last year, 53 of the 342 individuals that completed the Challenge logged at least 200 miles. And, if that wasn’t impressive enough, two individuals logged nearly 1,200 miles…each!
Collectively, those who completed the Challenge logged 50,617 miles on county trails. To put things into perspective, participants traveled the distance around the circumference of the Earth more than twice.
“The Challenge kicks-off on November 1 each year. However, eager participants are already stopping by the nature centers to see if they can start,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.
Knowing that it can be somewhat difficult to stay motivated during the holiday season, the department offers a community page on Facebook. Here, participants can share milestones, find hiking buddies, seek out trail recommendations, post photos, and join in on fun activities. The page is managed by the department’s interpretive rangers who have also developed fitness hikes to help Challenge participants reach their program and personal goals.
And, this year the department will be rolling out a new Challenge feature…a custom app! “Two weeks ago, one of our rangers hosted a Challenge 101 workshop. One of the individuals who attended the program reached out to our team and offered to build and donate a custom app for the program. Participants will be able to register, track their miles and communicate with staff through the app,” Cardin added. The app will be available on both iOS and Droid.
To learn more about the Challenge and how you can become eligible for the grand prize drawing of an annual park pass ($85 value) and $25 Nature Center retail voucher (total value not to exceed $110), visit www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/100-miles-in-100-days-challenge/.
The program runs through 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, 2019. Celebrations to recognize those who complete the Challenge have been scheduled at seven of the County’s regional parks for Saturday, March 9, 2019. In addition, everyone who completes the Challenge will receive a limited edition tee-shirt at the celebration.
So lace up your hiking boots or running shoes, dust off the mountain bikes, and saddle up those horses because the 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge begins on November 1! For a list of County parks and additional information, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.