The Arizona Trail Race is an unofficial challenge that takes place every spring on the Arizona Trail which crosses the state of Arizona. There are two versions of the Arizona Trail Race. The longer 750 mile version takes off from the Mexico/Arizona border near Sierra Vista, AZ at 7:00am today, April 3rd. The route goes from border to border, traveling through the hot Sonoran Desert, up to Flagstaff, and through the Grand Canyon. The kicker is…you cannot bike in Grand Canyon National Park, thus, cyclists will be strapping their bikes to their backs and hiking down and back up the grandest of ditches. The 300 mile version starts at Parker Canyon Lake, which is 20 miles past the boarder of Mexico, and starts at 9:00am today, April 3rd. The 300 mile version finishes at Picket Post Trailhead outside of Superior, Arizona – about 60 miles east of Phoenix. This year 24 riders will start from the border, the most of any previous year to take on the grueling 750 mile route. 32 riders will take off 2 hours later from Parker Canyon Lake. Riders will be greeted with relatively mild temperatures compared to the last two years, but nothing too uncommon. The route has historically seen anything from snow to 100+ degrees. There are even reports of some running water in areas know to be dry. It should be interesting how the course rides with these cooler temperatures this year, could it be faster? Only time will tell. While the route is available to ride when every you choose, many choose to partake in the group start date to ride/ race against others on the trail. This year Kurt Refsnider is back for his 7th Arizona Trail 300. Last year he completely obliterated the 300 version record with a blazing fast time of 45 hours and 7 minutes. Many have said that record will hold forever, but with conditions the way they are, this year could be even faster. Plenty of other familiar names are on the list for the 300. As far as the 750 goes, there are a number of individuals that are going for the triple Crown including Jay Petervary. Jay is back for another run at the record, which is held by Kurt at 7 days, 6 hours, and 35 minutes. Jay came up a day shy of the record in 2014, but with the knowledge he learned, it should prove to benefit his 2015 run. While those are only two names, each year there are new and upcoming athletes that move that dot quicker then expected, and we are certain this year is should be no different. Be sure to listen in to MTBcast for rider calls, they can get pretty entertaining. To track the race head over to Trackleaders.com for up to the minute tracking.