AZTR 2017 – Part I – “The Thank Yous”



Hey now.  Mad Rhino here.  Many of you who know me, are well aware that I raced the Arizona Trail Race in April, and I’ve been slow to post any kind of race write up.  I’ve been sitting on the pictures, my journals, and floating the thoughts around my head for over a month.  I decided to take my time and let the entire adventure soak in and really reflex on the experience.  I plan to divide the trip up in many different parts for easy reading and future reference.  Society today doesn’t really want to read more than a few lines on a FB update, Instascram post, or Twatter update these days.  We’re not lazy, we have just been inundated with life, and we all have very few spare minutes in our lives to read and learn about others.   Blogs are dead, and this site is really to document history for the Madres, and those few looking for AZTR research for next year.  So, I’ll keep it short as possible, and organized with titles for the skimmers.

If you don’t know what the AZTR (Arizona Trail Race) is, more on that later.  I’m going to jump to the end, and start with all the “thank yous”.  Other parts include: training, the gear, stats and maps, race notes and reports, and the photos.

Part I – “The Thank Yous”

(in no order of importance)

Thelen Coaching

Thelen Coaching

A huge thanks to Tracy Thelen from Thelen Coaching for helping me prepare for the AZTR.  I won’t say “I couldn’t have done it without her”, but she sure provided the guidance and framework to make all my hard work count and make a successful AZTR finish possible.  More on Thelen Coaching in the Training Section.


MamaSun and the Kids

A ginormous Thank You goes to my best friend, adventure partner, wife, baby’s mama, my Sunshine.  Without the honest support and approval from my wife finishing the AZT would have been much more difficult.  Thank You for understanding and accepting that I spent so much time away from you, the family and drained some money out of our bank account buying gear, training, and racing.  I owe a big Thank You to my kids for understanding the importance of my trip, understanding why I wasn’t always around, and accepting that I spent family money on new bike parts, instead of them.

Family and Friends – Thanks to my family and friends who helped me prepare and train. Thanks for dropping me off in the middle of nowhere to train and ride sections of the AZT.  Thanks for picking me up, when I was tired of riding.  Thanks for still being there, when I was not.

B.P.R. – The Judd and Morale Chairman

I can’t thank my sponsorship at Back of the Pack Racing enough.  Both The Philosfizer and the TeddNeck have been generous in loaning and donating extra bikepacking gear and bike parts, Ti parts.  This adventure would NOT have been possible without these two dudes.  You both are a big brother to me, and I value our brotherhood and friendship.

B.P.R. Arizona – Thanks for understanding when I went MIA to train for the AZT, take college classes to finish a degree, work, and take care of the family.  You all are my bruthas and sistas.

Shadetree Bikes – Joey and Spencer – Joey, thanks for the amazing strong wheel build. Sorry, not sorry that I’m so particular and anal retentive.  Spencer – thanks for the bike help and your positivity.


Bicycle Cellar – Brother Tom – Thanks dude for the bike help and never punching me in the mouth for marrying your little sister.

Vegan Jeff – thanks for the loan of the YUGE cog at the last minute.  It saved my legs, and was much needed. Mystery man that is been around B.P.R. longer then most, but still hides in the shadows and has very little online presence, and is a great bike partner.

Scott Morris / Topofusion / Trackleaders –  Thanks for all you do.  You make this adventure possible, and create and manage the software and tools to get the job done.

John Schilling – dude, I owe you big beers and burritos.  John was a huge resource for AZT info and much of my research was based on John’s blog posts and previous Trackleaders metadata.  John probably got tired of all my questions.  It was awesome to see John at Picket Post, his energy lifted my spirits after several hard dehydrating days in the desert.

Jeff Zee and Nancy Gray – you guys are incredible. Thanks for the good times and pretty smiles.  Jeff thanks for the company in the Grand Canyon and finishing the end of the AZTR together.

Heide Lichte – Yoga Instructor – big thank you to Heide for teaching me yoga every week.  More on Heide’s yoga in the training section.

Little Romy the nutritionist and fitness expert at my work.  Romy helped me get my diet and nutrition in order to complete the AZT. More on Romy’s help in the training section.

Dotheads and Rhino fans – thanks to everyone who followed my dot and posted positive vibes on my FB wall and sent me inspiring text messages. (and hate emails from Spencer). Kathryn – thank you for the daily AZ trail side text messages.

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