FARMINGTON — Tom Riggenbach recognized that the Shiprock Marathon's virtual format worked out well, and he wanted to continue that approach with NavajoYES's latest virtual event.
Race Across Dine' Bikeyah, which begins Monday, will also allow participants to log their running and cycling race times online within the time window for each event.
Riggenbach, the Executive Director of NavajoYES, said the format will be comparable to last month's virtual Shiprock Marathon, but the registration process will be more structured.
“This race is going to be complex in terms of tracking everybody,” Riggenbach said. “They’re doing it in stages.”
The 350-mile journey will span over 76 days, and participants can choose to do a competitive race, a non-competitive run and walk event or the relay.
The competitive runners and non-competitive runners would cover the 350-mile distance, while those choosing to walk would cover 200 miles.
The competitive race will be a timed event, in which participants will be emailed the form. Those taking part in the non-competitive run and walk will keep track of their own times and submit them for each stage.
The first stage begins Monday in Cameron, Arizona, and participants will travel 80 miles north to Page, Arizona, over 13 days. The second stage, which starts June 16, will go 50 miles northeast over 10 days from Page to Navajo Mountain, Utah.
Riggenbach said Facebook Live chat with a Navajo Code Talker will be conducted during the first stage to keep people motivated throughout the event.
“I think it’ll help people enjoy the experience of running, as if you’re literally running across the Navajo Nation. Of course, we’ll have a lot of interactions (on Facebook),” Riggenbach said.
After traveling 45 miles over nine days to Monument Valley, Utah, the course continues 60 miles east over 12 days to Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. Those two stretches begin June 28 and July 9, respectively.
From there, participants travel 45 miles southeast over eight days to Shiprock before going southwest to the final destination at Window Rock, Arizona.
The journey to Shiprock starts July 23. That last portion, which starts Aug. 2, spans 80 miles over 14 days.
Riggenbach said participants can get acquainted with the aforementioned communities and the landmarks highlighted over the 76-day period.
Riggenbach also believes the process of signing up and competing will be a seamless transition for those who already took part in the virtual Shiprock Marathon.
To register or for more information, email email@example.com.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.