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5th Annual Mazatzal 18 Mile Race




This event features a loop course including forest roads and single-track through the Mazatzal Mountains. Runners will enjoy beautiful fall colors and scenery unique to the rugged and remote Mazatzal Mountains Wilderness.


Join us November 19th, 2023, for this wild and beautiful trail run. There is a limit of sixty-five (65) runners for the event.


All entrants must have experience running on technical trails, this is not a course for beginners.



History of the Mazatzal Wilderness:

Mazatzal Wilderness is a wilderness area of about 390 square miles in Yavapai and Gila counties in the U.S. state of Arizona. The wilderness is within the Tonto and Coconino national forests. The town of Payson is to the east, and the Verde River is to the west. Established in 1940 and expanded to its present size in 1984, its name is from an ancient Indigenous culture in Mexico and pronounced "Mah-zaht-zahl," meaning "land of the deer."

The eastern side of this wilderness consists of brush or pine-covered mountains, sometimes broken by narrow, vertical-walled canyons. The west side below the steep brush-covered foothills, the Verde River flows through the Sonoran Desert.

Elevations range from 2,060 feet along the Verde River to 7,903 feet on Mazatzal Peak. There is an extensive system of trails: trail conditions vary from good to poor. The Arizona Trail also passes through this wilderness area.

Event Date and Time:
Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 8:00 a.m.


Race Day Schedule:

Race day check-in at the start area. All runners must check in prior to race start and the $20.00 donation collected at check-in. Donations will be used to cover event costs including, post-race barbecue. Rim Runners will donate the remaining funds to the Payson Warming Center. This charity provides services to the Homeless.

Race Directions: 
Take Hwy 87 to the intersection of Mt. Ord/Sycamore Creek. Turn west, (Sycamore Creek) on Forest Road (FR) 627, then continue on FR 627 for approximately 1.5 miles until you see a right-hand turn (the turn will be marked) on FR 201, cross the cattleguard and continue for another 1.5 miles to the junction of FR 201 and FR 25. Turn left on FR 25, crossing another cattleguard and continue for approximately one (1) mile until you arrive at the start/finish area, identified by a large Rim Runners Banner, located on the left side of the road.


Course Description:

The first nine miles of the course follows dirt roads, ascending approximately 3,000 feet. An aid station will be located at about mile nine (9). The aid station will provide water, soda and snacks. Leaving the aid station runners continue approximately six miles (6) on technical single/double track, finishing the last three miles (3) on a dirt road to the start finish area. 

After Run Barbecue:

Join us for the after-run BBQ. Bring a chair, beverage of choice, and if you wish to share a favorite side dish, feel free to bring that as well. Share your race stories and enjoy a beautiful fall day in the mountains.


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