In early November, we, Tommy Crawford and Josh Sauvageau, are going to run across the Grand Canyon and back. Yep, the same Grand Canyon in the picture above. Those steps on the left are part of the trail we will be running. The route is called Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R), and it covers roughly 44 miles with 10,000+ feet of elevation change.
To put that into perspective for all our Chicago friends, imagine running between Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center 20 times. The south rim, where we will start our journey, looks out 4860 feet above the Colorado River at the base of the canyon — 2.81 times the height of Willis Tower. The North Rim, our turnaround point, is even taller, rising 5850 feet above the Colorado River — 3.9 times the height of the John Hancock Center.
This isn't a race, but the route is growing in popularity, largely due to the high profile nature of it's Fastest Known Time (FKT) attempts. More on that in a later newsletter. We're doing this purely for the experience and the challenge, and over the next 7 months we'll be getting our minds and bodies ready for it.
As part of our experience, we will also be raising money for The Trust for Public Land's Illinois office. Their mission is simple: create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. One of The Trust for Public Land's most exciting projects is working towards a reality where every American is only a 10 minute walk away from a park. Right now, over 100 million people in America, including 63,319 Chicago residents, don't have this access. In future newsletters, we will talk about the value of spending time in nature and the projects The Trust for Public Land has worked on to expand nature's reach, including The 606 here in Chicago.