by Zander

April 4, 2024

Iconic trails wind through Arizona to make up a monumental undertaking of 250 consecutive miles on foot. Cocodona is an extraordinary event that gives runners an incredible point-to-point adventure. What keeps these individuals going all 250 miles and 40,000 vertical feet gained!? To be honest we're not entirely sure. Fortunately, we have insight into 12 participants from this year's 250 mile event and the "short" 125 mile event. These athletes have all chosen to raise awareness and funds for causes close to their hearts as they embark on this journey. Their inspiring stories are here.

Joshua Henrie

Girls on the Run of Northern Arizona

"Helping youth discover confidence, individuality, working with others, and that hard work has its rewards is extremely valuable. Girls on the Run do this as well as reach out to families and kids that normally wouldn’t be able to afford great programs like this. I want to give back to the community that this great race puts on."

Susie Stephen

Rising Hearts

"The work that Rising Hearts is doing to raise awareness about the need for wider inclusivity and representation in running is something that inspires me every day. I have chosen to support Rising Hearts because as a young student-athlete in Northern Arizona and now as a master’s runner based in Tucson, I feel thankful every day for the opportunity to run across native lands and see this as a chance to give back to the Indigenous people who call them home."

Richard Urias

Bigger than the trail

"As someone who has struggled with mental health issues for a bigger part of my life I wanted to help give the opportunity to others that also are in need and may not be able to afford treatment."

Kaitlyn Dobberfuhl

United Suicide Survivors International

"Personally, I have had close family members (a mother and sister) who have attempted suicide. Professionally, I work in the Construction Industry which is ranked #2 for industries in the US for number of suicides per the population."

Harley Ray Guy

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation

"Having been a wildland fire fighter in my past as well as having close friends who have passed away fighting fire I’ve seen firsthand what the foundation can do for fallen firefighters and their families in times of need."

Cody McKesson

Sedona Oak Creek Educational Foundation

"I am a local teacher in Sedona. These funds will help provide the much needed funding for scholarships and resources for our schools / students"

Alexa Hasman

Moms Demand Action 

"One year ago my big brother was shot in a drive by shooting. My mission is to raise awareness of gun violence and what we can do to end it."

Stephanie Rosebaugh

Bigger Than The Trail

"I'm passionate about supporting Bigger Than the Trail because they focus on mental health awareness through outdoor activities. This unique approach aligns with my belief in the therapeutic benefits of nature and physical activity for mental well-being. The organization's commitment to breaking stigmas surrounding mental health resonates with me, and I believe their work makes a meaningful impact on individuals' lives."

Davey Edwards

Open Doors Outdoors

"Open Doors Outdoors' mission is to take Veterans, their families and young people into the outdoors for reconnection, healthy activity and healing. I am a US Marine with PTSD and the outdoors were instrumental for me getting back on track. They impacted over 1000 individuals last year through their programs!"

Samuel Cooper

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program

"In addition to all the health benefits they provide, sports and athletic pursuits are a powerful way to connect with others, to challenge and learn about ourselves, and to feel accomplished. BORP offers these transformative experiences and opportunities for youth and adults with visual impairments and physical disabilities who would otherwise have difficulty in accessing them."

Kelli Stewart

West Texas Tails Animal Rescue

"I am raising money for West Texas Tails Rescue because that is the rescue where we adopted my favorite running buddy, Maple. They are completely volunteer run and they do so much for our local animal community here in El Paso, TX by getting stray/ abandoned dogs into foster homes and then getting them the medical care/training/socialization they need to help them get adopted. "

Thomas Lee Arnold

Primavera school

"Primavera school is a local school/nonprofit. I believe in their work and want to support them. My son also attends this school "

We wish all of the charity bib athletes the best of luck as they enter the final weeks of preparation before Cocodona. If you want to help power them a few extra miles click on their photos to donate to their fundraising efforts! To get involved with our charity bib program you can find all partner events on our website!

About the author 


Executive Director at Wander Project. Can be found running in the mountains and writing about people doing inspiring things on the trails.

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