Welcome to Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association (NATRA LLC). Founded in fall 2001, NATRA’s mission is to promote trail running in Northern Arizona to folks of all abilities. We organize group runs of 5 to 8 miles at various trails on Saturday mornings whether there is rain, snow or shine! Click on "NEXT RUN" to see our calendar. Dogs are always welcome, but you must run with them on a leash - it is the law! (See attorney James Griffith's paper). If you are new to running or a seasoned veteran, come join us off road and discover the incredible forest trails of Northern Arizona.
Contact NATRA LLC if you would like to be on our e-mail list. There is no fee to join the group, so bookmark NATRA to stay updated on the latest group run information! Happy Trails!
10/10/2021: Congratulations to the 169 participants at the 22nd running of the Soulstice Mountain Trail Run. Results can be found on Athlinks.com. It was a picture perfect fall day for our return to the traditional course after the changes required by the Museum Fire in 2019 and of course holding the race virtually last year.
The king of Soulstice, Chris Gomez, captured his fifth overall Long Course title in 1:16.59, with his wins now spanning a decade races (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2021). On the women's side Team Run Flagstaff coach Leah Rosenfeld won her first title in 1:27.39 and most notably joins the ranks of Sara Wagner (2012), and Soulstice record holder David Sinclair (2017) who have won both the Imogene Pass Run and Soulstice in the same year (the races are held 4 weeks apart). As most of you know Soulstice was inspired by the Imogene Pass Run, making it Flagstaff's hometown version of the famous grueling Colorado race. On the Master's side, Will Drexler won his 5th straight title in 1:21.08 while Dawn Greenwalt took her first victory in 1:35.40.
Janet Bain won her incredible 10th overall Sprint Course title since 2008 in 56.55 while John Dailey took the men's race in 48.45. On the Master's side, Mackenzie Lurie took her first title in 59.35, with 61 year old Tom Viskocil winning his fourth title in 58.20. Tom is also the first 60+ age division to win the Sprint Course.
Not to be outdone, Soulstice also had its first two 80 year olds in the Sprint course; Flagstaff running guru Nat White who finished in 1:16.13 AND Marilaine Jones who finished in 2:30.52 These are likely records to stand for some time to come.
Special thanks to the dozens of volunteers and especially Jay Carnes, Scott Miller, Jen Hammond and Grant Dunstan who organized the superlative epic Pay n' Take post-race party that seemed to go on forever this year.
A very special shout out to Aspen Sports new owners Rich and Heather Reading alongside former store partners Jerry Mclaughlin and Dave Barnett; their amazing raffle coupled with the generosity of runners broke a new Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff fundraising record of $5714! Including the runners who raced Soulstice for free by donating their $400 Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit to BBBSF, Soulstice once again raised just over $15,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff mentoring programs.
Also thanks to Biff's Bagels for the mountain of bagels and Fratelli's Pizza who sponsored the Saturday evening feast at the Pay n' Take.
The 23rd running of the Soulstice Mountain Trail Run will take place on October 8, 2022, with registration for the lottery opening on January 1st!
7/4/2021: 13th Annual Randy Wilson Memorial Free Four on the Fourth Results! Email me with any corrections!
6/23/2021: While the forests have closed, there are still places to run. As many will be flocking to Buffalo Park, we have created a FREE and fun event to keep you motivated to do more! Join the Buffalo Park Challenge and track your miles and time spent in Buffalo Park until the forests officially reopen! Register for free today!
4/27/2021: In person races are back so check out the new 2021 Northern Arizona Race Calendar!
4/6/2021: NATRA group runs are back! Click on next run for all the details. We restart on 4/10 at 8 AM at the Thorpe Bark Park for a run up on Observatory Mesa.
4/5/2021: Flagstaff Running Series Registration is open! Read all about it in the 4/4/2021 High Country Running column.
1/19/2021: As we are compiling this summer's running calendar, why not join our FREE virtual run/hike/walk/ride on the Appalachian Trail. Check out all the details about the Take A Walk in the Woods Virtual Challenge and join the fun today.
1/19/2020: Due to coronavirus, our group runs will remain postponed until further notice. In the meantime keep running and exploring the trails while practicing safe social distance running.
12/31/2020: October 9th Soulstice Mountain Trail Run Lottery/Registration Link opens December 31st, 9 PM. Here is the updated list of legacy runners.
12/31/2020: NATRA Year End Report
11/8/2020: Soulstice Raffle Results. Prizes can be picked up at Aspen Sports beginning after noon Sunday 10/18 unless otherwise noted to contact Neil.
12/26/2019: Folks, are you interested in supporting Flagstaff's trail building and restoration efforts? If so, consider making a donation to the burgeoning Flagstaff Trails Initiative here, and look for additional opportunities in 2020 to build and maintain our incredible trail system. To learn more about FTI's mission, check their interactive trails map, and their very cool ArcGIS story.
11/1/2019: The 15th Annual Salomon Flagstaff Mountain Trail Champions have been calculated and congratulations to Missy Verhaeghe (4 hrs:30 min 43 sec) and Mark Loeffler (4 hrs 3 min.16 sec) for having the fastest combined times at Gaspin in the Aspen 15K, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Half Marathon, and the new Soulstice Long Course (12 miles). Tom Viskocil (2:07.42) won his sixth straight "not so" sprint course title and his 9th overall while Brenda Geise won her first women's title in 2:42.45 . Overall winners gain free entry into the Series next year (nearly $200 value), and Long Course winners get $150 Salomon Shoe certificates and Not So Sprint course winners get $135 hydration running packs. We had a record number of finishers (12), and thanks to Salomon all have won prizes! Next year register for all three races (Gaspin and BBBSF are included in the Flagstaff Summer Series pacakage) and NATRA will track your times. See the History of Champions Page.
October 12th 20th Running of Soulstice Recap
196 Soulstice runners had a picture perfect day to take on the new 8 and 12 mile courses. See Sam McManis' race story is in the Daily Sun. Race results are posted at Soulstice 2019 Results. Thanks to race photographer Staci Whitman we have hundreds of free downloadable photos on our Google Photography page.
As most know, first due to logging and then the Museum Fire, we had to make multiple drastic changes to the course. You can read my Soulstice Abides column in the Arizona Daily Sun about what was by far the most challenging of all my 18 years directing the race.
While the new courses had less climbing, they were every bit as challenging on runners with the added lengths. There were more falls and blood left on the course than ever before, but not one bee sting. On the 12 mile long course, Olympian Janet Cherobon-Bawcom in her first Soulstice smoked the new course in 1:26.34 and Mike Popejoy became a Soulstice two-time winner breezing through the race in 1:14.50. On the master's side, Sara Wagner won in 1:38.15 while Will Drexler claimed the men's title in 1:24.05. Run Flagstaff's Vince Sherry won this year's innaugural "not so short" 8 mile course in 58.32 while Janet Bain won her 9th overall title in 1:01.08. On the master's side Megan Gavin won the women's title in 1:04.47 and Geordie Beck won the men's side in 1:03.27.
We also broke a record with 33 non-competitive early 7 AM starters for both long and not so short course runners who wanted to maximize their time at the post-race party!
As most of you know, the big winner of Soulstice is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff mentoring programs. The Aspen Sports raffle eclipsed last year’s record by nearly $100, raising $5405. Arizona Tax Credit entries, other donations, and sponsorships brought the overall total once again to over $15,000! As a Big Brother in the Williams School based mentoring programs this money goes a long way towards helping kids succeed across Northern Arizona.
The real Soulstice heroes of course are the volunteers who pitch in every year. Special thanks to Stephanie Gerst and Ryan Porter who marked the long course and Jerry McLaughlin and Captain Jim for marking the not-so-short course. The new owners of the Pay n'Take Eddie and Dan for carrying on the legendary post-race party and chef Ryan Dee's pot of early morning spicy green chili poached eggs; Keri Postlewait for Biff's Bagels; David McKee in absentia for his behind the scene Soulstice ideas and antics; Coconino County Sheriff Jim Coffey for traffic control on Schultz Pass Road; Kevin Lehto, Amber Adams and the Flagstaff Ranger District for permitting the event and maintaining our amazing trails; Guardian Medical; Aid Station support provided by Aaron Devine's Parks and Recreation class led by Matt Ryan, Jill Navran, Kim Alessi, Mark James, Steve Pulos, Sam McManis, and Theresa Dowell’s timing team. A big shout out to our annual Shirt Sponsors Brent Schepper of Fratelli's Pizza, the Pay n’Take, Flag, Sweatvac, Salomon, and Aspen Sports. In addition, kudos to Aspen Sport’s Jerry McLaughlin, Dave Barnett and their amazing band of raffle specialists including Waylon who saved my voice and helped raise over $5400 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff. Also thanks to Run Flagstaff for throwing in some great certificates. To anyone I’ve forgotten; know your support was priceless as well. And of course kudso to my wife Diana who every September and October tolerates and successfully negotiates the rat maze of boxes filled with swag, shirts, hats, and Sousltice supplies.
And of course thanks to the runners for bringing so much positive energy to Soulstice. I hope you all made lots of new running friends and reconnected with old ones. Next year's race will be October 10th, so mark your calendars when the lottery opens January 1st and closes March 31st. We will once again offer up to 25 Arizona Tax Credit spots to guarantee entry in Soulstice prior to lottery. Remember, if you take the Arizona Tax Credit of $400 per person, or $800 per couple, you get that all back from the state after April 15th. If you itemize on your federal return, you are basically getting paid to run Soulstice!
Happy Trails to all.
Best, Neil W.