Follow Helen Galerakis Attempting to Complete the Fastest Known Time to Run the 803.5 Mile Arizona Trail

Posted by Dr. Rick Cohen on Oct 9th 2019

We are very excited to be supporting Helen during her upcoming challenge. Her story is inspirational. I hope you can follow and support her in any way possible. Here are the details.

Follow Helen Galerakis Attempting to Complete the Fastest Known Time to Run the 803.5 Mile Arizona Trail


We are very excited to be supporting Helen during her upcoming challenge. Her story is inspirational. I hope you can follow and support her in any way possible.


Here are the details.


On Thursday, October 17th Helen will be beginning her attempt to set the Supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on completing the 803.5 miles of the Arizona Trail from the Southern Border of Utah to the Northern Border of Mexico, with over 110,000 feet of vertical gain and 110,000 feet of loss. The current FKT (which was Unsupported) was set by Jeff “Legend” Garmire and stands at 15 days, 13 hours and 10 minutes.


This will mean covering on average 50 miles a day for 15 consecutive days!


She will be raising money for the Arizona Trail Association and also raising awareness along the trail for Willow Bend Environmental and Girls on the Run) as her way of giving back to the community. She also plans to give a number of talks after completing the challenge in local schools, at REI’s across the state and at the local library to inspire the youth of today. A number of local businesses will be supporting her and the community will be sharing miles with her along the trail.


Helen only started running 4 years ago after leaving the Corporate World of 22 years. 2 years ago she embarked on my first trail run at Rob Krar’s Ultra & Trail running camp in Flagstaff, Arizona and a few months ago completed her first 100-mile race. So, attempting this FKT will be a challenge for sure!


While at the running camp, she experienced for the first time what it felt like to be part of something, a community, somewhere I belonged. She had found my people. This feeling was so profound, that this was one of the main reasons why she decided to move to Flagstaff, only a month after the camp.


She chose this particular trail, not only for me but also for her community. To feel you are part of something is very powerful. Making connections and feeling like you belong is a reason to live. she felt like there was something missing from my life for so many years and after allowing her career to dictate my life choices for so long, She wanted to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand what she enjoyed, who she was and what she wanted.


Helen’s parents passed away early in life and she had used her career as a way to give her purpose to deal with that loss. After quitting the corporate world she discovered running. She cannot imagine life without running, as much for my mental health, physical health and finally feeling like she belonged and finding her people, the trail and ultra running community.


By embarking on this challenge she hopes to encourage others to embrace their communities and reap the rewards. She is amazed by the positivity that flows through Flagstaff and it lifts her spirits when in today’s world we are surrounded by so many bad news stories.


She will be raising money for the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), specifically She will be raising money for the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), specifically contributing to Passage 35 Babbitt Ranches where we will be converting double-track dirt road to sweet single track so that in some small way she can give back to this community and celebrate the great work the ATA does in protecting open spaces

.An 800-mile, non-motorized path from Mexico to Utah, the Arizona Trail (AZT) is one of only eleven National Scenic Trails whose challenging mountains and canyons are met with word class views. Over the last 25 years, the Arizona Trail Association has brought together tens of thousands of volunteers to build and maintain the AZT and serves as a voice for the outdoor recreation community. To continue the legacy of the AZT, they maintain meaningful outdoor youth education programs to inspire the next generation of stewards, empower young women with skills in the outdoors, hire youth crews and conservation corps, partner with groups to promote “volunteer vacations”, and host trail skills workshops for youth and adults.


Please follow Helen’s blog here and join her Facebook group here.


Go Helen!