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Maah Daah Hey Trail Run: The Biggest Yet

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Maah Daah Hey Trail has been quite a passion project for Nick and Lindsey Ybarra. They founded the “Save the Maah Daah Hey” organization and the “Maah Daah Hey Trail Run” to bring people from all over the world to the Badlands.

Nick first tackled the trail in 2008, completing the over 100 mile stretch for the first time in 2009.

”It was so life-changing for me, I told Lindsey I wanted to create that experience to share with other people,” said Nick Ybarra.

The trail, however, ran into difficulties.

”Around 2010, 11, and 12, we slowly started to watch the trail disappear and just start to fade from lack of maintenance,” said Nick.

Nick says that every single one of his first Bike Race participants got lost on the trail.

Nick said they loved the trail, but they “were watching it disappear.”

Together with a group of volunteers from Bismarck, they brought brush mowers and weed whackers to manually groom the trail.

”We don’t do the maintenance for the races, or we’re not paid to do the maintenance. The trail maintenance is 100% volunteer based, and it really benefits all trail users all year long,” explained Nick.

With the record highs and the recent extreme heat, they are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of participants.

”We try to do everything we can to try and help a racer beat the heat, see the whole trail, and do the distance they signed up for,” Nick said.

The Maah Daah Hey Trail events have registration open for a multitude of distance options.

Nick added, “Pick your challenge, you can be a beginner or a professional and still be challenged equally compared to what your ability level is.”

More than 600 participants are expected to compete, making this year’s event the largest ever.

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