The 50 State Marathon Challenge

When I ran my first marathon in 2012 at the Mississippi Blues Marathon I met a few people from the Marathon Maniacs club and I thought to myself “Woah, these guys are nuts! They run how many marathons a year?” That same day I met a guy finishing his 50th state.  Again, “Woah, this guy is crazy!”  Fast forward 4 years and here I am planning the route to my 50th marathon, but not so much every state.

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Initially I made it a goal to reach all 50 states.  I had no intention of repeating states, once I run the full if I ever went back is would be for the half marathon.  That is, if I travelled at all.  Who wants to fly across the country for “just” a half marathon? (I’ve run 4 half marathons in between the 2 fulls California) I started very efficiently.  My first 14 marathons went through MS, LA, CA, VA, TN, FL, GA, OH, NV, AL, AR, WI, MI, & WV. 14 marathons/14 states.  It wasn’t until November 2014 that I repeated my first state when I ran the Mississippi Coast Marathon and the St. Jude Memphis Marathon a week later.

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Since then I’ve added 19 marathon to my running resume, but only 4 new states; AZ, KS, NY, & OK.  So what happened? How did I get derailed? How can I start to work through the rest of the list?  Well, I was given the opportunity to start pacing marathons.  Those accounted for several of the events, then the opportunity came to be a part of the Rock ‘n’ Blog Team and with it came more races in the same states I’ve already run in.  At some point over the last year and a half I started focusing on the quantity total rather than the state total.  Plus, I have races that fill my calendar first because I love to run them and want to go back as often as I can.  Races like the MS Blues, Louisiana Marathon, RnR New Orleans, and the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis.

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So what’s next?

Small goals. I am hoping (with luck and proper planning) to make the 2017 St. Jude Memphis Marathon my 50th marathon.  It is the event weekend that I look forward to all year, every year.  Right now that is my goal, that is my focus.  But where is there opportunity to add new states to my list?  I would like to potentially make it to 25 states before the end of next year, adding 7 new states to my list over the course of the next 20 months.  That will include a handful of double (or triple) (or quadzilla) marathon weekends. Remember the last time I ran double marathons? I’m still pretty smitten over it.

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So 50 State Seekers, what did you have to do to finally make it to the end?  What did you save for last?