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.


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.


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.


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.


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