Flashback: August 2013 – My Titanium Achievement

In the Marathon Maniacs club, you have to be a little crazy just to join. To qualify, you need to run a minimum of either 3 marathons in 90 days or 2 marathons in 16 days. This goes against conventional wisdom, but there are thousands of us who do this once to qualify, and over and over again to attain higher rankings in the club. The rankings are just for bragging rights, but they help people set and achieve some pretty incredible goals. The highest ranking level is Titanium or the ten star level. This can be achieved one of three ways:
  • 52 Marathons or more within 365 days.
  • 30 Marathons in 30 US states, Countries or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.
  • 20 Marathons in 20 different Countries within 365 days.
All of these are crazy, but there are hundreds of Marathon Maniacs who have achieved Titanium by one (or more) of these methods. With a rolling calendar of 365 days, the clock for achieving one of these goals is reset every day. It requires a lot of planning to achieve any level in the Maniacs, but especially this one. It also requires a lot of time away from home, risk of injury, and great expense. So, why do we do it? Because we’re crazy.

Titanium race 1 of 30 (1/30): 8-26-12 Parker's Marathon in WV - I only knew 2 of these Maniacs (Wayne and Anders) going into this race, but since then I've run multiple marathons with most of them! Here's my previous blog about this race.
I decided to go for Titanium when I realized I was already pretty close to achieving the rank via the 30 States method. I had run a lot of marathons in new states starting in fall of 2012 and leading into spring of 2013. Most of them were part of “chasing” Scot around the country as he completed his own Titanium quest. Basically, if I wanted to see him, I had to meet him wherever in the country he was at the time, and run one or two marathons with him. Most likely, each of those races was in a different state. So, in May 2013 I already had quite a few new marathon states under my belt within a very short period of time. It would be a stretch to add another 5 marathons (if I remember correctly) to my schedule in summer of 2013, but it was possible, and if I did, I could achieve Titanium status. I would never have this opportunity again, because I never planned on running so many marathons in such a short time again, let alone in all different states. So, I went for it.

Titanium 2/30: 9-15-12 Air Force Marathon in OH - my first race with Abbi and Day 1 of my first double
Titanium 3/30: 9-16-12 Fox Valley Marathon in IL - Day 2 of my first double; I was injured and hurting but Scot came back to find me on the course

Here is a complete list of the marathons that made up my Titanium quest:

That list doesn’t include the 1 additional marathon in a duplicate state, the 7 half marathons, the handful of shorter (5K, 10K, 10 Miler) races, and the Ragnar Relay I ran in the same time period. Needless to say, I was busy. And I got hurt. During the summer of 2013 I was running with plantar fasciitis in my right foot. The pain was so bad that I had to walk for several miles during some of my marathons at the end of my Titanium streak. And it was so bad that I didn’t do many training runs in between races; I had to “save” my foot for my target races. Was this a wise approach? Probably not, but many of us do it when we are addicted to chasing Maniac stars or 50 states goals. It was hard to NOT go out and run my races when they were scheduled, booked and paid for months in advance. These were sunk costs, and the time was now or never. So, I did it.

Titanium 30/30: 8-23-13 Self Transcendence Marathon in NY - my Titanium race!

I am proud of myself for setting and achieving this goal, and I’m glad I don’t ever need to do it again! I will continue to set goals, but I will be more mindful of my physical state: am I injured, am I fit? Do I really need to do this? In fact, since achieving Titanium, I have made decisions to defer races to allow injuries to heal. I have dropped from marathon to half-marathon distance in other events. I’m still busy chasing my 50 states goal, and I’m actually a little concerned that I’ve over-booked myself this fall.  But, what else am I going to do? The races are scheduled, the travel booked and paid…here I go again.

What follows is a photo from each of my 30 Titanium races not already pictured above (4/30 through 29/30). Interested in hearing more about any of these marathons? Let me know and I’m happy to share!

Titanium 4/30: 10-13-12 Hartford Marathon in CT - just sitting' on a tractor having some fun along the course!

Titanium 5/30: 10-14-12 Amica Newport Marathon in RI - great ocean views on Day 2 of my second double

Titanium 6/30: 10-20-12 Monster Mash Marathon in DE - I ran in memory of my Grandma, wearing bright, cheerful colors to honor her

Titanium 7/30: 10-28-12 Cape Cod Marathon in MA - a hilly race with some ocean views and lighthouses
Titanium 8/30: 11-11-12 Outer Banks Marathon in NC - at the historic Roanoke Island Inn with my Outer Banks local Flying Pirate 
Titanium 9/30: 11-18-12 Route 66 Marathon in OK - Scot and I just happened to get engaged at the Center of the Universe Detour
Titanium 10/30: 11-24-12 Northern Central Rail Trail Marathon in MD - had a blast with Maricar and Nilda as we froze our asses off in this Thanksgiving weekend race
Titanium 11/30: 12-9-12 Honolulu Marathon in HI - Scot and I were married at the Duke Kahanamoku statue on Waikiki Beach near mile 6 during the marathon; this shot is later in the race; Scot earned his Titanium at the finish line
Titanium 12/30: 1-5-13 Mississippi Blues Marathon in MS - cold and rainy, but lots of fun with friends
Titanium 13/30: 1-13-13 Walt Disney World Marathon in FL - Ruth was Maniac Minnie and I was the Cheshire Cat

Titanium 14/30: 1-19-13 Museum of Aviation Marathon in GA - Maniacs before the race 

Titanium 15/30: 1-20-13 Louisiana Marathon in LA - finishers in the exclusive Maniac tent; they treated us right!

Titanium 16/30: 2-16-13 Myrtle Beach Marathon - finishing with Nilda before it got really cold and really rainy

Titanium 17/30: 3-2-13 Little Rock Marathon in AR - this race is known for having ridiculously huge medals
Titanium 18/30: 3-17-13 Shamrock Marathon in VA - pre-race pic at the King Neptune statue on the Virginia Beach boardwalk
Titanium 19/30: 4-27-13 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in KY - we ran by Churchill Downs

Titanium 20/30: 5-19-13 XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Marathon in AL - my first race after deciding to go for Titanium was also my first trail marathon
Titanium 21/30: 5-26-13 Vermont City Marathon in VT - celebrating Maricar's 100th marathon at a pre-race dinner
Titanium 22/30: 6-2-13 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon in CA - on course with Ray and Michelle

Titanium 23/30: 6-9-13 Ann Arbor Marathon in MI - this Buckeye finished the race in enemy territory; note Michigan Stadium in the background
Titanium 24/30: 6-15-13 Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon in PA - pre-race pic with Scot before a horribly hot race

Titanium 25/30: 6-22-13 Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in AK - I was expecting to see wildlife (moose, anyone?) but all I saw were birds and bugs

Titanium 26/30: 7-27-13 M.A.D. Marathon in ID - finish pic in front of a big fountain in Idaho Falls

Titanium 27/30: 7-28-13 Madison Marathon in MT - running above the tree line at 9,500 feet is tough, but beautiful
Titanium 28/30: 8-17-13 Park City Marathon in UT - completely surprised to run into my coworker Lesley (holding her dog) on the course; this one was tough with the first 16 miles uphill in the mountains
Titanium 29/30: E.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon in NV - we started at midnight in this alien themed race; this pic was taken as the sun was rising in the early morning

Titanium 30/30 Encore:  8-23-13 Self Transcendence Marathon in NY - Behold, the Titanium couple!


  1. I'm baffled. I'm amazed. It makes my legs and feet hurt just thinking about what it took to achieve Titanium. But I am also awed, and immensely proud of both of you. Love you guys.

  2. I love the engagement photo. You and Scot are such wacky romantics.

    1. I had no idea that would be happening, and that Magenta the Road Trip Flamingo would be part of my engagement pic for all of eternity. I think Scot wins the wacky prize for this one!


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