Recapping my 50 States Journey (up to #48, that is)

I ran my last new marathon state of 2014: New Hampshire was #48. That leaves only 2 new states for next year. This is exciting stuff!

When I ran my first marathon in 2005, I had no intention of running a second one, let alone running marathons in all 50 states. I didn’t even know that was a “thing”. For me, it was a one-time, “let’s see if I can do it” goal, but I started thinking about my second marathon not long after finishing the first. Yet my first two years of running saw me complete only 3 states (and one European country), and so a 50 states goal was still not on my radar.

With my pace group during my first marathon, my first state: 2005 Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans
It wasn’t until after my long break and starting up with marathons again in January 2012 that this even became a remote possibility. As I started to build my race schedule, I tried to find races in different states. Part of this was motivated by my desire to travel and see new places. I didn’t want to run the same marathon twice (though I have done that a few times). And then, in the fall of 2012 when I was nearing my 10th marathon state (Hartford Marathon in Connecticut), it became a reality. At 10 states, I was qualified to join the 50 States Marathon Club. I had my application ready to mail before I left for Hartford, and dropped it in the mail the day after the marathon once my results were posted. (Note - technically, Illinois was my 10th state, but because I'm not listed in the results for 2012 George Washington Birthday Marathon in Maryland, I used Connecticut as my 10th state with verifiable results.)
With Scot at 2012 Hartford Marathon, after finishing my official 10th state
I started to pick up new states quickly as I was chasing Scot around the country during his Marathon Maniacs Titanium quest. I couldn’t do every race he did, but I tried to join him for the ones that looked like fun, and usually they were in new states. Then in 2013 I was on my own quest to earn Titanium by running marathons in 30 different states in a year. That meant that almost every new race was in a new state, and the dream of completing all 50 states seemed attainable. I earned Titanium in August of 2013. Since then, most, but not all, of my marathons have been in additional new states. I’ve done double marathon weekends (a marathon on Saturday followed by a marathon on Sunday) with long drives in between in order to knock off two states in a single weekend. And my most recent two states were an airplane double, where I flew between Indiana and New Hampshire for my Saturday and Sunday races. I don’t love doubles, but they seemed the economical way to check off more marathon states.

With my Manchester City medal - New Hampshire, state #48
And now that I’m nearly there, I’m reflecting on all the marathons that have made up my 50 states quest. Of course, I’ll have to share the details of #49 New Jersey and #50 Oregon next spring after I complete them. I hope this listing of races will be helpful to others who are working on scheduling their states. Let me know if you have questions about any of the races. Also, this blog is pretty solid with race reports for 2014, but before that my entries were not consistent.

Up next:

#49 on 4/26/15 – New Jersey Marathon
#50 on 5/30/15 – Newport Marathon (Oregon)

Question: Are you running in all 50 states (either half or full marathons)? Do you have a favorite?


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