My Journey to Run In All 50 States
Photo credit to Dave Baker // DB Photography
Every runner has a goal that gets them out the door and running. Mine is to run a marathon or trail run in all 50 states. This is the story about how my journey got started.
It all started at a Flotilla party where I met two other ladies who enjoyed running. We all got to talking and realized that we were all going to turn 40 in October of the following year, so we got the idea to put all of our names in the lottery for the New York City Marathon. If we all got in, we will all do the marathon. I had never run a marathon at that point, but I did know that NY was difficult to get into. What are the odds that all three of us would get picked?
Clearly, the universe wanted us to do the NY marathon because all of our names got drawn. All three of us 40-year-old women trained all summer in the coastal NC heat and finished the race. I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 3 minutes. What a relief! I never wanted to do that again!
About a year later, one of my training partners talked me into doing the Kiawah Island Marathon, SC. I started thinking: Hey, that makes two states. During Kiawah Island, I qualified for Boston…that makes three. Next, I was asked to do the marathon leg of an Ironman event in Wilmington, NC…and that’s four. I had a pattern going.
I would always meet the most interesting people at these events. There were are two groups of people in particular at most races: The 50 State club and the marathon maniacs.
Running races in all 50 states somehow seemed saner than running two marathons every weekend. I figured I like to travel, I like to run, and with 4 already under my belt, the goal to run in every state seemed achievable.
So, I officially aimed to join the 50 States club.
The 50 states club requires marathons in 10 different states for entry. That was the first goal.
I will say that the first 10 were fairly easy to get. I am at 25 now, and no races are within driving distance. I have also gotten a little picky. Somewhere along the way, I discovered trails. Trail runs are more often 50k than a marathon, so my new goal is a marathon or longer in all 50 states.
I have a friend who is also working on all 50 states too. We travel together when it works out. I also like to pick obscure races and see if I can get anyone to go with me – Red River Gorge, KY – 50k: I got 5 people to go with me. When I meet someone new, I find them particularly interesting if they are from a state that I need.
Running the states has gotten me to travel to many places I would not have thought to go to. People say, you probably get to eat everything you want: Yes, I do. Race tourism provides guilt-free calories.
I am also 55, so I have to start getting serious. I have my 5 states planned for this year, plus an Ultra fun run, the Barkley Fall Classic – look it up.
What will I do when I am done with all 50 states? That is tough. Italy or New Zealand, probably first. Depends on what I can talk the hubby into!
Running Over 50 Spotlight Runner Profile
Name: Tracy Meyerson
Running Style: Trail Runner
Follow At: @seetracyrun