Big news! As of May 2, when I finished the Providence, Rhode Island Marathon, I have run, walked, limped, etc. the requisite 26.2 miles in all 50 of our fine states! I’ve been at this pursuit since 2001, when I turned 60 and decided I needed to get in better physical shape. On one of my early marathons I learned of the “50 States Marathon Club,” which I qualified to join after finishing 10 states. I joined and got the T-shirt! It has been a fun association and continuing motivation to keep running. I have now earned the privilege of wearing the much coveted shirt that says, “50 States Finisher.”
Ironically, I achieved something else in this lovely city, and it closes another gestalt. Providence College is where I received my pre-med degree in 1964!
As you can imagine, my wife, Eileen, and I have shared great traveling adventures as we chased these marathons all over this crazy country. It all started when we ran the Honolulu Marathon in 1978. After that, we ran five more Honolulu Marathons together over the years. She had a faster time than me every year, by the way, except for the time she slowed down so we could cross the finish line together. There is good reason why Honolulu is one of the most popular marathons in the world. It is beautiful, friendly, fun, and shows off their great Aloha spirit. It is my most favoritest!
Here are some highlights of our sojourn:
Boston 2004, 88 degrees at the start! (I call it the Hotathon);
New York 2003, 2 million fans lining the course;
Chicago 2006, 34 degrees and windy (what else?)
Ketchikan, AK 2004: 40 runners total, we ran over two mountains
Swan Lake, South Dakota, 2006: A small event, flat, remote! ( even won a ribbon for first in my age group)
Lincoln, Nebraska: Flat! Started off in an electrical storm. Thunder for a starting gun!
Avenue of the Giants, California, 2005: A glorious run through the redwoods, with the pileated woodpeckers drumming in the springtime.
Richmond, VA, 2008 on my 67th birthday.
Extra-Terrestrial Midnight Full Moon Marathon, Nevada, 2009. Ran through Area 51! No aliens sighted, but I wondered about a couple of the runners.
Acadia National Park, Maine, 2007…….in the autumn foliage along the carriage paths.
I especially want to thank my patient wife, Eileen, who has been my “roving aid station” on most of these marathons, showing up along the course to give me love and caring, encouragement, ice water, M&Ms, Red Bull, Gatorade, Wavy Lays, Mentos, Tylenol, and anything else to keep me going for a few more miles!
What next? The Bay to Breakers is in San Fran in eight days; my first Canadian marathon, on Vancouver Island (Ucluelet) is on June 12th; hopefully I’ll do the Berlin Marathon in September; and the tough Marine Corps Marathon 10-31-10 in DC. If I can get a place, I’ll run the London Marathon next April. Registration opened and closed on May 4th while we were flying back from Boston, all 125,000 places!
Thank you all very much for all your good wishes for good luck in the past. They have helped me tremendously to get where I am today.