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50 States + DC and 7 Continents

Running marathons is fun and all, but there are so many out there to choose from.  Take a look at how marathoning has exploded in the U.S. the past 3 years since I started running them, according to MarathonGuide:
 - 2008: 477 marathons
 - 2009: 501 marathons
 - 2010: 620 marathons
 - 2011: 710 marathons
In 2000, there were only 220 marathons in the country!  In the span of a decade, the number of marathons has nearly tripled, and this doesn't even take into account ultramarathons, which have increased with an even more upward trajectory.

So, with so many races, how does one go about choosing which to run?  From my PoweredByDimSum running club teammates, I had heard of their marathoning adventures in various states and countries.  I decided to focus on knocking off states and becoming a 50 States Marathon Club Finisher.  Right from the get go, my first three marathons were all in different states.  In fact, my first 10 marathons were all in different states + DC+ Quebec Province.  After knocking off those initial 3 states (NY, IL, & PA), finishing Dean Karnazes' 50/50 book (about running 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 days), and becoming a Marathon Maniacs member, my quest to run all 50 states became solidified.  Since childhood, I wanted to visit all 50 states and had been tempted to start collecting those state-shaped tourist magnets to commemorate each visit.  Luckily, I never started up such a collection, and could now use marathon/ultramarathon finisher's medals as state visit mementos.  I would say that's better than a refrigerator magnet collection!

I began marathoning on 9/20/2008.  With my marathon finish in Baltimore, MD, a year later (on 10/10/2009), I had run my 10th state + DC, thus qualifying me as a member of both the 50 States Marathon Club and 50&DC Marathon Goup!  As soon as I returned home from that marathoning weekend (which also happened to be my first marathon double: Baltimore+Steamtown), I sent my 50 Stater paper application and my 50&DC paper application to become an official member of each group.

After joining the 50 States Marathon Club, don't forget to also join their 50StatesMarathonClub Yahoo Groups email list:

Although it is a bit more difficult to finish 50+DC, there is less fanfare attached to it when compared to completion of the regular 50 State circuit.  The 50 States club is more active and visible.  You'll see 50 Staters in their 50 State gear on most marathon courses, but that is not the case for the 50&DC.  Many members are in both clubs, as am I.  Membership in either club does not preclude the ability to join the other; they are not mutually exclusive.

Had it not been for US Air, I would have already celebrated my 25th state finish (Charleston, South Carolina), but that is a whole other story.  My 50 State progress looks like this:
2008: 3 States (NY, IL, PA)
2009: 11 States + DC (LA, DC, DE, VT, MT, NJ, WI, MD, VA, IN, GA, NV)
2010: 9 States (FL, TX, CA, NH, ME, CT, RI, AZ, TN)
2011: 13 States (MA, AR, AL, NC, KS, MN, WA, ID, CO, OH, WV, OR, MO)
2012: 14 States is the goal in order to complete the 50 States
Total: 36 States + DC

An easy way to keep track of which states I have run, I use this 50 States Map Maker: "Map Maker Utility" hosted on a Texas A&M server (  To see my personal 50 States Map, click here.  A lower resolution version of the map also appears at the top of this blog entry.

Now that I have run 24 States + DC (roughly mission halfway accomplished), I have reflected back on which particular races I would recommend for the states I have already run in the list below.  Likewise, I have done the same for those questing to run a marathon/ultra on all 7 Continents, to become a Seven Continents Club finisher.

The greatest part about my 50 States+DC & 7 Continents quest is the fortunate experiences I have had being able to visit all the great places, domestically and globally, and meet such inspirational people hailing from backgrounds so different than myself.  This quest definitely instills in you a better sense of what "America" truly is and the cultural vastness and sheer raw beauty that this land of ours has to offer.

As I continue to run races and receive feedback from other runners, I will continue to revise both of the below lists.  Also, new marathons spring up all the time, so those might be better options in the future.  We shall see.

Kino's Recommended 50 States Marathons / Ultras
[States & races that I have run and recommend are in bold.  The others were recommended by others, or ones I selected based on my own research.  Currently finished with 38 states + DC.  Updated as of 02/21/2012.]
AL - First Light MarathonRocket City Marathon, Mercedes Marathon
AK - Frank Maier Marathon
AZ - Javelina Jundred 100M (Trail)
AR - Little Rock Marathon
CA - Western States 100 Endurance Run (Trail)Death Valley Trail Marathon (Trail), Big Sur International Marathon (Natural Beauty), LA Marathon (Big City)
CO - American Discovery Trail Marathon (Trail)Pikes Peak Marathon (Trail), Leadville Trail 100 (Trail), Hardrock 100 Endurance Run (Trail)
CT - Hartford Marathon
DC - National Marathon
DE - Delaware Marathon
FL - Miami Marathon
GA - Atlanta Marathon
HI - Honolulu Marathon, HURT 100 (Trail)
ID - Pocatello Marathon
IL - Chicago Marathon
IN - Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Tecumseh Trail Marathon (Trail)
IA - Des Moines Marathon
KS - Oz Marathon, Eisenhower Marathon, Heartland 50/100 (Trail)
KY - Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, Ironman Louisville (Ironman), Land Between The Lakes 60K (Trail)
LA - Rock 'n' Roll Mardi Gras Marathon
ME - Maine Marathon, Mount Desert Island Marathon
MD - Baltimore Marathon, JFK50 (Partially Trail)
MA - Boston Marathon
MI - Detroit Marathon, Grand Island Trail Marathon (Trail)
MN - Twin Cities Marathon, FANS 12 & 24 Hour Runs (Timed Ultra)
MS - Tupelo Marathon, Mississippi Blues Marathon
MO - GO! St Louis Marathon
MT - Missoula Marathon
NE - Lincoln Marathon
NV - Death Valley Trail Marathon (Trail), Red Rock Canyon MarathonE.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon & 51K
NH - New Hampshire Marathon
NJ - Ocean Drive Marathon, Atlantic City Marathon
NM - Jemez Mountain Trail Runs 50K & 50M (Trail), Run the Caldera Marathon
NY - NYC Marathon, Beast of Burden Summer 100 (Trail)
NC - Umstead 100 (Trail)
ND - Fargo Marathon
OH - NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance RunCincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, Akron MarathonBurning River 100 Mile Endurance Run (Trail)
OK - Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
OR - Portland MarathonCrater Lake Marathon, Eugene Marathon
PA - Steamtown Marathon (Partially Trail), Philadelphia Marathon, Back on My Feet 20in24 Lone Ranger Ultra Marathon (24 Hour Ultra, Pavement)
RI - Newport Marathon
SC - Myrtle Beach MarathonKings Mountain Marathon 
SD - Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon (Trail), Crazy Horse Marathon (Part Trail), Lean Horse 50K, 50M, & 100M (Trail), Black Hills 100 (Trail)
TN - Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon
TX - Houston Marathon
UT - Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run (Trail), St George Marathon
VT - Vermont City Marathon, Vermont 100 Endurance Run (Trail)
VA - Marine Corps Marathon, Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon
WA - Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon, Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run (Trail)
WV - Freedom's Run (Marathon), Highlands Sky Trail Run 40M (Trail)
WI - Green Bay Marathon, Sandbox Indoor Marathon (Indoor Trail)
WY - Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run (Trail)

Kino's Recommended 7 Continents Marathons / Ultras
Africa - Comrades Marathon 89K (56M Road)
Antarctica - Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100K (Trail), The Last Desert (250K 6-Days Trail), McMurdo Marathon (Trail)Antarctica Marathon (Trail)
Asia - Tokyo Marathon
Europe - Berlin MarathonLondon Marathon, Paris Marathon, Edinburgh Marathon
North America - NYC Marathon, Javelina Jundred 100, Back on My Feet 20in24 Lone Ranger Ultra Marathon
Oceana - Buller Gorge Marathon, Gold Coast Airport MarathonSydney Marathon, Solar Eclipse Marathon
South America - Maratona do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Marathon)


  1. Thanks for the link to the map maker. I've only got 4 states so far, but I'm working on 50 - slowly!

  2. Great job Tina! Don't forget to join both 50 States clubs once you hit 10 states. Do you have a blog too?