A running club I frequently mention is the 50 States Marathon Club. I also belong to a club called 50sub4. Members of this club share a goal of not only running marathons in all 50 states, but finishing them in under four hours. I joined 50sub4 in 2010 and finished this goal in 2011.
I saw a few other 50sub4 members this weekend at the Mississippi Blues and First Light marathons. One of them was Brian Wright, who led the 3:40 pace group in the Mississippi Blues Marathon.
Brian mentioned that a few people are already talking about a second circuit of sub-4 marathons in each state. That made me wonder how close I am to completing a second circuit. There are still two states where I’ve only run one marathon, so obviously I would need those states. I’ve run at least two marathons or ultras in the other 48 states, and I’ve already run three in most of them. This weekend, for example, I ran my third marathons in Mississippi and Alabama. Since I finish most marathons within four hours, I figured I must be pretty close.
After reviewing my marathon results, I found that there are 46 state in which I’ve run at least two sub-4 marathons. This map shows how many I have in each state.
Two of the states I’m missing are Hawaii and Alaska. I’ve only run one marathon in each of these states. I’m already planning to return to these two states, so I can complete my second “regular” circuit of 50 states. When I do, I should make a point of finishing within four hours. Alaska shouldn’t be any problem. Races in Hawaii have the potential to be hot, but I’ve run a 3:27 in Honolulu, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem either.
The next state I’m missing is Utah. My first marathon in Utah was the Park City Marathon, which I finished in 3:20. I’ve only done one other race in Utah. That was a 50K. It took quite a bit longer than four hours. To get a sub-4 in Utah, I’ll need to return and run another marathon.
The other state I’m missing is Kansas. My first race in Kansas was a fixed-time ultra called the Patriots’ Run. This is a race where you run as far as you can in nine hours and eleven minutes. Obviously, I didn’t finish that one in four hours. I later ran the Gobbler Grind Marathon to get my first sub-4 marathon in Kansas. To get a second one, I’ll need to run another marathon in Kansas.
Add this to my list of long-term goals. It’s not an immediate priority, but it may influence my race selection. If I’m looking for a race, and one of races I’m considering is a marathon in Utah or Kansas, I’m more apt to lean in that direction. I might not have thought about this if Brian hadn’t mentioned it, but now it’s on my mind.