My friend Steve recently posted a map showing every county he’s visited in his life. I haven’t kept track of the counties I’ve been in. In particular, we used to take long camping trips when I was growing up, and I have no idea which counties we drove through. I have, however kept track of where I’ve gone running.
I have a list of every county I’ve run in. It includes both races and training runs. My only criterion was that I had to run continuously for at least a mile. Using Steve’s map of counties, I highlighted the counties where I’ve gone running. Every state is divided into counties, or some similar local government unit. In Louisiana, they’re called parishes. In Virginia, they have a mixture of counties and independent towns.
Since I’ve run marathons in every state, I’ve obviously run in at least one county in every state. In all but three states, I’ve run in multiple counties. Hawaii and Alaska aren’t shown on this map. In Hawaii, I’ve run on four islands, each of which is in a different county. In Alaska, I’ve run in two counties.
Excluding the District of Columbia, I’ve run in 210 U.S. counties. That an average of just over four per state. The most is Minnesota, where I’ve run in 23 counties. Wisconsin comes in second with 15. Indiana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma are the states where I’ve only run in one county each.
The most counties I’ve visited in a single run is five. If you’ve ever done the New York City Marathon, you’ve run through the same five counties. The state where I’ve visited the highest percentage of counties is Delaware, with 67 percent. It’s worth noting, though, that Delaware only has three counties.
Other countries also have local government units equivalent to counties, also they’re sometimes called by different names. When you include other countries, I’ve run in 238 counties.