Thirteen months ago, I completed my second circuit of marathons or ultras in all 50 states. At the time, I had already run a third marathon or ultra in 41 states. Two of the states I was missing were Alaska and Hawaii.
Doing a third circuit wasn’t originally a goal. I ran most of these races while pursuing other goals. At the time I observed that how many circuits of 50 states I did would probably depend on how many times I traveled to Alaska and Hawaii. Those are the most expensive trips.
Last summer, I ran another marathon in Alaska. Mostly, I wanted to get my second sub-4 hour marathon in Alaska, but it also gave me my third marathon there overall. A week ago, I ran my third marathon in Hawaii (along with my fourth, fifth and sixth). My motivation this time was to do a quadzilla in Hawaii, but it also brought me closer to my third circuit of 50 states.
Here’s what my marathon map looks like now. With Alaska and Hawaii out of the way, the only states I need to repeat for a third circuit are New Hampshire, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Idaho.
I just booked a trip to Idaho for the Coeur d’Alene Marathon. I’m still planning my schedule for the next few months, but I’m seriously considering the Circular Logic Marathon in Indiana and a New Hampshire race that’s part of the Mainly Marathons New England Series. If I do those three races this year, I could easily finish my third circuit in another year or so.
A fourth circuit is certainly possible, but it’s not necessarily inevitable. I’ve done a fourth marathon or ultra in about half of the states, including Hawaii. Will I do them all? Well, it’s certainly something I’ll consider as I’m choosing races, but it’s not my top priority. If I someday find myself needing fewer than ten states to finish, then I’ll probably go for it.