Felix Wong after finishing in 3:11:42, or 4th in age group.

Marathon States Under Four Hours (50<4)

In 2016, I received an email from a New Hampshire running legend named Bob Kennedy. He was soliciting help in recruiting runners to run a race he was organizing called the Cache La Poudre Marathon. That race ended up being the second of four marathons I outright won in my lifetime.

But it was also notable because it was the first time I heard of the 50Sub4 Marathon Club, of which Bob was the president. It was a club where people were not only trying to run a marathon in every American state but do so in under four hours. At the time, I thought it was an over-achieving goal. My quest to simply finish a marathon in each of the 50 states was good enough for me.

However, the closer I got to 50 with so many completed in under four hours, I kept 50<4 in mind. I thought it was a possible next goal after completing all marathon states.

On September 25, 2022, I finished running a marathon in every state. Below is a list of them. For states where I’ve run more than one 26.2-miler, I’ve listed the race that I ran quickest.

Of the 50 marathon states, I’ve run 35 with a time under four hours. Of the 15 that I did not,

  • Two were part of Ironman triathlons, where I had swum 2.4 miles and biked 112-miles beforehand.
  • Two were part of ultramarathons that were much longer than 26.2 miles.
  • Four were races that I ran the day after a full marathon.
  • One was a race that I ran the day after a half marathon. I also had laryngitis.
  • One was run while wearing a 40-pound rucksack.
  • Two were slow because they were trail races. 
  • Three were slow because I was out of shape.

I moved to Spain a year ago. If I were still living in the U.S., I would be tempted to go back to those states and run sub-four-hour marathons. But it is more impractical and expensive to do so when living in Europe.

Instead, my next goal will be to finish running all the World Marathon Majors. I have already run Boston, Chicago, and New York. Only Berlin, London, and Tokyo remains.

I certainly hope to run each of those in under four hours!

StateDateMarathon(Best) TimeNotes
Alabama2013-02-17Mercedes Marathon4:09:14
Alaska2022-09-25Kenai River Marathon3:22:28Second place overall
Arizona2006-04-09Ironman Arizona5:14:16Swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles beforehand
Arkansas2017-04-04Mission Run in the Ozarks Marathon3:32:07First place overall
California2004-03-07Napa Valley Marathon3:50:00
Colorado2011-05-01Colorado Marathon3:18:23
Connecticut2020-01-25Arena Attack Indoor Marathon3:42:18Indoors
Delaware2021-06-05Mainly Marathons Independence Series: Delaware3:43:25Second place overall
Florida2009-01-11Disney World Marathon4:06:22Part of a half marathon/full marathon on back-to-back days challenge. Also had laryngitis.
Georgia2010-03-06Snickers Marathon3:11:42 
Hawaii2022-09-04Kauai Marathon3:45:18
Idaho2003-06-28Ironman Coeur d’Alene5:59:26Swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles beforehand
Illinois2006-10-22Chicago Marathon3:22:31 
Indiana2015-10-17Indianapolis Marathon3:43:39
Iowa2019-09-14Wabash Trace Trail Marathon3:40:50
Kansas2010-04-24Free State 100k Trail Race5:XX:XXPart of a 62-mile run
Kentucky2017-11-05Bowling Green Marathon4:13:01
Louisiana2006-02-05Mardi Gras Marathon3:29:35 
Maine2021-05-17Pine Tree Marathon3:28:06 
Maryland2016-03-05Seneca Creek Trail Marathon5:11:02Part of a back-to-back trail marathon weekend
Massachusetts2008-04-21Boston Marathon3:28:46 
Michigan2019-02-02Groundhog Day Marathon3:59:45
Minnesota2017-06-17Grandma’s Marathon3:26:05
Mississippi2019-01-26Mississippi Blues Marathon3:36:05
Missouri2014-10-19Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon3:26:28
Montana2012-09-16Montana Marathon4:43:44Ran it one day after the Bismarck Marathon
Nebraska2010-09-26Omaha Marathon3:28:41
Nevada2013-11-17Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon3:48:18
New Hampshire2021-05-18Granite State Marathon4:29:18Ran it one day after the Pine Tree Marathon
New Jersey2021-06-08Mainly Marathons Independence Series: New Jersey3:44:27 First place overall
New Mexico2008-03-30Bataan Memorial Death March5:58:46Wore a 40-pound rucksack.
New York2016-11-06New York City Marathon3:31:05
North Carolina2010-03-13Ellerbe Springs Marathon3:35:53 
North Dakota2012-09-15Bismarck Marathon3:34:54
Ohio2022-09-17Air Force Marathon3:30:30
Oklahoma2009-04-26Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon3:47:13 
Oregon2005-07-04Foot Traffic Flat Marathon3:34:27 
Pennsylvania2016-03-06Naked Bavarian Trail Marathon5:55:13Ran it the day after the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon.
Rhode Island2021-05-22Red Island State Marathon3:42:20
South Carolina2020-03-07Run Hard Columbia Marathon3:31:37 
South Dakota2006-06-04Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon3:32:34 
Tennessee2005-03-20Knoxville Marathon4:03:27
Texas2010-04-10Davy Crockett Bear Chase3:12:54My first and best marathon overall win
Utah2007-10-06St. George Marathon3:03:24Personal best
Vermont2021-05-19Maple Leaf Marathon4:30:59Ran it a day after the Granite State Marathon and two days after the Pine Tree Marathon
Virginia2021-05-30Conquer the Cove Trail Marathon4:36:29
Washington2021-12-22Reindeer Marathon3:55:30 
West Virginia2019-11-03Marshall University Marathon3:31:06
Wisconsin2021-06-13Maritime Marathon3:38:39
Wyoming2006-05-28Rocky Mountain Double Marathon4:19:XX A 52.4-mile run.
Felix Wong after finishing in 3:11:42, or 4th in age group.
Felix Wong after finishing in 3:11:42, or 4th in age group.