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!
|Alaska||2022-09-25||Kenai River Marathon||3:22:28||Second place overall|
|Arizona||2006-04-09||Ironman Arizona||5:14:16||Swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles beforehand|
|Arkansas||2017-04-04||Mission Run in the Ozarks Marathon||3:32:07||First place overall|
|California||2004-03-07||Napa Valley Marathon||3:50:00|
|Connecticut||2020-01-25||Arena Attack Indoor Marathon||3:42:18||Indoors|
|Delaware||2021-06-05||Mainly Marathons Independence Series: Delaware||3:43:25||Second place overall|
|Florida||2009-01-11||Disney World Marathon||4:06:22||Part of a half marathon/full marathon on back-to-back days challenge. Also had laryngitis.|
|Idaho||2003-06-28||Ironman Coeur d’Alene||5:59:26||Swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles beforehand|
|Iowa||2019-09-14||Wabash Trace Trail Marathon||3:40:50|
|Kansas||2010-04-24||Free State 100k Trail Race||5:XX:XX||Part of a 62-mile run|
|Kentucky||2017-11-05||Bowling Green Marathon||4:13:01|
|Louisiana||2006-02-05||Mardi Gras Marathon||3:29:35|
|Maine||2021-05-17||Pine Tree Marathon||3:28:06|
|Maryland||2016-03-05||Seneca Creek Trail Marathon||5:11:02||Part of a back-to-back trail marathon weekend|
|Michigan||2019-02-02||Groundhog Day Marathon||3:59:45|
|Mississippi||2019-01-26||Mississippi Blues Marathon||3:36:05|
|Missouri||2014-10-19||Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon||3:26:28|
|Montana||2012-09-16||Montana Marathon||4:43:44||Ran it one day after the Bismarck Marathon|
|Nevada||2013-11-17||Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon||3:48:18|
|New Hampshire||2021-05-18||Granite State Marathon||4:29:18||Ran it one day after the Pine Tree Marathon|
|New Jersey||2021-06-08||Mainly Marathons Independence Series: New Jersey||3:44:27||First place overall|
|New Mexico||2008-03-30||Bataan Memorial Death March||5:58:46||Wore a 40-pound rucksack.|
|New York||2016-11-06||New York City Marathon||3:31:05|
|North Carolina||2010-03-13||Ellerbe Springs Marathon||3:35:53|
|North Dakota||2012-09-15||Bismarck Marathon||3:34:54|
|Ohio||2022-09-17||Air Force Marathon||3:30:30|
|Oklahoma||2009-04-26||Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon||3:47:13|
|Oregon||2005-07-04||Foot Traffic Flat Marathon||3:34:27|
|Pennsylvania||2016-03-06||Naked Bavarian Trail Marathon||5:55:13||Ran it the day after the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon.|
|Rhode Island||2021-05-22||Red Island State Marathon||3:42:20|
|South Carolina||2020-03-07||Run Hard Columbia Marathon||3:31:37|
|South Dakota||2006-06-04||Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon||3:32:34|
|Texas||2010-04-10||Davy Crockett Bear Chase||3:12:54||My first and best marathon overall win|
|Utah||2007-10-06||St. George Marathon||3:03:24||Personal best|
|Vermont||2021-05-19||Maple Leaf Marathon||4:30:59||Ran it a day after the Granite State Marathon and two days after the Pine Tree Marathon|
|Virginia||2021-05-30||Conquer the Cove Trail Marathon||4:36:29|
|West Virginia||2019-11-03||Marshall University Marathon||3:31:06|
|Wyoming||2006-05-28||Rocky Mountain Double Marathon||4:19:XX||A 52.4-mile run.|