The scenic, flat route that took us down Ben Franklin Parkway, past the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boat House Row, and along Kelly Drive soon became a welcome part of our visits to Philly. Since both of our daughters were attending college in Philadelphia we were making relatively frequent trips to the city from our home in Maine. So when we learned that the Philadelphia Marathon course traveled along routes we were already familiar with, we decided to sign up.
Mike chose the half marathon and I decided to train for my first marathon. On race day we joined the crush of thousands of other runners lining up in the corrals in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While waiting to hit the course, Mike overheard another runner talking about attempting to run a race in every state. Although we had been running and racing for years, this race in Philadelphia was the first race we had done outside of New England. After the race, Mike broached the idea with me and we agreed we loved the thought of making this a goal. And besides, we had just checked Pennsylvania off the list! Thus began our (literal) journey to run a road race in every state.
We began this adventure in November 2010 and as of today we have run in 18 states. This quest has brought us to places that we would most likely never have visited. But it has offered us an opportunity to participate in a myriad of new experiences. The people we have met have been enthusiastic and welcoming. Trying the local food and drink has become a significant part of our travels. Our races have allowed us to run beside Great Lakes, along palm tree-lined bays, through vineyards, past historic sites, to the Atlantic Ocean and so much more. Beside the enjoyment that we derive from this quest, we have been pleased to feel that our entry fees are supporting many wonderful causes.
This blog will chronicle races that we have run already and will include our thoughts about the course, race swag, highlights, tips about local activities, restaurants, lodging, and more. There will be periodic posts about our day-to-day runs and thoughts and reminiscences about past runs that haven’t been designated “check-off-a-state” runs. And of course as we add another state to our list we will chronicle that adventure.
We are enjoying this quest so much that we thought we’d share our experiences and perhaps inspire others to give it a try on whatever scale seems right. Our philosophy about running is that it’s all about the journey. Thanks for reading this far. We hope you will continue to follow us.