A Journey to race in all 50 states

June 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races


Updated 5.7.2018

Some time ago, I am not sure exactly when (many years ago), I hatched the idea of racing in all 50 states.  I revisited the idea one day when I got curious to know exactly how many organized races I have done in my lifetime.  So I dug out my old High School and College scrapbooks & training logs and starting putting together a log of all the races I have participated in over the years.

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Wow, it was so neat to look back at all the old newspaper clippings and photos.  Although I discovered I only had a few pictures; just the ones given to me by other team members parents and the ones in the newspapers.  I am so thankful for them now!  I was a poor college student (thank goodness for scholarships).  I didn’t own a camera and quite frankly it’s hard to get a picture of yourself in a race, and my “in the zone” running pictures aren’t so glamorous if you know what I mean.  I was also fun to look through some more recent photos.  blonde-runner-fan-page-photo

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 Finish pictures arm up Lora Erickson IMMDAs I looked through the albums I logged each race listing the date, race name, location, distance and results.  Wow, I have raced a lot over the last 30 something years!  It was fun to re-live some of those great race experiences and see how many states I had raced in.  High School and College running has taken me to many of the western states, but I still have a lot of states to visit.  I have always wanted to see more of America and what better way to do it than racing in all 50 states!


I know I have a lot of people that visit my website from all over America and I’d love to hear from you.  I am looking for well established Friday or Saturday races (that won’t be cancelled) and are not super long (5K, 10K, ½ marathon, night runs, and possible Sprint/Oly triathlons).  I am not opposed to throwing in some 1/2 IM or IM events in there, but they are just a bit more expensive and harder to get to.  It would be great if the race covered more than one state too. 

All the states not marked off are the states I still need to do (lots, I know):

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, TexasUtah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin & Wyoming

What races do you think I should do in each State?  Do you any travel tips about the best months to visit, or bad weather months I should avoid.  (Weekday or Saturday races only, I prefer not to race on Sunday).  If you know of any deals on hotels, race discounts, discounted flights, host families willing to help please let me know.  There is no particular deadline for me, I just want to accomplish this in my lifetime.  I am excited about this adventure! 

~ Coach Lora Erickson



Support me on my quest?

Donate Frequent Flier miles, or funds to help with travel, hotel and race entry expenses.  If you or your company would like to help out or sponsor me please message theblonderunner@gmail.com.  Thank you so much for those who have already contributed to support me. 

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Updates (race reports):

VermontAge Group Nationals

Ohio & Kentucky – Double Saturday events (a.m. 5k & p.m. Glow Run).  Read More

Ironman Maryland  Read More

2016 states – Hawaii Honu 70.3, Soldiers Marathon (Georgia & Alabama) coach lora 2nd place soldier marathon

Tennessee – Ironman 70.3 World Championships Sept. 9, 2017 – Read the IM703WC race report

Ironman Texas – April 28, 2018 – Read the IMTX Race Report 


5 Responses to “A Journey to race in all 50 states”
  1. gail says:

    Great goal. I expect to be at the halfway mark by the end of November in my 50-states half marathon goal. I have race reports posted on my blog if you want to get some ideas. Runningintheusa.com has been a great resource for me in searching for races.

    The most cost-effective way is to knock out two states in one weekend, but that requires Sunday racing.

    Best wishes!

  2. Kaye says:

    For New Jersey, I would recommend the Wild Half Marathon. http://www.wildwoodsnj.com/calendar.cfm?mode=results&coe_id=1436
    In my youth, I worked for the amusement park that sponsors this race. You’re right next to the beach, you’re running on the boardwalk, you’re passing amusement parks and water parks and the OCEAN! You receive a free day pass to the amusement park. It’s a perfect vacation for the whole family, by the way. Seriously – a boardwalk full of shops, games, restaurants, amusement parks, beautiful beaches…. What more could you ask for?
    When you go, you MUST visit Sam’s Pizza on the boardwalk. Some people will tell you to go to Mack’s, but trust me – Sam’s is THE PLACE TO EAT. Also, the BEST fudge you will ever eat is at Douglass Fudge on the boardwalk. Grab some Curley Fries and, oooohhh… Kohr Brother’s Frozen Custard. (You are going to run 13 miles – you can afford to eat some extra calories!)
    You’re also within driving distance of Atlantic City if you’re interested.
    Of course, this is on a Sunday.

    For Saturday races in the same area, I would recommend the following:

    Islandman Tri (http://timkerrcharities.org/2012/islandman). It sells out FAST, FYI.
    Sunset Challenge Tri is about an hour from the Wildwood shore (https://www.lin-mark.com/RaceDetails.aspx?guid=5d69d877-279d-45da-8802-1f29de0b7cae).
    Captain Bill 10 Mile is right on the beach (https://www.lin-mark.com/RaceDetails.aspx?guid=5d69d877-279d-45da-8802-1f29de0b7cae)

    For all of these races, fly into Philadelphia and then drive the 2-ish hours to the shore.

  3. Lora says:

    Thank you for the comments Gail. I will check it out. I appreciate the Saturday suggestions Kaye. The Captain Bill 10K looks great. Thank you!

  4. The Quad Cities Marathon http://www.qcm.org runs in both Illinois and Iowa – crossing over the Mississippi River during the both the half and full marathons. Great event – highly recommend!! Good luck on your 50 State journey… it’s so much FUN to run the states!

  5. TWINKS says:

    Olney, Illinois – home of the white squirrels – is also home of the RCRC White Squirrel Triathlon – sprint tri on first Saturday in August! 200 meter pool swim, 14.6 mile bike, and 5k run. Rural SE Illinois – about 3 hours from Indy or St Louis. Olney is also home to numerous bike/sports businesses, including Pacific Cycle, Magura , SKS, HOSS, and more! Usually about 200 participants and the friendliest HEVs (helpful event volunteers) around!

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