From Pasta Party to Post-Race Beers: Part 1

It’s a little strange to travel to a place you’ve never been for a race you’ve never done – all by yourself. But the day before the race, I realized I was not alone. I made some new friends up in Anchorage. And they completely shifted my whole perspective on marathons.

At the pre-race pasta party, I met Ron (aka “Runny Knose”) and Wayne (aka “The Dead Guy”). They are members of the 50 States Marathon Club. They are on a mission to run a marathon in every state in the country.

Ron (pictured left) was about to complete his 49th marathon in the 49th state. He’ll finish up with his 50th in the 50th state – Hawaii. I asked him, “Did you do all of them in the exact order?” “No,” he answered with a chuckle.

Wayne (pictured right) is high on life and came very close to death a year and half ago. Since he was marathoner, he didn’t fit the profile of a man with heart trouble. His doc sent him home when he complained about his symptoms. Three weeks later, he checked himself into the E.R. after running a 5K. Turned out he needed a quadruple by-pass. Think that’s amazing? The Dead Guy has completed 22 marathons since his open-heart surgery 16 months ago. Imagine that. Imagine running a marathon in every state. Imagine seeing every state in the country. Hmmmm. Hmmmm.