Running a Marathon in Every State

Chicago Marathon will complete an 11-year fundraising odyssey for Portland pair
Staff Writer

Tony the Tiger. Licensed under Creative Commons

Chicago, Illinois. Check. Marathon run in every state. Check. Still a couple. Check.

An 11-year quest of a couple to run a marathon in every state of the nation is due to end on Oct. 12 when Barb and Greg Damon complete the Chicago Marathon. What started in 2003 as what they thought would be a one-off fundraiser for the American Heart Association's stroke research — running the Kona Marathon — has turned into what they call “our marathon odyssey.”

(Update: They made it, crossing the line in Chicago together with an unofficial time of 6hrs 39 mins.)

“We decided that participating in a marathon event in each U.S. state would not only be a great way to stay healthy, but also a challenging way to explore the country…26.2 miles at a time,” the 47-years old runners from Portland, Oregon say on the website where they are raising funds for the AHA. 

To go the distance, the couple ran between four and six marathons a year, with finishing times ranging from five to seven hours. “We’re in no danger of winning the Chicago Marathon,” Barb Damon told Runners World.

While their achievement won't be unique, it will put them in pretty exclusive set. The 50 States Marathon Club, to which they belong, numbers less than 1,500 members who have completed 50 marathons.

The Damons set out to raise $140,000 for the AHA. They have already passed the $175,000 mark with the final 26.2 miles to go.

Donations can be made here.


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