New Club For Marathoners Forms
You Can Become A Charter Member
HOUSTON, TX - (March 2001) - There is exciting news this month for both marathoners and would be marathoners. A new club is being formed dedicated to promoting health and fitness through marathon running. Members share a common enthusiasm for the protracted adventure of attempting to run a marathon race in each of the fifty states of the United States.
The club is aptly named "The 50 States Marathon Club". It may well serve as an evolutionary successor to an already existing but loosely defined organization known as the "50 States And DC Marathon Group". The predecessor organization attracted members from all over the world, but drew criticism from members and prospective members alike for being rigid and amorphous. It was not a club but a "group", stewarded chiefly by one pioneering individual, Dean Rademaker of Illinois. The new organization will attempt to spread the organizational responsibilities over a number of qualified volunteers who will serve as board members and officers.
The primary qualification to join the new club is that one must have successfully completed a marathon in ten or more states. The older organization had required the runner have completed twenty states before being considered for membership - almost half way to the goal.
To date about 150 persons have actually run a marathon in each of the fifty states, with many more runners chipping away at the goal. The first person to do it was Canadian runner Wally Herman in January of 1984. The first American to achieve the goal was Dick Young of Colorado, also in 1984. Women run all fifty states too. The first woman to complete the goal was Sharon Mordorski of Minnesota in 1989. There are even husband and wife teams that take on the challenge. The first pair to complete all the states together was Nancy Broadbridge and Tony Lepetrone of Michigan in 1997.
A surprising number of runners have actually completed the task twice and one individual, Ray Scharenbrock, has completed the fifty states an amazing five times.
In order to encourage runners to get on board early, the club is offering "charter member" status to anyone who joins before July 1, 2001. Membership dues are ten dollars.
The club maintains a web site, operated by Texas marathoner Steve Boone. Steve completed the fifty states challenge himself in 1996 and has over 180 marathon finishes to his credit. Still enthusiastic about marathoning and travel, he continues to run marathons and ultras all over the world each year, often accompanied by his wife Paula, who has completed 65 marathons to date.
The club invites all interested runners to visit their web site at http://hometown.aol.com/fiftydc/. The site offers club information including an excellent marathon schedule, and an application for membership.