Recently, I decided to go on a quest. Not a find the Ark of the Covenant kind of quest. I would rather not have my head explode. But the kind of quest that is difficult and challenging, but not impossible.
I am going to try to run a marathon or half marathon in every state in the United States.
This very well take me the rest of my life. Probably the best case scenario is to run 2 marathons every Spring and 2 every Fall. That is four races a year. At that pace, it will only take me twelve and a half years to cover all the states. At my current age, that puts me in my 60's. So I would still be running 4 marathons a year into my 60s. And that is the best case scenario. If I cut back to 2 races, I will be still be running in my 70s. Well, a true quest is not supposed to be easy.
Chris Guillebeau writes a lot about quests on his blog and in his book, The Happiness of Pursuit. According to Chris, a quest is defined as:
- “A quest has a clear goals and a specific end point.”
- “A quest presents a clear challenge.”
- “A quest requires sacrifice of some kind.”
- “A quest is often driven by a calling or sense of mission.”
- “A quest requires a series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal.”
I think running 50 half or full marathons all over the country should qualify. It does for me at least. And I am the only person that counts.
I must admit. I am not the first person to think of this. There is actually a website and club devoted to the 50 state half marathon challenge. I am not that motivated to join the club, going to try this on my own. But it seems motivational if you need some extra motivation to do something like this. I am doing this because I enjoy long slow running and after my Marine Corp Marathon quest completion last year, I could use something else to keep me running, motivated and in shape. Plus, it will have some travel benefits too.
So, here is to my quest. Announced here for the world to see. Best case scenario, 12-13 years. More than likely, much longer. But then that is the fun of it now, isn't it?