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Racing All 50 States

by Meghann on May 18, 2012

My (very) long term goal is to one day run a marathon in all 50 states (plus DC). Even if this goal takes me 50 years – I WILL do it. Originally my plan was just to do a race in every state, but my ego got the best me and I decided to take the full marathon challenge. Go big or go home, right?

Well, I was on such a high after running Flying Pig (actually, I think I’m still coming down from that high), that I thought it would be fun to find a cute way to commemorate the process of hitting each state. My first idea was to purchase a large map of the U.S. (think of the maps that hang on the walls in elementary schools) and cutting the bibs into the shape of the state and piecing it together as a puzzle on the map as each race was completed. I still really like this idea, but it’s just not very practical. Problem number one – where would we hang said humongous map? Ummm…. over the couch? πŸ˜‰ Not sure that was going to work.

Then I had an idea of doing a smaller map and incorporating the medals somehow (especially since my medal hanger is officially out of control in the second bedroom). I still wasn’t 100% sure how this would work, but I started browsing Etsy for inspiration.

And I found this.

Screen shot 2012-05-18 at 10.41.54 AM.png

And I had an idea.

The custom map print was originally intended to mark family members across the U.S. I messaged the seller and asked if there was a way to have races instead. She loved the idea and said absolutely. I sent her my stats and she sent me the proof.

marathon states.jpeg

I loved it.

The seller ( HappyLandings) had the proof ready that afternoon and shipped it the next day. She was incredibly sweet and worked really fast, plus her work is good. I’d recommend her 10 times over.

When the print arrived I immediately framed it (frame from ikea) and hung it on the wall in the living room.


I love how the blue pops on our green walls.


(it pops more in person. the lighting in our place blows.)

Of course, Derek saw it and his first question was “what are you going to do when you run more races?” Good point. I don’t have an answer. Maybe wait a couple of races and then purchase another one? Write the times in with black ink until then? I didn’t say this was a thought out plan. Have I mentioned I’m an impulse shopper?

For $20, this custom print wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, but I know that if I purchase one every time I run a new race, it would add up and the map would potentially get crowded. Honestly? I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I still have at least another year until I plan to run another destination race, so until then I’ll just enjoy the map as is. πŸ™‚

This map is also a filler until I figured something else out. Hmmm…. the thinking cap is on. πŸ˜‰

Any ideas?!?

Lunch today was your basic sandwich with veggies and hummus.


Ok, so the sandwich wasn’t so basic. I know this combination is going to have some people rolling their eyes, but – once again – I promise that this flavor combination worked.


Turkey + ricotta cheese + spinach + cranberry/apple churney

New rule. Don’t knock it until you try it. Honestly, it’s not that weird of a combo to me. You know how many times I’ve ordered a turkey and cranberry sandwich with cream cheese at a restaurant? Tons! Ok. Maybe twice. But i know they’re out there. This is just my version of it with the ricotta substituting the cream cheese since it’s what I had in the fridge at the time. I don’t know what it is, but the jams and chutneys in my fridge just call my name more than the mustard or mayo. I definitely have a sweet tooth. It’s out of control.


And I’m not lying when I said that sandwich was good. I’d make it again. πŸ™‚

Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes with hummus for dipping rounded out my plate.


‘Twas a good lunch. πŸ™‚

1 Sana May 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Just write them in with black ink πŸ™‚

2 Nikki May 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

That’s alotta miles you’ve got planned!!! How do you run so much without getting back/knees injuries? Do you stretch a lot or is it just good running genetics?
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3 Meghann May 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I knock on wood when ever I talk about racing and thank my parents for good genes. πŸ™‚ From what I’ve read and researched – some people are just lucky. I don’t think i do anything differently than anyone else who runs as much as I do.

4 Krissy @ Shiawase Life May 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Cute idea πŸ™‚
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5 Erin May 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Totally doesn’t seem like a weird combo to me! Sounds great!

6 Hillary May 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love the map idea. Too bad the only races I’ve run so far have been in DC or Baltimore. Not very spread out! ; )
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7 Mackenzie May 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Love the map idea!

You could do a bigger frame and have a list to one side so you could update it without the map getting crowded and just put a heart sticker with a number to correspond to the list.. just an idea!

8 Meghann May 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I like that idea! Or just having the years next to the heart instead of the full marathon name?

9 Mackenzie May 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

That could work too! Obviously it is your choice as to names/years whichever is the most significant to you.

10 Lindsay May 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

That idea is much better than the current version! And easier to update. Also, couldn’t you just have printed the current map yourself? Doesn’t look like its size or finish requires a special printer…

11 Meghann May 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

It’s 13×19 – I’m not sure my printer could print that size.(maybe?) Plus, I do not have a blank map, just the lo-res proof that the seller sent me to approve before it was printed.

12 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. May 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Michigan: Grand Rapids Marathon. Just sayin’. πŸ˜‰
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13 Jessica May 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Love the map. And I love the idea of the bibs, but you are right it’s not practical.
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14 Daphne @ Candy Coated Runner May 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

My friend and I also have that same goal! I picked up a map from a teacher supply store and some distinct pushpins that I use to mark where the races have been. It’s super easy to add in new races. And if you put it up on a cork board, you can include the bibs into the background!
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15 Nicole N May 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

You could mount the map (or a new one!) on corkboard, and then use push pins with little flags indicating the race and date. I ordered a similar world map for my parents to mark their world travels, and it’s pretty cool.

16 Cait's Plate May 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I love that map! I’ve seen it for travel but it’s an even better idea to do it for running!

Also – do you take your pictures outside? Cause if not, then the lighting where you take your pictures certainly doesn’t blow!
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17 Meghann May 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Yes, I take the majority of my food photos outside when the sun is out πŸ™‚

18 sarah roberts May 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

If you want a good race in Oklahoma you should do the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The course is pretty flat and all proceeds to toward a great cause.

19 Meghann May 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the rec! Googling now πŸ™‚

20 Emily N May 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I think that is a pretty sweet map. πŸ™‚ Not to mention an awesome long term goal.
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21 Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run May 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Also, once you’re races pile up, you might not be able to read the map very well because you will have so much writing on it.

How about buy one map every two years with your new races and you can add the years as a header on top. Then you can make all the states a different color next time and have a fun multi-color thing going with your collage on the wall.

22 erica May 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

lol. i was wondering about future races when i was reading this and laughed when you wrote about when derek asked that same question.

it’s a cute print! i want to do that for my travels!
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23 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I love the map idea, that’s so cute!!!
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24 Annette @FitnessPerks May 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

fun idea!! That is a lot of miles–but what a great goal/bucket list to have πŸ™‚ And that sandwich idea actually sounds good to me!

i’d say just ‘write’ em in when you complete each one, or mark a heart at each state and have a side running list to correspond to each heart. It would make it look less crowded over time. Cool idea though!
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25 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I have a trainer friend who is in his 50’s, and he’s run a marathon in every state. πŸ™‚ He’s my running hero!
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26 Celia May 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

You could use different stickers for each race and then make a key with the actual race name and year on the side. That way it will be less crowded and more interesting than just a bunch of hearts. You could even look for a sticker that symbolizes some aspect of the race, a pig for Flying Pig, a palm tree for Palm Beach, etc.
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27 Kelly May 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Oh I like it! I think it looks nice on the wall.

28 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Cute idea! I had a boss once who had the same goal of running a marathon in every state. She was crazy, sometimes doing 2 in one weekend just because she was near another state! The last time I saw her 6 years ago, she had already done 35!
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29 Beka May 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Awesome map and Etsy site. It looks great on your wall! I like the idea of a heart with the year next to it rather than the entire race name… the map will become crowded unless you get a bigger size.

50 races/50 states is quite a goal, and I know you’ll reach it. I’m having goal-lust right now just being out of “race season” here in FL.
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30 Sneakers2sandals May 19, 2012 at 7:54 am

So cute!! I love how you find ways to make all your racing into memories (ie shutterfly photo book)!
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31 Sara@RunningInPinkProject May 19, 2012 at 8:33 am

I dont find that combo weird at all. You can get away with a lot with turkey/apples/cranberries. Almost everything “goes” πŸ™‚
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32 Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun May 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

You could just do 2 maps. The map you have now and then another map later to mark all the races you do after you get married.
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33 Sarah May 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm

They make clear sticker sheets that you can print on using an inject printer. You could purchase some of those and print your stats on that so they match better and a heart the same size (or smaller for smaller states). Then you can easily stick your homemade stickers onto your map and keep it neater than writing by hand.
Here is a link to the paper:

34 Jillian @ KMF May 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

i need to do that map so so badly!
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35 Nicole May 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

I found something that could be cool for individual races. If you go to this website (!__portfolio), she has something called “Marathon Posters” that I think are pretty cute. Maybe you could get those made for some of your favorite races?
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