Long distance running can be a lonely sport. Traveling to and from races and running alongside thousands of strangers feels like a solitary pastime, but the lonely miles and the hours of racing don't have to be in vain.
Several special clubs across the country offer the chance to earn a special badge of honor and join an exclusive group of runners with a special number of races under their belts. If you're looking to add purpose to your racing journey, read on!
50 States Half Marathon Club
The 50 States Half Marathon Club is widely popular due to the demanding nature of the challenge and the discounts on many endurance events around the country.
Rules and minimums:
Welcoming to even first-time half marathoners, there are no minimums for the 50 States Half Marathon Club.
There is no time limit to finish the 50 half marathons in 50 states challenge, as members are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the process (and the club's generous race discounts).
Previous half marathons may count toward the goal for those joining as veteran runners, but for races to count, they do have to be a certified half marathon (21,097.5 meters) in length. Be sure to save your race numbers for verification.
There are a number of other minor rules that can be found at 50stateshalfmarathonclub.com.
Accomplishing any of the following challenges will earn the runner a reward.
50 States Half Marathon Challenge: Finish a half marathon in each of the 50 states and receive a personally engraved Gold Cup Trophy.
50 States Endurance Challenge: Finish a half or full marathon or half or full IRONMAN triathlons, or a combination of any of these distances, in all 50 states excluding distances between the half and full marathon. (No obscure distances allowed, only 13.1 and 26.2 miles.)