Where are you from? What brought you to Missoula?
I have lived in Missoula throughout my life. I attended elementary school in Missoula, but graduated from high school in Billings. I graduated from the University of Montana, but left Missoula to teach on the Hi Line. My wife and I both returned when teaching jobs opened in Missoula.
When did you start running and why?
I started running in middle school after my middle school PE teacher told me I had to go out for a fall sport. Cross country seemed like a good option since I sometimes ran around our mile long block. I was terrible initially.
What motivated you to start your 50 states journey?
I started the goal probably about 7 or 8 marathon states in. I saw and read about others doing it and I thought it would be a good goal. I had never really traveled and it seemed like a good way to force myself to get to each state. In addition I liked getting to experience different races.
How long did it take you to complete a marathon in all 50 states?
I ran my first and second marathons in 1997 and 1998. In 2009, I ran my third. The other forty-seven came between 2010 and 2020.
What is the most surprising thing that you learned while going after all 50 states?
50 is a big number so when you are on marathon 30, you still have a long way to go. I do have to add that it is surprising how much rural area even the most populated states contain.
What’s next on your running calendar?
In the month of February, I am going to get in shape so I look good watching Elizabeth Wasserman run the Olympic Trials in the marathon in Atlanta. Using that fitness, I will run the Eugene Marathon in April (possibly the Mt. Charleston Revel Marathon in Nevada in April also).
Now that you’ve completed all 50 states, do you have any new goals?
Initially I would like to repeat five states where I did not get a Boston Marathon Qualifier. Then I would like to run the three World Marathon Majors I have not run (London, Berlin and Tokyo). In addition I would like to repeat all the states where I did not run a sub 3-hour marathon.
Do you have any secrets to your success?
Push your body as hard as you can, but at the same time listen to your body. If it says shut down, do that. Most people do not run enough to get to know their own potential. Involving myself with Run Wild Missoula training groups has rejuvenated me, and the Saturday morning breakfast run is the true secret sauce.
If you could pick one place anywhere in the world to run, where would it be and why?
It is impossible to compare different ecosystems to run in. I enjoy almost all of them. But, I love running in new places, on flat, long beaches, and on paved roads that are wide and clean.
What is your favorite running memory?
I have so many, there is no favorite. For me, an exhilarating memory is always competing against others. I love the experience in the middle of a race or run when someone pushes the pace and I have the energy to match or surpass the other person.
What do you enjoy most about the running/walking community?
I really enjoy getting to meet all sorts of people. It is so great to be around people who have different professions, different lives, etc. I like to listen to and learn from other people.
Finish this sentence: When I’m not running, I’m… planning my next run.