Monday, February 14, 2022

Episode 63: 50 States, 50 Marathons! With Georges Gonzalez & Jonathan Rushnak

 This episode is available almost anywhere you find podcasts, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor!

Georges Gonzalez and Jonathan Rushnak admit they were unlikely candidates to take on this life-changing challenge, but made magic together in their lifetime achievement this past January, as they completed their 50th marathon across 50 states in the U.S.! This began as a pipe dream 7 years ago, and thousands of miles ago (on feet and in the air traveling!).
In this episode, we spend a great deal of time discussing the HOW and WHY behind such an attempt, including the communities that supported them, and the contribution it has made to their lives overall. They also give us their "tops lists" for unique marathons, marathons harboring hidden gems of culture, most challenging marathons, and most surprising, among others!
You may be surprised by the "lessons learned" portion of our talk as well, which includes tips and tricks for the 50 states challenge, but also planning and destination races in general. Some of the resources we discuss are: the 50 states club Facebook Group, the official entry process (only after completing 10 races), the process they went through deciding which marathons to run, and how to organize them around a yearly calendar to not go crazy or suffer injury.
You can hear the joy and gratitude in their voices, and at times the emotions that accompany a heart-changing race such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. While such a challenge is not for the faint of heart, it should also not be mistaken to be only for an "elite" or expert runners experience, as they admit at the beginning of it (at least Georges) did not even consider himself marathon material and had to be talked into his first. A decade ago, he would quip "I am not a runner", and now has much evidence to the contrary...

Te learn more about each marathon on their list and explore what each has to offer (and IF they are being run during the ongoing pandemic, restrictions, etc.) you will have to visit their websites!  Explore below, and also feel free to explore Georges and Jonathan's recommended facebook group:  
Note: There is also a Half Marathon 50 States group!  That being said, in order to apply for either, see rules or officially become a member of the 50 States Marathon Club, you'll have to go to this website: 
Below is a list of the 50 States Marathons, in order of appearance on their roster, with location and website:

#1) Space Coast MarathonCocoa, Florida –,

2) Go! St. Louis MarathonSt. louis, Missouri –– 

3) Air Force Marathon, Dayton, Ohio –

4) Twin Cities MarathonMinneapolis, Minnesota – 

5) Marine Corps MarathonArlington, Virginia

6) First Light MarathonMobile, Alabama – 

7) Louisiana MarathonBaton Rouge, Louisiana – 

8) Myrtle Beach MarathonMyrtle Beach, South Carolina 

9) Albany MarathonAlbany, Georgia – 

10) Wrightsville Beach MarathonWrightsville BeachNorth Carolina 

11) Vermont City Marathon, BurlingtonVermont 

12) Marathon to Marathon, Storm Lake, Iowa 

13) Swan Lake Marathon, Viborg, South Dakota 

14) Rockies Marathon, Lakewood, Colorado – 

15) Pocatello Marathon, PocatelloIdaho – 

16) Big Cottonwood Marathon, Salt Lake City, Utah 

17) Chicago Marathon, Chicago, Illinois 

18) Fargo Marathon, Fargo, North Dakota – 

19) Pacific Crest Marathon, Bend, Oregon – 

20) Lake Placid Marathon, Lake Placid, New York – 

21) Missoula Marathon, Missoula, Montana – 

22) Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon, Rachel, Nevada – 

23) Lake Michigan Trail Marathon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

24) Texas Marathon, Kingwood, Texas – 

25) Garmin MarathonOlatheKansas – 

26) Maine Coast Marathon, Kennebunk, Maine 

27) Sweet Southern Discomfort Marathon, Chattanooga, Tennessee –

28) Omaha Marathon, Omaha, Nebraska – 

29) Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa, Oklahoma – 

30) Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, Biloxi, Mississippi – 

31) Holiday Series – Day 5 Marathon, Las Cruces, New Mexico –

32) Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, Phoenix, Arizona – 

33) City of Los Angeles Marathon, Los Angeles, California –

34) Hogeye Marathon, Springdale, Arkansas –

35) New Jersey Marathon, Lakewood, New Jersey –

36) Pittsburgh Marathon, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania –

37) Wyoming Marathon, Cheyenne, Wyoming –

38) Charlevoix Marathon, Charlevoix, Michigan –

39) Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon day 2North Bend, Washington 

40) Anchorage RunFest Humpy’s MarathonAnchorage, Alaska –

41) Baltimore Run Festival Marathon, Baltimore, Maryland

42) CMC Manchester City Marathon, Manchester, New Hampshire

43) Rehoboth Seashore Marathon, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – 

44) Carmel Marathon, Carmel, Indiana – 

45) Humana Kentucky Derby Marathon, Louisville, Kentucky – 

46) Red Island State Marathon, Warwick, Rhode Island – Red Island Marathon | NewEngland Challenge 

47) Hatfield and McCoy Marathon, South Williamson, Kentucky  Hatfield McCoy Marathon (

48) New England Green River Marathon, Greenfield, Massachusetts – New England Green River Marathon

49) Hartford Marathon, Hartford, Connecticut  Road Races in Connecticut | Hartford Marathon Foundation

50) Maui Oceanfront Marathon, Maui, Hawaii – HOME | Maui (

Somewhere in the desert, near Area 51 in Nevada's "Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon"

Please share this with like-minded "running anthropologists", and follow us on social media, feel free to join us on Facebook or Instagram @RunningAnthropologist, and feel free to leave a comment below featuring your favorite marathons / destination races!

Fun Stuff you can join with us from anywhere!
Current challenges:
1) Phidippides 327+ challenge in 2022, that Jeff Galloway is organizing along with Dean Karnazes, as a cultural/historical journey to highlight the role of marathon/ultra runners in  forming early democracy:

2) Recovery Camino: A 12 principles pilgrimage (in person or virtual) along the Camino de Santiago each summer:   VIRTUAL walk-run OPTION:

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