No non-American has run a marathon in all fifty United States of America. 61-year-old Dirk Van Orchot from Loosbroek finished last in the Mankato Marathon in the state of Minnesota last weekend.
“It’s always exciting to run a marathon, but the pressure was really hard for this last marathon,” says van Oerskot. “Something can always happen, and the intention was to complete that 50-state milestone three weeks ago.”
Unfortunately, that was the case for him this time. The weather threw a spanner in the works and it was so hot that it led to the cancellation of the Minneapolis Marathon. It was replaced by the Mankato Marathon. “It was also a tough marathon, cold and hilly. But for me this special time was very simple: giving up was not an option, I had to finish!”After completing a marathon in the fiftieth state, he can now finally call himself a member of the 50 States Runners.
It is very special that we have won now. “It’s indescribable, I never expected to get this far in my life.” Little did he know that he was the first non-American to achieve this. “It’s really special for the organization behind 50 States Runners, and I’m proud that it was successful.”
It all started in 2007 when Van Oorchot finished the marathon in Memphis, Tennessee. “The thought of running that marathon was never there, when I heard about the New York Marathon on the radio on my way to America with business partners.” The original target run for him Big Apple Run his first marathon. “Unfortunately, we are no longer able to register for the New York Marathon. Then we saw what the first marathon was, and it turned out to be the Memphis Marathon.” After 82 marathons, Van Oorchot has managed to complete one in every state.
Van Orchot’s original goal was not to run a marathon in every state. “After running several marathons, I thought it would be fun to run the biggest marathons in the world.” The six major marathons in the world are also known as The Six Majors. These include the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo marathons. “After getting a medal for completing these marathons, I started looking for a new goal.”
When Van Oorchod ran his fiftieth marathon in total, he brought only the idea of completing a marathon in every US state. ”I started counting in Chicago how many states I’d already been to, and at that point it was twenty. I was pushed for a while as a goal to complete this feat by some American runners I had met in previous marathons.
The marathon runner has five more marathons planned for next year. “I’m going back to the US in April to run another marathon, but I haven’t set any goals.”
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