Too many hills and strong winds meant that Dirk van Oerschott (61) from Loosbroek missed his fiftieth marathon in the USA this weekend. But the feat makes him the first non-American to run a marathon in all fifty US states.
Achieving this milestone was actually already planned for early October, but Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Last minute cancellation due to heat in Minneapolis. Dirk returned home with the entire family without a title Fifty-state runner.
This weekend it happened anyway. in Mankato, Minnesota. He finished second in his age group in 3 hours and 39 minutes. Dirk is a contented man, he says a day later from his hotel room.
“In the last ten kilometers I relaxed my head. I thought: now I’m going to enjoy it.”
“This marathon is something special. You’ve been in awe all week: ‘Now it’s going to happen’. You’re in a festive mood and the icing is on the cake. But you’re just at the beginning, and it still has to happen.”
He notices that before the match he is more busy with other things than the match. “I had to work harder, but in the last ten kilometers I relaxed my head. I thought: now I’m going to enjoy it.”
In those last kilometers, he was accompanied by runners from America who knew him, and the party atmosphere grew. “So something goes through your mind. You’ve seen every corner of America for fifteen years, and then you win: that’s pretty special.
“I’m going to run and I won’t look at my watch until the first ten kilometers.”
Because Dirk now belongs to the club of runners who have run marathons in every US state. There are about 1,200 Americans before him, but none outside of the US. The retired businessman has run 83 marathons in his lifetime.
“My strategy has been the same for all marathons: I start running and for the first ten kilometers I don’t look at my watch to see where I’m going.
He usually engages in sports like walking or cycling. “Be careful with the body. I have never missed a match due to injury.”
Before its official status ‘Fifty State Runner’ Achieving this, he has to do some more administration. He sent the results and evidence of 49 marathons he had run in the United States to a law firm in New Mexico.
“They have checked and approved it. Now I have to send the last marathon proof. The result of the marathon has to be approved by the athletics association. If everything goes well, I will get my official certificate in two weeks.
But it didn’t stop. For a cup of glass is being prepared for him that cannot be sent, but will be delivered to him personally. “Next year in April I will come back here to run a marathon and then take the trophy home.”
Dirk Runs a Marathon in Every US State: ‘Still Gotta Go’
Dirk ran a marathon in every US state, but the last one was canceled
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