Dirk Runs a Marathon in Every US State: ‘Two More to Go’

Dirk aan het trainen in Loosbroek (Privéfoto)

Running a marathon is already an achievement for most, but Dirk van Oerskot (60) from Loosbroek raised the bar even further. He wants to run a marathon in every US state. Fifty in total. He ran his 48th in Maine last Sunday. “After the first one I thought: I’ll never do this again.”

“The idea came about in 2007,” says Dirk from his hotel room in the US state of Maine. He was often in America for his work. “I thought participating in a marathon together would be a great way to get to know my foreign colleagues better.”

“I was too tired to eat.”

Back in Loosebrook he began training hard, and half a year later he ran in Memphis, Tennessee. This was his first marathon.

It wasn’t an instant success, Turk says with a laugh. “None of us had ever walked. We went to a restaurant, but I was too tired to eat. I was completely devastated. The Americans laughed a little at me.

Dirk finished after its first time, but when his colleagues asked if he could come to Amsterdam for the second round, he didn’t want to introduce himself. That’s how he got hooked: “I started liking it. In no time I ran ten marathons.”

“It really introduces you to the country.”

It was only when Dirk retired that it really started to take off. “I wanted to run marathons in special places and rough terrain.” He ran in Chile, Australia, Japan and took one on each continent.

In Las Vegas he ran his fiftieth marathon overall. “It was at night, because of the heat. Very special.” It’s also where he first heard about the 50-state charter: a prize for anyone who runs a marathon in one of America’s fifty states.” At that point I had done 25 states.” Dirk was the first non-American to do this. Achieving efficiency.

He decided that if he continued at this rate, but only in states he had never been to, he would go there himself. And it worked. “All I need is Minneapolis and Vermont,” Turk says proudly.

“I’m not going to set a milestone like that anymore.”

To keep up, you need to know your body, says the seasoned runner. He doesn’t want to take it easy once he reaches his goal. “But I don’t want to set a milestone like this anymore. Sometimes it feels like an obligation. I’m so close now. You don’t want anything to go wrong, like an injury, a canceled flight or the corona. Again.”

If all goes well, Dirk will run his 49th and 50th marathons after the summer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top