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A marathon times five

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There aren’t words in the English language that begin to tell of the experience one local man recently encountered. Norm Duesterhoeft of Neshkoro traveled to Bowman, ND; Belle Fourche, SD; Colony, WY; Albion, MT and Chadron, NE with the sole purpose of running marathons. One-hundred thirty-one miles worth of running, all within 5 days.

Mainly Marathons planned this Center of the Nation series of marathons with the excessive distance runner in mind. Running five marathons in five states in five days is not for a speed runner looking to set a new personal record (PR), rather it is the opportunity to run a marathon in each state in an easy manner. On their web site, Mainly Marathons state, “Where quantity is more important than speed. Where finishing is more important than finishing first.”

After Duesterhoeft ran the 2012 Boston Marathon he adjusted his running goals to run a marathon in each of the fifty states. In the approximately year and a half he has been working toward his goal he has finished 27 states, with 23 remaining. Each marathon is unique, weather conditions have an impact, terrain plays a factor, but none compare to a series.

The series, comprised of nearly 200 runners each day, affords the opportunity to make fast friends with the other participants. After everyone has crossed the finish line the entire group packs up, travels an hour or so to the next state just to start again the next day. The group resembles a traveling circus. Some of the courses are in the middle of nowhere making it easy to get lost. Just when you have convinced yourself you missed a turn you see a row of porta-potties on the horizon and then you know you are in the right place.

Mainly Marathons does a superb job taking care of their volunteers and runners. A typical course is a mile out & back meaning the runners run laps. When they return to the start area they are greeted with an aid station that is not typical of other marathons. Mainly Marathons is known for the food available to runners at every lap, from sandwiches and olives to potato chips or candy, runners are not going to experience hunger while on the course and they have the energy they need to meet their goal of 5 in 5.

Want to try something different? Want to try your hand at a similar challenge? Check out their web site at



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