One state left: Arizona man runs a marathon in all 50 states, and on all 7 continents

Sep 28, 2015, 5:50 AM
65-year-old marathon runner Mark Dangerfield of Mesa. (Photo by Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon & Hal...
65-year-old marathon runner Mark Dangerfield of Mesa. (Photo by Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon & Half-Marathon)
(Photo by Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon & Half-Marathon)
LISTEN: Marathon goal

An Arizona man has one race left before he has completed a marathon or ultra-marathon on all seven continents and in all 50 states.

“Many people when they hear me talk about it sort of groan and say, ‘must be hard to get out of bed to run every morning and train,’” said 65 year-old Mesa resident Mark Dangerfield. “I say, ‘no, no, quite the contrary, I enjoy it.’”

After a bout with cancer left him bed-ridden, Dangerfield started running marathons 11 years ago. 74 races, and around 2,000 miles later, his goal is nearly complete.

And he has never not finished.

“It’s sort of a point of pride with me, that I’ve enjoyed good health,” he said. “I’ve been blessed enough that once I start the race, I’ve been able to finish all of them.”

Dangerfield is very competitive and though he said he has no delusions about being the overall champ, he does try to beat those in his age group. His top personal time is 3 hours and 22 minutes, (Snickers Marathon, Albany Georgia in 2008) and his worst time was 5 hours, 13 minutes at the Antarctica Marathon.

“Actually it wasn’t the cold (36 degrees) that was the issue, the problem was the wind,” he said, “There’s a fair amount of hills in that marathon, so you’re running in mud, with the wind.

The last state is Missouri. Dangerfield will run that race and complete the goal Oct. 17.

“We intend to have all our children and grandchildren there in Kansas City, to cheer me on at the end there,” he said.  “It’s really sort of an entry into a new beginning, as opposed to the end of an era in my view.”

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One state left: Arizona man runs a marathon in all 50 states, and on all 7 continents