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Teacher Reaches Goal of Running a Marathon in All 50 States

Teacher Reaches Goal of Running a Marathon in All 50 States

Pittsburgh teacher Jeffery Ward has spent 12 years outside of school hours to accomplish an incredible goal.

Ward has run more than 50 marathons as part of his goal to run a marathon in every state, according to an article on USAToday High School Sports.

“Years ago, before I was a teacher, I was an engineer and my boss at the time had run the London Marathon. I had looked at his [marathon scrapbook]. That’s how I started running.” said Ward, a chemistry teacher, in the article.

Ward said he was inspired when he saw "another runner with an unusual t-shirt. The t-shirt had the abbreviations of all the states on it with some crossed out. Ward learned that there was a group called the 50 Marathoners Group. If an individual ran a race in at least 10 states, he/she could join the club."

“That’s how it all started. I saw some guy at the end of one of the Pittsburgh Marathons have this shirt on and had some of the states marked out–and I wanted to try and do that,” Ward said.

This past summer, "he was able to complete his 50-state goal when he ran a marathon in Hawaii."

“It took about 12 years, I thought it was going to take longer,” Ward said. Ward said the best part of the races is "finishing and getting the medal."

According to the article, his most memorable races were "in the state he didn't have to travel to."

“Although going to Alaska and Hawaii were memorable for various reasons, I think that my most memorable marathon will always be the Pittsburgh Marathon,” he said. “I have completed this race eight times and every time I look forward to running through the streets on which I have trained, seeing students like the Shaler Area Track and Field team’s water stop at mile 4 or 5, and seeing colleagues at mile 20 in Highland Park or at the finish line. But most importantly, the 2001 Pittsburgh Marathon was my first marathon, something that I will not forget.”

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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