McKean set to complete 50 marathons in 50 states

first_imgMonmouth Regional teacher to complete rare feat in September On Sept. 26, Peggy McKean, a resident of Tinton Falls, will travel to Omaha, Neb., to participate in yet another marathon. This marathon, however, is special because it will conclude McKean’s pursuit of “the 50 states,” a feat that is completed once a runner finishes a full marathon (26.2 miles) in every state. “It has been a fun trek, but it hasn’t been easy,” said McKean, who has been a teacher at Monmouth Regional High School for 10 years. “But I figured I could do this if others are in a lot more pain.” McKean began this undertaking at the age of 30when she ran her firstmarathon, the Jersey Shore Marathon in 2000. She will conclude her pursuit of running 50 marathons in 50 states one month before her 40th birthday, but she originally considered 20 years to be a realistic time frame to finish “I just thought to myself that I should set this goal of 50 states before age 50. I soon realized that I could do this much quicker, and everything fell into place,” she said. The pace at which McKean is willing to cross off states from her list is particularly astounding. Based on her plans, she will have completed 23 marathons in 2010, and she ran in 14 marathons last year. McKean recently checked Utah off her list and will head to Oregon, Alaska and Kansas before finishing her 50-state journey in Nebraska. Once she finishes the marathon in Nebraska, McKean will be only the second female from New Jersey to ever accomplish this exclusive feat. “It’s pretty amazing,” she said. In preparation for these marathons, McKean attends exercise classes and runs with other members of the Jersey Shore Running Club. A member of numerous running clubs, McKean has been an active member of the Jersey Shore Running Club for over 20 years. She is also part of a group called Marathon Maniacs, and she often meets fellow “Maniacs” along her journeys giving her an opportunity to share her experience with other runners. “It is really your extended family. I now have good friends in different states, and we understand each other,” McKean explained. “It is nice to talk about [running] and find out what you should do on these trips.” The trips themselves are unique experiences that if it were not for the marathons, Peggy McKean would never have been able to take part in. “I probably never would have gone to these places,” said McKean, who named Mount Rushmore and the French Quarter of New Orleans as two of her favorite sites. “I want to enjoy myself and see different things.” However, with these trips comes a price tag. “It’s an expensive hobby but a good one,” she said. “I have learned to do things by myself. I’ve learned to find my own way.” Back at home, McKean can’t help but plan her next long journey. “In the future, I want to run marathons on other continents as some of my friends have,” she said. “I would like to go to Africa and Rio, and, believe it or not, there is a marathon in Antarctica.” BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent last_img read more