This was my first full year of running 50-50-50. Last year I started in May and had completed nine states in eight months. As I continue with this journey and research as an urban sociologist and inequality scholar I’m starting to develop relationship with various runners and running communities. Plus I’m seeing urban and rural spaces in a different intersectional ways.

I know for a fact. I will always race on or around My Birthday, My mother's birthday, Mother's Day, and my Mother's passing day.

Getting There

Compared to 2015 when I first started, I drove to all eight states. Indiana was the only one I flew to. This year there was a lot of flying, renting cars, and taking the bus.  The only state I drove to was Delaware.

This year I wasn’t( totally) a sole runner. My dad was my travel companion for four states ( Mississippi, Alabama, Michigan, Kentucky). I was able to visit with my friends and family members( Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Alabama)  that I hadn’t seen forever. For many of the races, Flying into Cincinnati was my home base and my dad and I would drive to neighboring states together( Kentucky, Michigan).

First New State: Delaware

I knew nothing about Wilmington, Delaware. I saw surprise by the large African-American population that was there. It reminded me of Baltimore with housing. Very southern and mid-Atlantic. This was my first mother's day race as well

  First Birthday Race: Kentucky

42 = the Kentucky Derby mini marathon. I had never been to Louisville, Kentucky. Usually its Lexington. This was a true urban race. A special moment was running in Churchill downs and running on the track. I remember it started to rain while we saw horses running in their pen area and my friends who were tracking me in live time leaving me messages as I was running.

On an aside my dad and I went to the Muhammad Ali museum. First time for the both of us. Shortly after the race Muhammad Ali had passed away. It was a great moment. Then I flew on a plane to Boston and drove start to a birthday party that I was having. That was a crazy day.

First Back to Back.

I know as I get closer to the 50 state goal, there will be more back to back races in my future. This was my first. Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday and Mobile, Alabama on Sunday.  For a state capital Jackson ,I thought it was more of a small town. I had never seen so many potholes in the streets. That race it rained. I had to focus on the pot holes and the rain.  The next day we drove to Mobile, the home of Mardi Gras-who knew,  and it was super cold.

First Time Hitting a Wall

 My body was not ready for a back to back. It was neat to see all the houses decorated with Mardi Gras colors and flags. I had never seen anything like it. At some point by body just stopped. I felt extremely heavy and just couldn't run. To mark that moment I told a selfie. First time doing that. I felt physically and mentally defeated. I took a moment and rallied back.

Southern Shout Out for one of the Best Crowds and Route Foods.

The folks in Mississippi were tailgating while we ran. People were on their yards in Pjs, drinking, offering up drinks, and bands that played along the race route were selling CD's. How does that work when your running.

Louisiana-  New Orleans had one of the best crowds and amazing food and drinks that I couldn't eat. Bastards. People offered Beignets, whiskey, BBQ. This was my first large race with over 15,000 people. It was super fun and the weather was perfect.

This was also the first time for me the race's start and finish were not in the same place. We had to take a bus to get back to the starting point because the finish line was so far away

Cousin Running LOVE

Louisiana and Philadelphia I hooked up with my hard core California running cousin. I hadn't seen my cousin in over 20 years. New Orleans is where we connected and Philly we stayed together. I loved hanging with her and her running hardcore Californians. Looking forward to running with them next year

Alma Mater Happiness: Ohio and Virginia

In 2015 I made sure these states I would run at my Alma maters. I hadn't been back to Ohio University in over 20 years and Virginia Tech 11 years. It was like a homecoming. The memories, feeling, emotions, and connections I have there were overwhelming and real.

International Race, Best Weather, and the most security : Detroit, Michigan

To run to Canada and then come back to the US via a tunnel was something totally new. The first started off uphill and hard. We ran across the Ambassador Bridge to another country.  I remember the announcer saying" welcome to Canada, your safe now". LOL.

This race I had to carry my passport with me. There was border patrol, US police, Canadian police on land, air, and water.

Panic Attack Moment: Going underneath the Tunnel from Canada to the US I panicked a bit. I went from open fresh air and space to a tight enclosed area. It got hot, the lighting was bad, and I couldn't see where I was. I had to keep calming myself down. I thought if I faint, how will anybody get to me because we are enclosed down here.

Most Racially and Ethnically Diverse Race: Detroit. Part of it has to do with the population of Detroit and being next to international Canada. That was refreshing.

Best Medals: Virginia and Mississippi

Worst Medals: Ohio

Hardest Race, First Dog, Love of Shape of the STATE: Minnesota

I ran around one of the 10,000 lakes but it was all uphill around the lake. That was the most painful race. And we can add the June hotness in addition to the uphills around the lake. And I have to add, Minnestoans' love the shape of their state. EVERYWHERE I went, from hats, logos, billboards, shirts, signs, even the medal...They Love their Minnesota Shape of State

Pepper was got tired watching me came to support. LOL

 Best Friend Support: Illinois and Minnesota

I got to see two of my girlfriends that I don't get to visit much. They were amazing hostesses.  Plus they got up with me for my crack of dawn runs and cheered me on along the route and finish line. Plus we got to catch up and hang out.

Best Time for the Year and Last Race of 2016: Maryland 1:57:19

2017 KiCK Off

State #21: Maryland

State #21: Maryland