2014 Race Schedule

In 2013, I mapped out the vast majority of my races for one purpose: to ramp-up to the North Country 50-miler.  While that race wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, the training leading up to it was more than worthwhile.  2014 won’t be quite as structured as I don’t have a singular epic event that will dominate my every interval run.  There is an ultra in the mix, but it won’t require as much all-encompassing focus as last year’s top race.

2014 will be about filling in some of the gaps.  With the South completely done, there are just three areas left to finish: the west, the northeast and the two pesky states not attached to the remaining 48.  This year I will be running two of the four remaining “western” states, but mostly I’ll be tackling the Atlantic Coast.

And so, while this list is far from exhaustive or definitive, it is how I envision my 2014 looking from a race standpoint.  I haven’t signed up for all of them – in fact, I have only signed up for two – but I don’t envision them selling out anytime soon.  Yes, I realize those are famous last words, but this is just to serve as a disclaimer.  Please let me know if you will be joining me for any of the races below, as it will definitely motivate me to sign up sooner!


February 2, 2014
Miami, Florida

2014 will start with my very first charity marathon.  On November 25, 2013, my uncle Daniel Robert Bonilla died from complications stemming from glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant and extremely aggressive brain tumor.  He was there with me in 2010 and 2011 when I ran the half marathon distance in Miami, so I decided that in 2014 my twentieth marathon would be in Miami in his loving memory.  Given Miami’s propensity for intense heat and humidity, even in the first weekend in February, it will be a challenge to finish this one in under four hours without succumbing to dehydration.  Although it won’t be easy, I hope to channel Tío Daniel’s lasting memory and legacy with every step.


April 6, 2014
St. Louis, Missouri

I ran the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in 2010 with my cousin and enjoyed it, despite Olive Road squashing my speed with its seemingly interminable incline.  Like Miami, I decided to return this year and run the full marathon, thus shading another nearby state in red.  Although I don’t have speedy ambitions for this race, I will try and run aggressively and build a solid base to  threaten my PR later in the year.


May 3, 2014
Shiprock, New Mexico

I’ve run three desert races, one of which was a marathon, and have loved all of them.  Given the climate and the course’s net downhill elevation, this one seemed like a no-brainer.  I’m still a little unsure as to how hot it will be in early May, but I don’t plan on killing this course, so I’m not too worried.  Plus, if I fly into Albuquerque (just under 3 hours away), it will give me a chance to visit all the sets of Breaking Bad, like everyone is doing these days.  Forgive me for following trends.


May 10, 2014
Fulton, Maryland

Admittedly, I’m at the point in my 50-states quest where I no longer have a reason to run certain races.  Some of these races simply exist in states that I have never visited, so I find one and decide to run it (which is made most apparent by the fact that each race is basically the name of the state in which it is run).  But in the interest of trimming the budget, I decided to once again double-up on states.  However, unlike my Pacific Northwest Double-Marathon Weekend of 2013, I won’t be doing 52.4 miles this time.  Instead, I will be running 39.3 – a half marathon on Saturday in Maryland, followed by …

May 11, 2014
Wilmington, Delaware

2014-Marathon-Layout-Vert-with-CC-logo… a full marathon in Delaware on Sunday.  This is another race that I don’t know that much about, but fit nicely with my schedule.  In fact, a lot of these states don’t have particular significance to me but I do have friends who live in the area, so I will no doubt make it a point to visit them in the process.  There have been very few races that I have simply run without some sort of personal attachment and I don’t intend to make this pair succumb to that fate.  That way, when I’m done with my 50-states journey, I’ll have great stories for each one.  Even Delaware.





June 21, 2014
Dayton, Wyoming

Dayton, Wyoming is a tiny western town with a population that barely cracks 1,000.  But it’s the closest example of civilization that I could find to the Bighorn Trail Run course, which peaks at around 9,000 feet.  Sometime last year I realized that my two ultramarathons were being run in states that I had already completed, so I figured that my next huge race should at least net me another state.  If I’m going to put hundreds of miles running hills on the treadmill, I might as well get a new state out of it.  Pickings were slim in the flat states, so I decided to go crazy and do one at altitude.  Along the way, Otter, Marla and Jay (80% of the North Country crew) joined as well.

October 4, 2014
Bristol, New Hampshire

NHmarathongrayscale.jpgI will definitely regret doing another 39.3-mile weekend if the first one above doesn’t go well.  Regardless, my trips to New England will once again be minimized with a double-up.  Saturday will start with a half marathon in what is regarded as “the most beautiful race in the Northeast” (and one I have hitherto never visited) followed by …



October 5, 2014
Portland, Maine

logo… a marathon in Portland, Maine.  Curiously enough, it will be happening on the exact same day as the marathon in the other Portland, which I ran in 2013.  With this state done, I will be at forty-two states, with the potential for a forty-third in November.  I haven’t made any commitments but I do anticipate squeezing out another run in the last two months of the year, leaving just a few empty spots on the map before the last states to ever join the union are run in 2016.

So there you have it, my 2014 race schedule.  It’s pretty straightforward, focusing mostly on marathons with the half distance only making an appearance (for now) as a prelude to the full distance just 24 hours afterward.  I was originally going to run the 50-mile distance at Bighorn to vindicate my DNF from this past year, but then I ran 4 miles at 4,000 feet and, while wheezing from oxygen debt, decided that an additional 46 at twice the elevation might not be what some call “intelligent.”  So while some may call us crazy, there is still a point at which the runner’s ego hits a wall.  The 50-mile distance still taunts me though, but I will likely table my next attempt for another year.

What’s on the 2014 docket for you?  What’s the one big race that will monopolize your training?  Is there a race that you would love to run this year, but for whatever reason, you can’t?  Mine is Berlin.  Goddamn I want to run that.

About Dan
Running a marathon in all 50 states because there's no better way to explore the world around you than on your own two feet, for as long as you can, until you hate yourself and everything around you. Then you stop, get a medal, and start over.

19 Responses to 2014 Race Schedule

  1. Jen says:

    Funny, the Maryland Half Marathon is only a few miles up the road from where I went to high school (Burtonsville). Anyway, good luck with your quest this year! I don’t have any particular races that I wish I was doing in 2014, but I’ll join you in being jealous of Mike who gets to run Berlin.

    • Dan says:

      Stupid Mike and Stupid Otter who got in. I was in a car full of people who had all applied and NOBODY was awarded a spot. Lotteries are the worst. Why can’t every major marathon require us to type out our credit card number as fast as possible while 80,000 other users crash their servers? Oh well. I guess this’ll just make it that much more rewarding when we finally get to go right?

  2. Looks like a good lineup! I know some people who have done Bighorn. BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY! You’re in for a treat!

    • Dan says:

      I’ve heard great things, and the pictures they have on their website are truly wondrous. It’ll be a challenge with the thin air, but that’s why we do these things, right? Thanks for the encouragement, Jeff.

  3. Amy says:

    New Mexico looks forward to welcoming you! Shiprock is on my “maybe” list for this year (initially it was going to be my goal race, but I’ve since changed my mind), so perhaps we will see you there!

    Right now, it’s looking like Eugene for our goal race, but I’m also considering Philadelphia since a sister just moved there. After the big hullabaloo this weekend, I WISH I had run Disney World, and I’m sure I’ll be sad when we don’t get drawn (again) for New York.

    Good luck in Miami!

    • Dan says:

      Do let me know if you and Aaron are planning on rocking the ship, because it’d be great to meet up and have a beer afterwards. And you might have missed it in your slight blogger absence toward the end of the year, but I ran Philly in November. If it is your target race, do stop by and read my thoughts on it for ultimate preparedness: https://dans-marathon.com/2013/11/21/2013-philadelphia-marathon/

      New York, Schmew York, go for Disney — it’s 40x more fun, slightly cheaper and you don’t get kicked out of Central Park at the end of the race.

  4. johnsandwich says:

    I’m completing my current goal in February, deus volent, and then I’m going to do more half marathons, but I’m pointing to a weekend in October, when I hope to get my trainer and running coach into Marathon Maniacs by completing Kansas City and Des Moines back to back. I really want to Run Crazy Horse.

    • Dan says:

      Crazy Horse was beautiful — I definitely recommend it. However, the second half of the marathon was pretty brutal, so if you want a fun jaunt through the woods, stick to the half. And if you can, stay in Hill City instead of Rapid City. The former is a fun western town while the other is as nondescript as cities get.

  5. Mike says:

    How great is it to see your entire year laid out so neatly before you? Three things jump out at me re: your 2014 schedule: 1) your busy eight days in May [keep that foam roller handy!], 2) your lone trail race in the summer, and 3) the disappointingly low likelihood of our paths crossing at another race this year. Definitely jealous about that Bighorn 50K… Wyoming is beautiful wide-open country, and hopefully you’ll leave some time for either Yellowstone to the west or Devils Tower to the east. And maybe by the time you get to Wyoming, Otter will have posted his Leavenworth and Portland recaps.

    Speaking of Yellowstone, the one race I really wish I could run this year would be the Yellowstone-Teton 50-miler that starts in Idaho. Unfortunately it falls the week before Berlin, so that one’s on the shelf for 2014. But with a little luck the stars will align in 2015, and if you’re still looking for another 50-miler come next September…

    Now, after your closing ode to Berlin, I feel the need to either wreck my PR come September or not show my face back in the states. But that’s admittedly the One Big Race that will be monopolizing my training come summer… and I can only imagine how through-the-roof my adrenaline will be when that starter’s gun finally goes off.

    Onwards and (in the case of Wyoming) upwards… that 2014 year-end recap will be here before you know it!

    • Dan says:

      Well, we WOULD have run Berlin together had those asshats not decided to make it a lottery this year. I struggle to fathom what the sport will look like in 2022. If trends continue, will every major city have an over-bloated marathon that only 10% of entrants can dream of running? Will we be relegated to rural county, public park marathons in their inaugural year? Or is this just me being petulant?

      Regardless, it’s going to be an excellent year. I could run 10 neighborhood half marathons and enjoy myself, so the fact that Berlin didn’t choose me this year isn’t a bad thing. Plus, I haven’t made any November/December plans so there’s still a chance we might tear it up.

      And you’re right about that 2014 recap — I feel like the years are flying by faster than ever, which is more than I can say about my tempo pace these days …

  6. MedalSlut says:

    I too missed out on a Berlin place. As did practically everyone else I know that tried, apart from a husband who had to give up his place because his wife wasn’t as lucky (and would kill him if he went). Instead, I’m going to Amsterdam. You’ll need to start a big list of international races to tick off once you’ve completed your 50 states challenge!

    • Dan says:

      That comment makes me kind of glad that my wife doesn’t run. If BOTH of us had to get into races via lottery that’d kill our chances of ever running any major marathon. She’s just happy to visit new cities without, you know, the 6-month training load.

      And you KNOW I want to hit up the European racing circuit. I’d love to backpack around the continent from early April to late May and hit up a different 1/2 or full every weekend. It’s that typical 19-to-24-year old dream but with endurance racing at its core. Like James Mitchener’s “Drifters” + Chris McDougall’s “Born to Run.”


      • MedalSlut says:

        Ha ha ha, I’ll try not to steal it as long as I can. Except in reality, I can’t live on gross, cheap food like I could in my late teens, but I’m not rich enough to take time off work to travel on a whim and feed myself falafel, sushi, and prime cuts of steak for anything longer than…. oh…. say 4 days? So I reckon you’re safe.

        I’m also sort of glad that Ian doesn’t run (becase he’d smoke me at pretty much any distance, even if he was crawling, which is disgusting), although I am touched that he agreed to run a 30k race with me next month for my 30th. I think I snagged him with the fact that as the ‘St. Valentines’ run, you get a prize for running as a couple. Or possibly the threat of terminating our relationship.

  7. paullegard says:

    Great line up for 2014 Dan. I haven’t got as far as you yet with a schedule but Edinburgh, Scotland is my spring marathon. Still yet to decide on autumn. Possibly Frankfurt. Would have loved Berlin. I was under the impression we had a 2 to 1 chance but looks like lots of us were unsuccessful.

    • Dan says:

      I had that exact same feeling, but of all the people that I know that signed up, only 1 got in. I wonder if they gave secret preferential treatment to German nationals or if we’re all just rat unlucky. Regardless, Frankfurt would be fun. Or Amsterdam. Or Prague. Or the other multiple European options that I wish I could run on the cheap …

  8. Great list. Look forward to reading race reports.

  9. Awesome choices! I bookmarked this page. I’m going to look at my schedule (and my finances). I’m thinking maybe to do one of those too! Maybe one of the states I can drive to! (i.e. wyoming or new mexico!)

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve written a post like this before, but I’d be curious to know what your training is like. I REALLY want to be able to do more marathons a year than just one or two…and I REALLY REALLY want to join the marathon maniacs (which is minimum of 3 marathons in 3 months). Right now I’m recovering from knee pain and reading this excellent book “run less, run faster” focused on adding in cross training and strength training to running, to train for a marathon, etc. There’s only 3 key workouts a week, plus two cross training…anyway, my point is I’m just curious how you train and recover!

    • Dan says:

      It’d be great to meet up! Both New Mexico and Wyoming will prove challenging but fun, so let me know if you end up considering those. As for training tips, thanks for the post suggestion. I might put one together, but I’m not sure how useful it will be. The entire post could be boiled down to “get used to pain.” I think the biggest tip I could offer here would simply be to engage in the art of active recovery — run 3 easy miles the day after a marathon, or do 30 minutes on the bike the day after a long run. Once your body begins to endure through the heavier loads, it’ll make running multiple marathons in a year much easier.

      Disclaimer: “easier” does not mean “easy” — just “less grueling.”

      Keep me posted on your race plans!

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