Well, I’ve made it through 5 half marathons in 5 days AND 5 recap posts in 5 days!!! I feel pretty darn proud of BOTH accomplishments. Ha!

If you want to read my previous recaps for the Center of the Nation Series just use these links:

Part 1: Mt. Rushmore and North Dakota race
Part 2: South Dakota race
Part 3: Wyoming race
Part 4: Montana race

This brings us to our final marathon/half marathon in Chadron, Nebraska.
We drove straight to Chadron after completing our marathon/half marathon in Montana and checked into a glorious Hampton Inn with some desperately needed FREE WiFi and a nice little restaurant next door called the Country Kitchen (where I had my one and only serving of pancakes the entire trip!). It’s the simple pleasures!

After a good night’s sleep we were off to Chadron State Park which was just about 10 minutes away.


This was our first “loop” course of the week. Many runners initially were worried that we wouldn’t get to see as much of each other as we did with the “out and back” courses which had become one of the best parts of the week. But then Clint, the most fabulous race organizer said we could switch directions! How awesome is that?! And so our big happy family still had multiple opportunities for cheering each other even as we ran at different paces, directions and lengths.

A couple of pre race photos:


Getting ready to run the final 13.1 (Hey that rhymes!)


Mike and Lisa

Let me go back to Wednesday for just a moment. After completing their 26.2, Mike and Lisa took their shoes off and planted them into an ice bath that had been set up using a child pool filled with ice and water.

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

All of a sudden Mike realized he had a very big blister on his toe right under the toenail. OUCHIE! It was so bad that he actually went to the medical area where an EMT tended to it and gave him some gauze.


He later added duct tape to his arsenal of “dressings” as he was told that it is a great way to protect compromised skin and good thing because there were more than just the 1 blister. After further examination he had more of those little suckers. So now fast forward 2 days (and about 50 miles later) and with less than 3 miles to go the pain got so unbearable that he decided he just HAD to remove his shoe. We were all in AWE that not only did he run with one shoe off and one on for the last couple of miles, but we couldn’t keep up!

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

Roger, Mike and Lisa were ahead of me after the first loop but waited at the aid station for me so that we could run together for the final day. I am so glad that they did. This course was very hilly! I mean we’re talking Mt. Killamanjaro steep! (ok slightly exaggerating). We walked up the hills and then ran everywhere else. The course went through a wooded area that we called “the enchanted forest”

The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest

At the top of the big hill we got to see our “turnaround crew”. Lisa gave them a hug on her final loop to thank them for all that they had done to help.

Finally! The "turnaround guys" (AKA the "ice guys")

Finally! The “turnaround guys” (AKA the “ice guys”)

I finished my half with the same time as the day before (2:38) and then went to collect my goodies….


and this time i am REALLY FINISHED!


HAPPY GIRL! 5 half marathons in 5 days COMPLETE!


a bumpersticker…

65.5 miles done!

65.5 miles done!

and the final state medal as well as a bonus crystal medal for completing all 5…

Nebraska....finish time....state medal...crystal medal

Nebraska….finish time….state medal…crystal medal

oh, right, and my celebratory cupcake…

I love sweets!

I love sweets!

When the rest of my team was coming up on their last loop (the loop that Mike ran with his duct tape thong) I jumped in and joined them for their final miles. I ran ahead to get some really great finishing photos…


Roger, Lisa and Elvia DONE! 131 miles in 5 days…they are DA BOMB!


this hug says it all!


Elvia and Lisa with their new friend Clyde


They DID IT!!! 5 FULL MARATHONS in 5 states in 5 days!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!


that’s a long medal!


the fancy shmancy crystal finishers medal

There was one last thing to do before driving back to our cabin to pack…


all done….lay down dead and head back to South Dakota


Nebraska was a great day!

We returned to the cabin, drank some champagne and packed up. What a sense of accomplishment!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!


Back at the cabin and after a glass (or two or three) of champagne I started to do a cheer routine until I realized I’ve never been a cheerleader. LOL!





a vignette of memories

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the week. I laughed. I cried. I reached personal goals and I was inspired by so many. I made new friends and found out more about the amazing friends I traveled with. With just 5 weeks to spare before turning 40 I squeezed in seeing Mt. Rushmore which was on my bucket list, and proved to myself that I AM an endurance runner. Not just a recreational hobby but a deeper thread that makes me who I am. It’s taken a while to get here. Always felt like I was impersonating a runner. But now I truly feel it. I look forward to many more wild and crazy journeys.


Question: Do you like adventurous vacations or more relaxing ones? How many State line signs have you had your picture taken at? Bucket list items?