Earlier this month, Dr. Tom Kimball, a long-time cardiologist in the Heart Institute, completed a personal quest to run a marathon in all 50 states.
He completed his 50th state marathon in Missoula, Montana on Sunday, July 15th, 2018. Only 1,407 other “crazy runners” (in his words!) have completed such a quest. His son and best friend ran it with him, and most of his family was there, in Montana, cheering him on.
He began running marathons nearly 40 years ago, his first in San Francisco, CA in 1979. The races were a lot different at that time. There weren’t water stations along the route, so his parents supported him by leapfrogging him in their car so they could hand him water and snacks every few miles.
After that first race, Dr. Kimball said he’d never run another – the pain was just too much. But he clearly changed his mind along the way.
While Montana was his 50th state, it was his 70th total marathon! He’s run Cincinnati’s Flying Pig sixteen times, Boston three times, Columbus twice and Chicago twice. In case you’re wondering, that is 1,834 miles total. Not to mention the thousands more he’s run in training.
When I asked him which had been his favorites along the way he said, “Disney was probably the most fun (if a marathon could ever be called fun!) because Disney knows how to entertain. We got to run through all the parks – running up Main Street towards Cinderella’s Castle was pretty cool.
Boston was a favorite just because it is such a benchmark for a runner to run in such an esteemed race. NYC was also a favorite because it is so diverse – running through all 5 boroughs. It is also where I was born and went to Medical School so it has some special meaning for me.
Finally, our own Flying Pig stands out because it is such a runner friendly race and is organized better than any other marathon and because it has been where my kids were able to support me and spectate.”
As for what’s next, he says he’s looking for other adventures – that are perhaps easier on his body! One potential next adventure is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but for now he’s planning a vacation that does not include running.
He will, of course, continue to run the Flying Pig each year!
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