Dirk van Orchot (60) should have reached a unique milestone this weekend: he has been trying to run marathons in all fifty US states for years. On Sunday he was scheduled to run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, marking Minnesota as the final state. But things took a turn for the worse: two hours before the start, the event was abruptly canceled due to heat. “I was very disappointed and my family also came to America.”
Dirk started running marathons in 2007 at the age of 44. He was often in America and to get to know his foreign colleagues better, he thought it would be a good idea to run the Memphis Marathon together in the state of Tennessee. Brabander outmaneuvered him, but was completely exhausted.
He didn’t really want to run any marathons after that, but when his American colleagues asked him to participate in Amsterdam, he declined. And then he really hung up on it. Especially after Dirk retired, he ran 42.2 kilometers back to back.
“I am the first non-American to reach this milestone.”
It was in Las Vegas that he first heard about the so-called 50-state charter. This is a gift for anyone who runs a marathon in all fifty states of the United States. “I am the first non-American to reach this milestone.”
That should have happened Sunday in Minneapolis. But with temperatures around 32 degrees, the organization decided to cancel the marathon. “Once it gets above thirty degrees, the black flag goes off and it’s done,” says Dirk.
“I’ve run ten marathons and it was at least warm.”
If it was up to him personally, he would have started in Minneapolis. “I’ve run 82 marathons now, and ten of them were at least warm.” Yet he understands the end of the system. “They take responsibility when things go wrong.”
So Dirk will have to wait a little longer for the 50-state certification he wants to get in Minneapolis. “It’s one of the ten biggest marathons in America, and my family came with the kids. I’ve been working toward it for years.”
“Too bad, this is just the first time.”
Although Loosbrock’s runner was in the pocket and in the ashes, he can also put it into perspective. “After all the marathons I’ve run, this has to happen once. It was canceled first, and it’s a shame that it’s happening now. This should have been the crowning glory of my career.”
There are more marathons in the state of Minnesota, but Dirk can’t run just one race if he wants to earn that 50-state certification. “An outdoor marathon does not count. It must be officially recognized by the Athletic Association and fall under the 50-state marathons.” That leaves two more prospects in Minnesota this year.
“I will finish this work this year.”
Even though Dirk is already on his way home, he has a fighting spirit. “We are looking forward and looking for a solution. I will complete this work, preferably this year.” On Saturday, October 21, he still wants to achieve the 50-state certification during the Mankato Marathon. “But first the Eindhoven half marathon next weekend with family and friends.”
read more: Dirk Runs a Marathon in Every US State: ‘Still Gotta Go’
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