Darin Partridge started running the way many of us do. He wanted to lose weight and he wanted to inspire his son to do the same.
“My teenage son and I struggled with weight problems for years,” said Partridge. “My wife and I had a secret evil plan for me to cut calories and increase my exercise. We hoped that if I was successful at weight loss my son would join me.”
The plan worked and in six months of running, father and son lost almost 75 pounds each.
“I was also at a point in my life where I really needed a goal,” said Partridge. “I had already done two marathons and a couple of half marathons in Utah and Wyoming. So I thought, why not run one in every state?”
Partridge lives in Logan Utah, but the 49-year old works for a software company and spends a lot of time in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Washington, DC. “I tell people that if you are in these cities and willing to give up a weekend, you can get to any race in the country. Most of the races I did weren’t pre-planned. I just saw the opportunity and took it.
While trail races only made up twenty-five percent of Partridge’s 50 half marathons, they were his favorites, especially the XTERRA Oak Mountain 20K. He chose it for his 18th race because it was a trail race that happened to be a good stop on his way to Florida.
“I’m so glad I stopped,” said Partridge. “I loved the small town feel of the race. And what made it even better was that my 20-year old daughter joined me for our first and only road trip togther. On the way to Pelham, we played music and sang along together as loudly as we could.”
He has recorded this story – as well as 49 others – in his e-book, “Running America: One Man's Half Marathon Journey Through Every State in the Nation.” He also has a six-minute YouTube video that includes footage from each race.
“This experience completely changed my life,” said Partridge. “First, I lost 70 pounds. But even better was that there are fantastic people all over this country. Kindness and graciousness abound, no matter where you are. I just love running. “
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