Bruce Edwards joins the 50 States Marathon Club

I’ve known Bruce Edwards for a long time, so when the opportunity came for me to write about his induction into the “50 States Marathon Club” I quickly took it.

I met Bruce in 2000 when I started working at FLEET FEET.  He came into our (then St. Peters) store and the other employees who had known him for many years were asking him how he was feeling.  I soon learned that a year or so before Bruce had fallen 40 feet while rock climbing and broken 20 bones.  “It’s amazing he’s even able to run”, my co-workers told me when he left.

Bruce not only recovered from that fall (which forced him to take his longest ever break from running: 1 year), but he went on to have many successful endurance races.  From marathons to full Ironmans, Bruce has surely logged his share of miles!  I was not at all surprised when he told me that he was on a mission to join the “50 States Marathon Club”.

In the end, I think Bruce was surprised that the journey was such an incredible one.  Having had a very solid racing resume when he made his decision to go after all 50 states, I’m sure he was thinking “How different can marathons really be?”  As I talked to him about his experiences with all of his races,however, I could see in his eyes as he recalled the miles that all of his marathons have indeed been different.  Some of them awesome; some of them not so great; but all of them memorable.  Bruce shared the following memories:

  • Began Running: 1991 (his goal was to run ONE marathon)
  • FLEET FEET Customer Since: 1993 (when the doors first opened)
  • First Road Race: the Saint Charles County Community College 10K
  • First Marathon: 1993 St. Louis Marathon
  • Most Scenic: Crater Lake Marathon
  • Most Favorite: Boston Marathon
  • Least Favorite: South Dakota
  • Favorite Race Medal: 2009 Rock n’ Roll New Orleans 
  • Special Marathons: Ran the 100th Boston in ’96 (his 3:15 was his fastest marathon); His 33rd marathon was the 33rd running of the Detroit Free Press Marathon; His 50th state was Hawaii (Honolulu Marathon).  He took his dad, who spent 3 years with the Navy in the Philippines.  Together, they remembered Pearl Harbor.
  • Slowest Marathon:  6:00 (part of an Ironman)
  • Average Finishing Time for all 50: 4:23
  • Back-to-Back Races: Bruce ran a marathon on Saturday in Hartford, CT, a marathon on Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, and then ran Rock n’ Roll, Saint Louis the very next weekend.

Bruce will travel to Oklahoma City in April of this year for the “50 States” induction ceremony.  Honolulu in December not only marked his 50th state, but it also marked his 95th marathon.  While he has no plans to do another Ironman, he does hope to tackle an ultramarathon or two, as well as the Lake Tahoe Triple Marathon (three marathons in three days!) this fall.  He's not excited about repeating any of the courses he’s already run, but he would like to go back and improve on some of his performances.  The marathon portion of Ironman Wisconsin comes to mind.  Given his success rate so far, it’s only a matter of time before Bruce is celebrating his next racing milestone. 

Godspeed, my friend.  The road awaits you!

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