Episode 64: 50 Marathons in 50 States
DHG partner, Michael Rauchwarg, accomplished a major milestone earlier this year when he crossed the finish line of a marathon in Hawaii. In true Energy for Life fashion, he had achieved his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states! In this podcast, Michael talks about his dedication, discipline, and what’s next on his to-do list.
Episode 64 Transcript:
AGH: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of our DHG podcast series. I’m Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear about the things that matter the most to us – our people, flexibility, and our careers.
Today, I am excited because I have a very special guest with me. One of our partners who has just completed a marathon in every state in the United States! His name is Michael Rauchwarg. I got a lesson on how to say his name before this recording! I’m excited to have you with us, Michael.
MR: Thank you, Alice Grey. It’s great to be here.
AGH: So, you just completed a marathon in every state. Tell me how you came up with this goal?
MR: I was running in the mid-2000’s, and by 2005 or 2006, I had completed my first marathon at Kiawah Island. I was part of a running team and one of my team members told me about the 50 States Marathon Club. I said, “I love it! Let’s do it,” and we did.
AGH: Wow. So it’s a club? Does that mean everybody goes to the same marathon each time? How does that work?
MR: There’s a large group called The 50 States Marathon Club, and there are about 5,000 members all over the country. Not all of them have completed marathons in all 50 states yet. We don’t all know each other, but we see one another sometimes and it’s kind of like a virtual club. In Asheville, I have a team of friends that I run with on a weekly basis.
AGH: Michael just mentioned he’s in Asheville, NC. For our listeners, if you’ve ever been to Asheville, you know that it’s lots of steep running. So Michael, your training had to have prepared you for anything. But was there ever a time that you wanted to give up, and if so, what helped you push forward?
MR: There were days when I was tired but I never really wanted to give up on the goal. What helps me get through is my team. That’s what’s so great about having a local running team, and even the bigger team. They are your family. My team here at DHG has been very supportive – my partners and my staff. I just couldn’t have done any of this without them.
AGH: It takes tons of time to train for a marathon, and I guess you just have to keep your stamina up. I’m just curious, how much do you run on a weekly basis?
MR: Well, I basically average 25 miles or more. I do it over three runs. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
AGH: You are very disciplined. Okay, so which was the hardest race that you ran?
MR: That’s a hard question. One of the hardest was in Amherst, Massachusetts. For two reasons. Number one, I had not fully recovered from the flu.
AGH: Oh, wow.
MR: I probably shouldn’t have run, but I didn’t want to give up. It was indoors, 133 laps.
MR: Yes, and I felt like I was going to die most of the time.
AGH: That sounds so incredibly boring. Did they have bands or anything to kind of keep you going?
MR: No, but they had a table where 3 paramedics were seated and that really kept me happy. I would look at them each time I passed and say, “Well, I’m glad you’re here, because I may die.”
AGH: Oh my gosh, did you keep up with your number of laps? Or did you just keep running?
MR: I saw every time I passed a big screen that said, “133 laps to go.”
AGH: Oh my gosh.
MR: You knew exactly where you were.
AGH: That would be a really hard race. So, along the way, I’m sure you learned some great life lessons. Tell us about those.
MR: Great question. I think there were many life lessons. Lessons related to friendship and just how much I can do with the support of others. Like we say here at DHG, “We’re greater together,” and it’s the same thing at home. Running is no different. I’m stronger, I’m faster, and I’m more disciplined with the support of my team. I couldn’t have done it without them.
AGH: That’s awesome. I think this is so cool and so fascinating that you were able to accomplish this. Now that you’ve done it, what’s on the horizon? Are you going to keep running?
MR: Oh yeah. I’ve got a marathon in nine days.
AGH: And where’s that one?
AGH: Oh, that sounds lovely in February.
AGH: So, will you just keep running? Or are you going to set another goal for yourself?
MR: I have set a new goal. I’m joining the Seven Continents Marathon Club.
MR: Yes. Six more to go!
AGH: Well, you definitely mastered this one. So for that, does that mean just one race on each continent? Or do you have to do multiple races on each continent?
MR: I only have to do one marathon in each of the other six continents.
AGH: Okay. Well, you go to Paris, and I will come to the finish line to cheer you on. How about that?
MR: That’s an excellent plan.
AGH: Awesome. Michael, thank you so much for joining us and telling us about this amazing story.
MR: You’re welcome.
AGH: And thank you all for listening to Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you’ll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our DHG Blog for more great stories about our Life Beyond Numbers. Join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.