Someone You Should Know: 50 States 50 Marathons

MITCHELL, S.D. – To the nearly 200 runners running in the half marathon in Mitchell, this finish line indicates the end of a race. But for one woman, this finish line is the end of her journey across America.

Des Moines, Iowa Native Ayrin Hamner-Ripperger said, “I was running back this way towards the finish and I heard two girls running and they were like, “There’s some girl finishing her 50th state today.” They were just talking about how cool it was and that’s when I just started losing it.”

Emotional. A word to describe Ayrina Hamner-Ripperger’s final race to complete a half marathon ran in all 50 states. A goal that started 19 months ago at an expo in little Rock, Arkansas. Hamner-Ripperger’s boyfriend says this journey has forced her to be on the road almost every weekend since.

Boyfriend TJ Burns said, “Our normal weekend schedule is I drop her of at the airport on Saturday morning, she flies to some random state, she runs a half-marathon on Sunday morning, dinks around in whatever state shes in. Gets her snow globe, comes home, I pick her up around midnight on Sunday night, we go to work Monday through Friday.”

Being gone every weekend is not for everyone, but for Hamner-Ripperger it was just about staying busy.

“I started this for myself, just something that would keep me busy.” She continued, “My best friend was getting deployed so I was like, well I need something to keep me busy, and this was going to do it.”

Running a half-marathon in all 50 states kept her plenty busy, but now it’s over, so now what?

“I want to run full marathons in all 50 states,” She said.

And she’s not taking much time off.

Hamner-Ripperger said, “November I have my first one scheduled in Florida.”

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