The 50 State Challenge: What You Need To Know 

If you are looking for a new running challenge and you love to travel then the 50 states challenge could be ideal for you. But what is the 50 states challenge?

What does it involve? We have put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about the 50 states challenge. 

The 50 State Challenge What You Need To Know

What Is The 50 States Half Marathon Challenge? 

The 50 states Half Marathon Challenge is the original challenge that the club was founded on. The goal is to run a half marathon in each of the 50 states.

You can take as long as you like to complete the challenge, so you can build the races into your holidays and business trips if you plan carefully. 

What Is The 50 States Trail Challenge? 

The 50 states challenge is a unique challenge as it has no time limit and there are no entry requirements. This makes it accessible to more people. So what do you have to do?

You need to complete a trail run of at least 20 kilometers in each of the 50 states. You can take as long as you like to complete the challenge. 

A lot of people choose to run half marathons or full marathons in each state, but you can also include mud runs, off road triathlons, du-athalons, adventure runs and spartan runs as long as there is a running section of at least 20km in the race.

You don’t have to run it- you can walk it if you prefer- as long as the distance is completed. 

What Is The 50 States Endurance Challenge? 

The 50 States Endurance Challenge is for people who prefer to run longer distances.

To complete the challenge you must run a half marathon event or longer in each of the 50 states. Previously, you had to include a Triathlon. The rules have recently changed to remove this requirement.

They also allowed any event over 13.1 miles in distance to qualify, even if it is not an ironman, half ironman, marathon or half marathon.

This means that mud runs, spartan runs and adventure runs all count if the distance is long enough. 

How Much Does It Cost? 

To join in the 50 states challenge you need to be a member of the 50 states Half Marathon club. There are different membership options depending on your age and whether you want to pay monthly or get a lifetime membership.

Once you are a member, you can take part in any of the challenges run by the club for no extra cost.

Other benefits of becoming a member include exclusive club meet ups, awards nights and social nights, a club store with merchandise, and discounts on various running brands and products 

Can One Event Count Towards Multiple Challenges? 

As a member of the 50 States Half Marathon Club, you can take part in more than one challenge at once.

However, you cannot count your runs twice. If you complete a 20km trail run, it can count towards your 50 State Trail Challenge or your 50 States Half Marathon Challenge or your 50 States Endurance Challenge.

It cannot be counted towards more than one event. 

The 50 State Challenge What You Need To Know

Can Previous Events Count Towards Your Challenge?

What if you have already completed several running events before you became a member of the 50 States Half Marathon Club?

Some of those events may still be able to be counted towards your challenge. Check the full terms and conditions for more information. 

Why Take Part In A 50 States Challenge? 

The 50 states challenges are not about achieving the best time or coming first in every race.

It is a test of perseverance and determination. It also allows you to become part of something bigger – a nationwide community of runners.

The challenge will encourage you to explore the different states, to meet new people on your journeys, and to push yourself outside of your comfort zone with different routes, terrains and climates.

It is a fantastic experience and by the time you complete the challenge you will have learned a lot about yourself as a runner and as a person.

Once you have completed the challenge you will be awarded with a personalized engraved trophy plaque or medal depending on the challenge. 

What Other Challenges Are On Offer? 

As a member of the 50 States Half Marathon Club you will also have access to other challenges like the 100 Half Marathon challenge, the Canadian Provinces Challenge, and the 7 continents challenge. 

Are The Challenges Inclusive? 

All challenges run by the 50 states Half Marathon Club allow Hand cycling.

This ensures that they are inclusive, and the club welcomes anyone with a disability to join in. You are also able to walk the challenge, so you can still take part even if you can’t run.

There are no minimum requirements to join, so you don’t have to prove your fitness in order to participate. This means that more people can get involved. 


The 50 states challenge is a great way to explore the United States whilst pursuing your passion for running. 

Richard Harris