Derek Boutang Ran the Majority of North America in a Few Short Years

My guest today has set a big goal to run a marathon in each of the Canadian provinces and territories along with every state here in the U.S.

Derek Boutang

Two years ago he completed his audacious goal and picked up a lot of travel tips and tricks along the way.

Derek Boutang and I will go a few easy miles as he shares the ups and downs of his running journey.

Peer Pressure

Derek first identified himself as a runner while in high school.

While not the fastest person on the team, he found that he had a stubborn side and could gut out just about any distance.

After the completion of college and getting married at a young age 10 years passed by and Derek found himself out of shape.

A camping trip with friends would end up being what would ultimately get Derek to lace up and get out for a run.

That first run turned into consistent runs with the same group of friends.

The shared miles bonded everyone and Derek set a goal of running his first half marathon.

He completed his first half in 2001 and not long after went on to complete his first full.

The camaraderie he experienced while training and racing was unlike any other he had known.

Destination Races/Vacation

It didn’t take Derek long to realize that he could combine travel and running.

Marathon number 2 was the first official race he had to stay overnight at.

The Vegas marathon was his third one and it was there that he discovered the 50 States Marathon Club.

An idea was born and he wanted to not only complete all 50 states by the time he was 45, but also all of the Canadian provinces and territories.

Without traveling, Derek would have never happened upon a race that now holds some of his favorite memories.

Derek didn’t have high expectations for the Brookings Marathon in South Dakota, but it didn’t take long to appreciate all it had to offer.

The start of his quest was exciting and new, but eventually, all the travel began to take a toll on Derek.

The last 10 states felt more like checking items off a list and after his goal was met he took a much-needed break.

Derek Boutang Finishing the Job


In 2017 Derek was asked to lead a pace group training for the Manitoba Marathon.

This particular group was a slower pace than he typically trained at and was comprised of all women.

Over the summer Derek and his group began to be referred to as Derek and the girls.

Unbeknownst to him, he would be pacing a much faster pace group for the actual marathon.

His experience running with two different groups broadened his running circle and reinforced that his primary love of running is the social aspect.

Traveling was another perk that Derek has enjoyed through running and he has picked up quite a few helpful tips:

  • Traveling to a race will put you in a foreign environment which can be minimized with some planning.
  • Keep the same routine as much as possible.
  • Lay out your race clothes and gear the night before.
  • Arrive at least the day before the race if possible.
  • Have plans in place for how to get to the start of the race.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Derek Boutang set a large goal to run a marathon in every Canadian providence and territory along with every U.S. state. And it didn't take him long to finish the job. Click To Tweet

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