News, events and stories from the Prairie Fire Marathon.

50 Stater Ends his Journey in Wichita at PFM!

This man deserves the title “Maniac!” Along with making his way to 100 marathons, Ed Loy is also crossing off a marathon in each state. On October 12, at The Prairie Fire Marathon, he’ll complete his 50th state!
Learn more about this 50 Stater and Marathon Maniac who will celebrate a huge victory at our finish line!
Kansas will be this Maniac's 50th State

Kansas will be this Maniac’s 50th State

1. Hometown
Honolulu (born and raised)
2. Background on your running career.
I started off at 280 lbs hating life to the point where I didn’t have much direction in my life. I had been obese throughout my childhood, throughout high school and college. After graduation from college, I decided enough was enough – especially when I went to job interviews and they looked me up and down and decidedly said no. I made that life changing decision back in 2004 to lose the weight and get in shape. Lost the initial 25 lbs through those classic Taebo kickboxing dvd’s. I then decided on hitting the gym and started lifting heavy weight. When that didn’t really work, I just started to look to the treadmill to get in the cardio. That got boring real fast, so I went outside and slowly built to a 10K late 2006. The challenge was hard and I had to just work on it every day. I didn’t see myself as a real runner yet. In 2007, I ran my first half marathon and my 1st full marathon 3 months later. I was like, never again, until a year later in 2008, I found a flat marathon to do in Chicago and that changed my perception of marathoning ever since. Plus, I found my love for traveling, so it was a perfect fit for me and made it a lifestyle ever since. 
3. First race?
My first race ever (non marathon/half marathon) would be the Great Aloha Run 2007, which was a 8.15 mile race from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. This one typically draws 10,000 runners each year.
4. First Marathon?
Honolulu Marathon 2007
5. Favorite race?
This a tough one. I would say a toss up between Chicago, Walt Disney World, and St. Jude Memphis
6. How did the 50 states challenge start with you?
The 50 states marathon challenge started in 2009, actually. I had ran Chicago in 2008 as a destination race / vacation, but loved it so much, I registered for it again the next year in 2009. As I was researching online, I noticed that the Waddle and Reed Kansas City marathon was a week after – and it was in a different state too. It got me thinking whether or not I have the sheer willpower to do 2 on back to back weekends. Officially for me, the Chicago / Kansas City combo kicked off the 50 states journey for me. I had qualified for the Marathon Maniacs earlier that year (2009), so it was great to be able to network with other like minded individuals. The journey has been definitely a life style and a game changer for me. Looking forward to the travel, although financing them is a different challenge, all together!
ed bib
7. Are you affiliated with the 50 States Marathon Club? Or any other club?
I am affiliated with the Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Marathon Club, which is amazing for their inclusive camaraderie and individual friendships I have made throughout this challenge. Nothing short of a godsend to change my life for the better!
8. How long have you been working on your 50 states?
5 years. From October 2009 to October 2014. It’s been amazing!
9. Why was Kansas the last on your list?
Kansas is the last one, because I liken my 50 states marathon journey to that iconic movie “Wizard of Oz”. Where Dorothy and Toto followed the yellow brick road to Oz. That’s like how I feel about my life change: from obesity, to runner, to marathoner, to 50 stater. That path allowed me to find my way to a better life and happiness to coincide with the amazingness of running marathons across the country. 
10. How are you feeling about checking off that last box?
As of today, (08/07/2014)  I have 2 states left, along with NY in late September. 2 weeks later at Prairie Fire for #50. I am feeling nervous and anxious, but happy that this journey is finally coming to an end. At the same time, I feel sad that it is coming to an end. Where one door closes, another door opens. New goals to pursue!
11. PR state?
Current PR state: Wisconsin (2013)
My goal is run 100 marathons lifetime. With Prairie Fire being #75, my goal is to get there before age 40, which means I have 5 years or less to do so. I also have tentative plans to run 7 continents (marathons), Canadian provinces, do an eventual 100 miler, and just maybe do a 2nd round 50 states marathons. I would love to strive for sub 4 marathon and maybe BQ, but that would require me to stay home a lot more and train better. Then again, I am a travel bug, so I don’t see myself staying put, when the world is at your finger tips. Sky’s the limit. Just got to be not afraid to try.
Ed Loy