Back in 2008, Dominic Ferry set himself a rather ambitious goal: Run a marathon in every one of the 50 states. On Sunday, January 16, he achieved it, running the last of his state marathons in, quite fittingly, the last state to become part of the United States, Hawaii.
The achievement is even more remarkable given that Ferry had barely started his marathon runs when he was hit with a major setback, a cancer diagnosis. But he kept running during treatment and in all the years since, and is now 10 years cancer free. “He wanted to prove to himself that it wasn’t going to get him,” says Angela Katsios, his girlfriend.
Ferry might have reached his goal even earlier had there not been a pandemic. It made travel impossible for a while, so Ferry doubled down on his running in the last 12 months, competing in marathons in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi before he got to Hawaii.
Ferry, a 20-year resident of Verona, isn’t running solo in all these competitions. His pack includes his brother Frank and three other friends who live in Caldwell and Wayne and, more recently, Katsios, who is competing in half marathons. They adopted the challenge for the running, and as a way to see the entire country. Quips Katsios: “One friend said later, ‘why couldn’t we just play golf in all 50 states’?”