50 States Half Marathon Club™ Rules & Guidelines
We Welcome First Time Half Marathoners - No Minimums to Join
Please Read Club Rules & Guidelines Carefully before joining
Yes! You got it! There are no minimum requirements to become a member of this club. We welcome those training for their first half marathon. We welcome WALKERS! We are walker friendly. We welcome those with disabilities! We allow hand cycling to support our veterans & those with disabilities.
There is no time limit or even requirement to finish our 50 States HALF Marathon Challenge™, 50 States Endurance Challenge™ or 100 Half Marathons Challenge™, or any other challenges in this club. Most members take their time and enjoy the journey, the friendships and the discounts. You can remain a member for life, whether you finish a challenge or not. With hundreds of Race discounts to choose from, in addition to one complimentary award (subject to rule #11), and the ability to earn more free awards the longer you are a member, it is worth the value. All members can work on all challenges simultaneously.
YES! Some of your prior completions of half marathons, marathons, half ironmans, and ironmans may count prior to joining the club . To see how many might qualify, please see Rule #11 (below).
For a QUICK "overview" of our challenges and what distance counts in each challenge, visit our Challenges Page.
The Following Rules Apply:
1). A Half Marathon distance is 21,097.5 meters, which is equivalent to 13.1 miles (21k). For a race to count toward your 50 states Half Marathon Challenge, or 100 half marathons, it must be announced as an official Half Marathon race (or Half Ironman distance triathlon, see #4). with official means of measurement from race organization verifying 13.1 miles (or 21k typically utilized for trail half marathon measurement), of which was publicly announced as a 13.1 (21k) race in a means of media, such as a newspaper, website, magazine, running publication, or race brochure and of which official verifiable results are maintained and/or published to general public. The website must state the course distance of 13.1 miles (21k). If it does not, make sure to email the race prior to registering, asking if it is measured 13.1 miles and save the email response. ** WE WILL ACCEPT A FULL 26.2 MARATHON TOWARD THE 50 STATES ENDURANCE CHALLENGE, BUT NOT TOWARD THE 100 HALF MARATHON CHALLENGE ** Marathons do not count as half marathons. Also a half marathon must be a good faith 13.1 mile measurement. It does not need to be USATF Certified, but it must be a good faith measurement. Distances that count toward each challenge can be found on the Challenges page.
2). The Half Marathon (or marathon) event, or any other distances that are specified for Fifty States Half Marathon Club challenges, must be an official event with a race director with means to certify runner’s completion of the half marathon (or marathon) distance [or other specified distances], with a minimum of 15 "simultaneous" starters and 10 finishers. (All races with less than 15 starters, or less than 10 finishers, just need to be officially reviewed & approved via email to Nicole (at) 50stateshalfmarathonclub (dot) com. A pop up race, or a small 1st year race, put together by an individual or individuals, in which the event is not a registered race business, would not qualify as a race.
VIRTUAL EVENTS DO NOT QUALIFY OR COUNT TOWARD ANY CHALLENGES (Except approved military overseas runners that are affiliated with a legitimate non-virtual race hosting a virtual event for military, may be approved on a case by case basis toward 100 half marathons).
List of Races needing NO APPROVAL / Review for the 15 starter / 10 finisher review rule: The following races will be accepted by members, regardless of how many start and finish, Mainly Marathons race series (national), Deb Montgomery race series (GA), Savage Racing New England Challenge race series, Charlie Alewine Racing race series, Better World Running races (CA), and Dead Running race series (NM). If you are worried about the attendance being low for a particular race, please contact Nicole, Club President, for pre-approval, or post approval.
Same Day Doubles: A timing mat, separating a 26.2 mile event, does not count as a half marathon. If an event puts on a double, calling it two half marathons, the 2nd half marathon must have a hard "stop" and an official start where all participants start at the same time for the 2nd half marathon. Having 2 timing mats for a finish, and another start (where individuals are starting a 2nd half on their own), is still a 26.2 mile race and not 2 half marathons.
Races or Race Series Not Accepted (Banned Races): I Ran Marathon race series races (TX) are not accepted. [Official members that have been a member prior to 2016 may have races grandfathered in that took place 2016 or prior]. Road to 50 Race Series and/or any races ever put on by that group, will never be accepted, due to extremely unethical acts of behavior toward multiple organizations in the running industry. Additionally, a "pop up race" run by a person or non-race organization typically would not count, but can be submitted for review.
A Result Obtained by your GPS Watch will not count.
FAQ: What if a specific race calls their event a half marathon, but the distance is stated as a different distance (for example 12.5 miles, or 13.5 miles, or 14 miles, 13 miles, 13.3), will the race count toward a half?
ANSWER: No. If the race calls their event a half marathon, but is not stating their distance as a 13.1mile race, it does not count as a half marathon. It is not a half marathon whether they want to mislead runners and call their race that or not. HOWEVER, if a race presents their race as 13.1 miles (21k) and a runner's GPS comes up different, due to a normal margin of error (both road and trail are always going to have a margin of error depending on the footing of a runner), this is normal, and acceptable. It is the responsibility of the participant to check the stated distance (especially for small races and trail races), if the runner/walker wants to ensure it counts toward our club challenges.
Weather: Unfortunately if a race is cut short due to weather or course change, it will not count. This is just the nature of the journey, and is bound to happen once or twice throughout each person's journey. Reasoning? Including other distances delegitimatizes the completion of an official "half marathon" challenge.
3). A Half Marathon (or marathon) must be run (or walked) without interruption. Multi-day events to finish one Half Marathon (or marathon) distance does not constitute as an official Half Marathon (or full marathon) that would apply toward a finish for a state. Walkers qualify as long as the race is completed within the guidelines of the official event and comply with all other rules & guidelines set forth. Two separate events that equal a total of 13.1 miles will not count.
4). A Half Marathon portion of a triathlon that has an official half marathon built into the distance, such as a Long Course with a 13.1 mile finish or an official Half Ironman with a 13.1 mile finish, may be counted as a Half Marathon. The same rules apply as in 1 through 3 (official event, race director, verifiable results, etc). (Full Ironman can also count toward the 50 States Endurance Challenge™)
5). To officially earn a completion of a half marathon (or marathon), you must officially complete the race. Not finishing a race officially, or being disqualified from a race does not qualify as completing a Half Marathon (or marathon) or Half Iron distance triathlon, therefore will not constitute as a race completion for that state or toward your 100 half marathons challenge. You must receive an official finish time for an event to count; hence, do not choose a race that has a course cut off time or pace cut off that you can not obtain. If you are looking for walker friendly half marathons, Half Marathon Calendar USA www.halfmarathonsearch.com is a great reference to find walker friendly half marathons.
6). Multiple States in One Race: Running a Half Marathon (or other qualified event) that crosses borders of more than one state will only count as ONE STATE per race, and can only be the location of which the event started or finished.
7). Relays & Splits: Relays will not count, unless the individual ran an official 13.1 mile individually timed half marathon (with an official timed start line and and timed finish line for both participants in which both names are listed in the results with individual times), and it is a non-interrupted race. Relays such as Ragnar Relays or Hood to Coast will not be considered, as they are not run without interruption. We WILL count a 13.1 mile race if you were the runner in a half ironman relay, or the 26.2mi in an Ironman relay, as each of those are a run without interruption and have an official individual start line and finish line for 13.1 and 26.2 mile distance. SPLITS from another distance race do not count. A half marathon split from a full marathon race distance does not count as a half marathon. Splits do not count. Running two consecutive half marathons does not count. All participants must start at the same time.
8). Non-registered participants that are coaching, pacing, guiding, may not count the event unless they are officially registered in the race with their own race number, and receive their own official personal result.
9). Verification & Documentation: For verification purposes, please ensure you retain documentation from each race you finish. Accepted verification materials can be any of the following: 1) Finisher’s certificate; 2) published event results in an “official” media, or official online 3: Print out of your official race result. More detailed "official tracking" instructions will be emailed to you when you join and/or can be found in our member portal. DON'T STRESS OUT. I'll work with each of you and can assist you after you join the club. Many of your results, by the way, can be found at Athlinks.com (which includes your bib# and your full result). This is an acceptable reference for your result proof.
10). Earning an Award: To receive an award for completing the 50 States HALF Marathon Challenge™, 50 States Endurance Challenge™, 100 Half Marathons Challenge™, 500 Endurance Challenge™, 7 Continents Endurance Challenge™, and milestone awards, one must be a Fifty States HALF Marathon Club member in good standing at the time of completion of the challenge. At this time, "General Membership" members receive one complimentary award [subject to rule #11 below], and can earn MORE complimentary awards, the longer they are a member, or purchase multiple year annual dues renewal packages. All members can work on ALL challenges. Award Guide is down below.
11). IMPORTANT: There are NO Minimum Half Marathon Completions to join, however to receive a COMPLIMENTARY AWARD, Members must finish, as a member, a MINIMUM of 25 states WHILE IN MEMBER STATUS (of the 50 TOTAL) for either of the 50 State Challenges, and/or their last 50 HALFS (of the 100 TOTAL) for the 100 Half Marathons Challenge™ while in membership status AND be in current good standing when completing the 50th state or 100th Half Marathon, to obtain complimentary final award . This means you want to join BEFORE you hit 25 states, and BEFORE you reach 50 half marathons of the 100 Challenge (the earlier you join in the journey the better, as you will have discounts to use along your journey). (SEE MORE DETAILED INFO BELOW).
Since we are a running club and not a trophy store: Members who do not meet the above criteria, or members who may have finished all 50 states or 100 half marathons (or any other challenge) prior to joining Fifty States HALF Marathon Club, may follow the "Exceptions Schedule" below, OR purchase a Fifty States HALF Marathon Club 50 state finisher award or 100 Half Marathons award (pricing list sent out each year), though you must still become a member first. However awards are still only ordered and presented once per year (presented or shipped out in Sept, Oct, or Nov each year, after our annual awards night. Members are responsible for shipping cost if they do not attend awards night.
EARNING SCHEDULE IF YOU ARE PAST 25 STATES (OF 50) OR PAST 50 HALFS (TOWARD 100):
For those that are ALREADY past completion of 25 states (of 50) prior to becoming a member OR for those that already completed MORE than 50 Half Marathons (toward the 100 half marathons challenge) prior to becoming a member, where you are therefore unable to finish the minimum of 25 of your states while in member status,
A: * If you are between 51 to 85 (of 100 half marathons) OR between 26 to 40 (of 50 States), in order to receive one complimentary award, you will need to purchase one 3 year annual dues renewal or longer]. (Your one complimentary award can be used toward your 100 or your 50 states. You would need to purchase an additional 3 year dues renewal to earn a 2nd complimentary award). [Essentially, your one earned complimentary award begins at year 4 (or a total of pre purchased annual dues years]. See Award Guide Below under "Trophies and Awards".
B: * If you are at 86 half marathons complete or above (of your 100 half marathons) OR 41 or above (toward your 50 states) AND over the 25 of 50 States threshold or over 50 of 100 half marathons for the other challenge as well, you will be eligible to receive one complimentary award [with the addition of a 5 year annual dues renewal or longer. (Your one complimentary award can be used toward your 100 or your 50 states. You would need to purchase an additional 3 year dues renewal or longer to earn the 2nd complimentary award). If you are this far along, it may be easier to just become a Life Membership member.
C: * If you are above the threshold of 25 (of 50 states) OR 50 (of 100 half marathons) ONLY FOR ONE Challenge, and under the threshold for one of the challenges, you will be eligible for a complimentary award for that challenge, with the additional 3 year annual dues renewal or longer. (Your one complimentary award can be used toward your 100 or your 50 states. You would need to purchase an additional 3 year dues renewal to earn a 2nd complimentary award). [Essentially, your one earned complimentary award begins at year 4 (or a total of pre purchased annual dues years]. See Award Guide Below under "Trophies and Awards".
But don't fret over purchasing extra years of membership! :) Our members are awesome, our annual meet ups are fun, and our half marathon discount list is large .... and growing! You won't want to leave us anyway! ;)
If you completed a challenge prior to joining the club, unfortunately there are no awards offered for prior challenge completions.
If you have a special scenario, please email me for review & consideration.
If this is confusing to you, please feel free to reach out to Nicole (@) 50stateshalfmarathonclub (dot) com.
With annual dues being only $35.00 each year, your savings from the discounts provided for many races, can well over pay for your annual dues, plus save you money annually, if you run more than a couple half marathons each year. Additionally, you'll earn more complimentary awards, the longer you are a member. We have the more expensive, and nicest awards, in the industry. Hence, it is a benefit to join earlier, rather than later. There is no benefit of waiting until later along your journey. Fifty States maintains a hefty discount list sorted by state.
12). TRACKING AND REQUIRED TO RECEIVE AN AWARD: Official tracking instructions email is sent to each new member after joining. If you misplaced your official tracking instructions, detailed instructions can be found in the member portal.
Unfortunately, we do NOT provide any services to NON-members. You must be a member to receive or purchase an award. Special requests for exceptions must be submitted in writing to the President of Fifty States HALF Marathon Club for consideration and approval.
Unfortunately, we do NOT accept paper, written out tracking documents. They must be submitted online (full instructions can be found in the member portal).
TROPHIES / AWARDS:
Awards are ordered on an annual basis, once verification process is complete. ALL AWARDS ARE PRESENTED AT OUR ANNUAL MEMBER PARTY & AWARDS NIGHT MEET UP AT A NEW DESTINATION ANNUALLY. Since we are a club, we would like to encourage all members finishing a challenge to truly try to make it to our awards night for your special accomplishment. For members who earned an award and can not attend the annual meet up & awards night to receive your award, here are your options:
1) For existing members only, I could give the award at our annual meet up to another member who lives near you that may be attending, if they could be willing to travel with it. (only for members that are still members of our club at the time of awards). This only applies if I am driving to annual meet up, and not flying and shipping all the awards.
2) If you are going to be in Colorado at all, you could arrange to meet me to receive it (Colorado Springs vicinity) or have a friend pick it up.
3) For existing members only, you could arrange for another member who is planning to do a race you have scheduled, to pick it up at the annual meet up and then bring it to that race. (I can help you with this if you send me your race schedule that you have planned post annual meet up). [only for members that are still members of our club at time of awards]. Again, this is if I drive to annual meet up.
4) You could pay for shipping (USPS or FedEx), subject to current shipping rates (all awards are shipped after annual awards night).
Rules, guidelines, prices, procedures, challenges, benefits and discounts are subject to change at anytime at discretion of Fifty States HALF Marathon Club LLC. Administrative membership Joining Fee is non-refundable.
One Complimentary Award - Upon joining (subject to rule #11 above).
(for those subject to rule #11 when they join, one 3 year renewal will earn 1st complimentary award or 5 year renewal for those in category B).
Member for 4 years (or one 3 year dues renewal) = A 2nd Complimentary Award Earned
(for those subject to rule #11 when they joined, and additional 3 year renewal will need to be purchased, making this 7 years for those who joined past the rule #11 guideline, or 9 years for those in category B).
Member for 5 years (or dues renewal equivalent to 5 years dues paid) = Earn a bonus free Milestone Award (200, 300, 400 half marathons). [Those subject to rule #11, your 1st bonus milestone award will be at year 9 or dues paid through year 9, or year 11 for those in category B].
Member for 7 years (or dues renewal equivalent to 7 years dues paid) = A 3rd Complimentary Award Earned. (10 years for those who joined past the rule #11 guideline, and 12 years for category B).
Member for 10 years (or dues renewal equivalent to 10 years dues paid = A 4th Complimentary Award Earned (13 years for those who joined past the rule #11 guideline, and 15 years in category B).
Life Membership Members: Complimentary Awards For Life!
(there may be occasional upgrade options if a special upgrade award is offered)
Various Awards will be available for purchase each year for those who do not meet the requirements. Additionally, each year, special upgrades may be offered. Since costs are rapidly changing in this current environment, pricing, award choices, and potential upgrades, will be sent out each year to finishers.
If you leave the club, and come back, you will start at year 0 again toward earning awards. To maintain years toward earning awards, you must maintain annual dues each year.
* Please See Home Page for Member Benefits
* Benefits, annual dues and costs of Membership may change at the discretion of the Fifty States Half Marathon Club™ LLC.
* The one time initial administrative fee is non-refundable. No Exceptions.
* Annual dues is due every year from the date you join. First year annual dues is included in your joining fee. One year annual dues is currently $35.00. There are also multi year packages at discounted rates.
It is our sole intention to try to keep membership and all other costs cost effective for our members and make this the best club we can for all members.
Past Due Annual Dues: Members who fail to pay on time (on or before annual due date) will be assessed a $10.00 late fee. Member annual dues renewal dates can be found in our member portal. Please mark your annual dues renewal date on your calendar. Setting up an online calendar reminder a week or two before your due date is highly suggested. If your due date is around a Holiday and you tend to get busy around this time, please set your reminder up to pay earlier in the month. If your deploying or traveling with no computer access, please pay in advance.
When you become a member of Fifty States Half Marathon Club LLC, you waive and release Fifty States Half Marathon Club LLC, its members, Partners, and Sponsors, of all claims and/or liabilities of any kind, including, but not limited to, participation in all training, membership activities, running events, such as marathons, half marathons, etc, and all group meet-ups. When you become a member, you accept responsibility for all, and not limited to, injuries, illness and any other mishaps affiliated with running or activities involved in club membership. Participation is at your own risk. For all members who file a dispute for the initial one time non-refundable membership fee (with Paypal, credit card company, etc), your member privileges and account will be immediately suspended. The one time initial administrative joining fee is non-refundable. No Exceptions.
Fifty States Half Marathon Club LLC reserves the right to suspend or terminate any member's membership without notice and without refund, for actions such as, but not limited to, encouraging current members to leave, mass emailing members about a club issue, defamation, rude or disrespectful actions, disrespectful correspondence or behavior about, or toward, owner, staff or members, cheating or cutting a course in a race, and/or breaking any club rules purposefully. If a member has a problem, they can reach out to a club officer privately to resolve maturely. Instigating drama in a club forum, or social media (or elsewhere relating to the club) is not acceptable.
Fifty States Half Marathon Club™ promotes a positive and fun club experience for all. Multiple communication platforms are available for members, in order to be flexible and allow choices for members (such as official email, member portal and a choice of social forums). These communication options are each member's own choice. Club Rules are in place in order to maintain an orderly business operation, and to be able to fiscally operate at the current low annual dues rate.
Club Logos and/or club designs can be utilized on a partner website, member blog or signage only. Unauthorized use of any of our designs, logos, or the 50 States Half Marathon Club™ business name on merchandise or apparel is not permitted. This could result in immediate membership termination, at club officer discretion.