I was thinking last week about each state that I have yet to do and researched potential targets. Here it is. Enjoy.
Alaska- Anchorage for sure. There's a race in June and another in August. Neither is a PR course. I think I'd prefer June because it would be cool to experience 20+ hours of daylight.
Hawaii- Really can't go wrong here. It will be beautiful no matter where I go but also warm and humid regardless of the time of year. This could also be a stopping point to break up a trip to Australia. Something in Honolulu would probably be the easiest logistically.
Washington- RnR Seattle in June. Cool summer getaway and I could see a Mariners game.
Montana and Wyoming- There are 2 races a week apart in Yellowstone National Park in June. The Yellowstone half is in Montana and the Grand Teton is just a few miles south but it's in Wyoming. Both are trail races at 6,500 feet elevation. Time means nothing on a course like that. I'd have to spend a week in Yellowstone but I'm sure I can find stuff to do nearby such as Glacier National Park.
Nevada- RnR Las Vegas. This is an evening race in November and would be interesting. I don't gamble but I'm sure there are some shows worth seeing. The race itself starts and finishes in the Strip but is largely residential. Edit: I'm beginning to think a Lake Tahoe race would be more fun. The scenery is awesome and Reno is also close.
Utah- Cottonwood. There are 2 races that are basically the same course in the Spring and early Fall. The course drops nearly 2,500 feet in elevation (nearly a 5% average grade). Even at high altitude, that's not PR-legal but it could be tons of fun. It is located just outside Salt Lake City.
New Mexico- Santa Fe. There's another high altitude downhill race here but it's only about 1,000 feet net drop and might be PR-legal. I'd road trip into Amarillo or Lubbock, Texas. I've never been to West Texas but I hear it is very different from East Texas.
South Dakota- Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills near Rapid City in July. Rural and off the beaten path but I'm sure the scenery will be awesome. I will also re-visit Mount Rushmore.
Nebraska and Iowa- I'd like to double up here with just one trip. I've done some research and found one in Des Moines on a Saturday in late April/early May and one on a Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska which is only a little over 3 hours away. I won't race either but if I'm in decent shape, I should come away with a pair of sub-1:45s.
Kansas- This is the only remaining state that could possibly be a drive. I would likely opt for one on the Kansas side of the KC metro area. I do have a childhood friend in the area and would like to see a Royals game and the Truman library.
Minnesota and Wisconsin- Definitely a chance to double here, possibly this year. There are several races in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that would be nice in late Spring/early summer. That's just across the border from Wisconsin, which has lots of races. Ideally, I'd go with Minneapolis and Eau Claire but Madison and even Milwaukee could be do-able. I could see a Twins or Brewers game.
Michigan- Detroit Free Press in October for sure. This one has been on my radar for several years but it never fit my schedule. You cross the Ambassador bridge for a few miles in Windsor, Ontario, Canada before a mile long tunnel back to the USA for a finish in downtown Detroit. Tourist options include the MoTown and Henry Ford museums.
Maine/New Hampshire- Should be able to double here if I can find a Saturday/Sunday combo. As of now, there are a pair that I could do in Concord and Portland, which are less than 3 hours apart. Both races are in the first week of October.
Vermont- Race options are fairly limited here and I'd turn it into a trip to Montreal and possibly Ottawa. As of now, no such Saturday/Sunday combo is scheduled but that could change down the road. Montreal is less than 2 hours from Burlington, VT. It would have to be late Spring or early Fall for the temps to be comfortable.
Connecticut/Rhode Island- Lots of runners double here. The 2 races are ING Hartford and Newport, RI. It's a Saturday/Sunday combo in the 2nd week of October. Leaves will be changing this time of year.
Maryland- Island 2 Island in Ocean City in late April. I spent a summer in this area back in 2000 and have not been back since '02. I'd probably fly into Philly and would like to drive the DelMarVa peninsula.
New York- There's the Manhattan half in January and the NYC half in March. Both courses go through Central Park. Obviously, I'd prefer March because the weather will likely be better but it's a lottery and could be tough to get in. There is the option to wing it and make a last minute trip in January based on the forecast a few days out. The weather up there is unpredictable. It could be snowing or bitter cold but there are a lot of fairly mild days in the 40s-50s. Times Square and the Empire State building are within walking distance of the start/finish. Both should be on any American's bucket list. It will be an expensive weekend trip but so what?
New Jersey/Delaware- I found a Saturday/Sunday combo in Dover and Atlantic City. They are only a little more than 2 hours apart and I can use Philly as my hub and do some touring there.
Massachusetts- Boston. If I never qualify for the marathon that everyone wants to do, my choice would be the Boston Memorial half in late May. Unfortunately, Red Sox tickets are almost impossible to get.
I think that covers them all. It could take me a decade to do all this but I'm beginning to think it may be worth it.