ANDY kuDERA, a Connecticut-based consulting actuary, is a mem-
ber of an exclusive club. Well, two, if you count his Academy member-
ship. And it could be argued that his initiation process for joining the 50
States Marathon Club was just as rigorous as the exam process that he
endured to gain his actuarial designations.
Kudera, who began his running
career as a teenager, ran his first marathon in New York in 1980 when he was
just shy of 21. He repeated in the New
York City Marathon in 1981 (gaining
his fastest time: 3 hours, 14 minutes, 36
seconds) and 1982. In 1983, he mixed
things up by running the Foxtrotter
Marathon in Massachusetts and then
didn’t run another marathon until
1990. In 1992, he embarked upon his
quest to run marathons in all 50 states
before his 50th birthday and since that
time has run multiple marathons annually. In 2006 alone, he told his local
Connecticut newspaper, he ran a total
of eight marathons, including three in
20 days. After running the Dallas White
Rock Marathon in Texas last December,
Kudera at the age of 49 reached his goal
with a year to spare. His time: 5 hours,
11 minutes, 8 seconds.
In a recent interview with
Contingencies, Kudera discussed his long-running
December 2009, I wanted to reach the
goal. That would give me 18 years.
it really depends on what the criterion
is. It’s difficult to give a straight answer
for either. There are so many variables
involved in running a marathon, starting with the training. There are time
demands, work, family, injuries, travel to
the marathon, weather, pacing, how you
feel that day, etc. A good marathon for
me is when the variables are managed
well, and a bad one is when they aren’t.
Have you always been a runner?
Yes. I started running in 1974 to lose
weight. It worked originally, but now all
of that weight plus some has been added
What was your best marathon experience? Your worst? Your best time?
A. My best time was 3:14: 36 in 1981 at
the New York City Marathon. In terms
of best and worst marathon experience,
How many hours a week did you have
to train leading up to an event? How
do you find the time for all the training
I ran approximately six to 10 hours per
week. This assumes 40 to 60 miles per
week at a 10-minute-per-mile pace.
Has your family been supportive of
your quest? Do any of them run?
You set yourself the ambitious (to say
the least) goal of running a marathon
in all 50 states. That’s awesome, but
what in the world were you thinking?
I’m not sure what I was thinking. I read
an article in 1992 about a club that included folks who had run a marathon
in every state or were attempting to. My
running times were slowing down due
to age and travel, and I thought that this
would be a neat goal for keeping up the
running. Also, I had always wanted to
visit every state. So the goal was put in
motion, and to make it a bit harder, I set
a deadline—by the time I turned 50 in