After competing in Alaska this weekend Hoffer will have run a marathon in every state, as well as Washington D.C.
Kip Hoffer did not start running in 2000 with the intention to travel across the United States, but in hopes of getting fit.
He decided he was doing well in his personal runs, so he decided to enter a 5K run in Worthington.
"It was fun, and I liked the competition," Hoffer said.
After a few more local 5K races Hoffer said he decided he was ready to kick it up a notch by trying out the half-marathon in Indianapolis.
Research led him to the Wabash Valley Road Runners, which is a club in Terre Haute that trains and points people to various marathons.
Hoffer started practicing with the Road Runners, and then ran the half marathon in Indianapolis.
"I decided that wasn't too bad," Hoffer said, noting he wanted to participate in a full 26.2 mile marathon.
His first full marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2001 in Washington D.C.
"Of course Sept. 11 wasn't long before that. That happened and everything was shut down, so I had to keep checking back to see if they were going to do it," Hoffer said.
The final decision was to host the marathon, so Hoffer headed out to D.C., and enjoyed the experience.
"There were some people running in grass skirts and some in costumes, and there were some serious runners, too," Hoffer said.
He finished the marathon in just under four hours, and decided his next goal would be to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
"With most marathons you just sign up, but with the Boston Marathon you have to meet qualifying standards," Hoffer explained.
Hoffer ran a couple more marathons in different states, and qualified for the Boston Marathon in the Chicago Marathon in 2002. He ran the Boston Marathon in 2003.
Up to this point Hoffer had participated in marathons a couple times in surrounding states, when he learned about members of the Road Runners aiming to run in every state and D.C.
Hoffer then set off to run in every state, and has often made the trips into long weekends with his wife, Ingle.
"I told him in Florida he had to do the Disney Marathon," Ingle said with a smile.
Hoffer added, "That was probably the most fun. As we were running there were Disney characters. I gave a high five to Donald Duck."
All runners who finished the marathon were given a ticket to a Disney World park of their choice, so the Hoffers spent a day at Animal Kingdom.
Hoffer said probably the most difficult terrain he ran was the marathon closest to home, which started at Yellow Wood National Park in Bloomington and went to Little Nashville.
He said there were valleys along the trail that had streams the runners had to step in to get through the marathon.
"After about 15 to 20 miles that gets a little hard," Hoffer said.
He added the most beautiful scenery he saw in marathons were at the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., and a marathon in San Francisco where he ran past the Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge.
"He changes his shoes every 500 miles," Ingle added.
Hoffer said it was important for his shoes to stay in tact so he keeps track of the miles he puts on each pair.
"I was keeping track on a spreadsheet, and Ingle got me a program for Christmas one year so I could keep track," Hoffer said.
Since starting to run in 2000, Hoffer estimates he has ran more than 19,000 miles total and has averaged about three hours and 22 minutes in the marathons.
While he hasn't had any out-of-the-ordinary experiences during the marathons, he did hit a snag during a long training run out by Wampler Lake in Greene-Sullivan Forest.
Three dogs came after him, and he had to pepper spay the dogs when they started chasing him. He became worried when all of a sudden the driver of a truck coming down the road slammed on his brakes between Hoffer and the dogs.
"I thought, 'Oh no, I just pepper sprayed this guy's dogs,' " Hoffer said, adding the man was just trying to separate the dogs from Hoffer to ensure his safety.
Ingle added runners are given T-shirts at the marathons, and they would often see several runners with shirts on at the airport. They would get into discussions about where each had been and where they were going next.
"After the Marine Corps Marathon he had his shirt on and some guy walked up to him and yelled, 'Semper Fi!'. He must have thought he was really in the Marines," Ingle said with a laugh.
Once Hoffer completes the race in Alaska on Saturday he plans on retiring from the long distance marathons.
"It feels pretty good (what I've accomplished). I feel especially good that it's almost done," Hoffer said. "It just takes time and some dedication."
He said he convinced his daughter, Cristina, to take part in a half marathon this fall, but hopes to stick to bicycling for future exercise.
"It's supposed to be easier on your knees," he added.
In the long term, Hoffer said he would like to hike the Appalachian Trail.