RVC native Randell Hansen trains for the London Marathon


Randell Hansen, a former Rockville Centre resident, achieved an extraordinary feat by completing marathons in all 50 states of the United States. Now, he is looking to expand his horizons, by participating in marathons all around the world, including the upcoming 2024 TCS London Marathon.

From his humble beginnings as a student at South Side High School, to his current home in Sacramento, California, Hansen’s journey is nothing short of inspiring.

“Growing up, I was no varsity athlete,” Hansen said. “But with running, I just had this feeling that I could accomplish something that few people throughout the world have done, and I wanted to prove it.”

Hansen’s passion for running ignited his early races in Sacramento back in 2009 and 2010. It was not until 2011, however, when he ventured out of state to Eugene, Oregon, that he realized his potential. 

“I’ve always loved to travel and see America,” Hansen said, reflecting on his marathon beginnings. “I was really encouraged by 2011 because I was told that I was not far away from Boston qualifying.”

Hansen then embarked on a mission that would take him across the nation, racing against the backdrop of diverse landscapes and communities. His strategy involved meticulous planning, often turning marathon trips into family adventures, with his parents’ unwavering support. 

“I had a lot of support from my parents, so we would meet in various parts of the country wherever I was racing at the time,” Hansen explained.

He further described the process of organizing the order in which races would be completed, in which he utilized Marathon Guide, an online resource that lists what states held races on specific dates and times.

However, Hansen faced unforeseen challenges, especially during the pandemic. Races were canceled or rescheduled, forcing him to adapt his plans.

“As I was winding down the number of states, it was hard to complete them because there were only a few events per year,” Hansen said. “I was having to find other events to do in order to complete my goal.”

Despite setbacks, Hansen completed his final race of 50 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October 2022.

Now, he is looking to earn the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six-Star Medal, which is awarded to runners who complete six of the biggest world marathon races including the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City Marathons. He has already completed the three largest in the U.S. and in September participated in the Berlin marathon, leaving only two races left.

With eyes on the Tokyo marathon in 2025, Hansen is prioritizing his training for the London race, which will take place this April.

Since there are few avenues to get a place in the London Marathon, as there are many individuals who want to run it, Hansen teamed up with Project Purple, a non-profit organization that raises funds for Pancreatic Cancer research and provides financial support for those who are being treated. 

“I knew three people who succumbed to that disease, so it’s nice to run with Project Purple for the first time,” Hansen expressed. “I did the New York City Marathon for the Huntington’s Disease Society for America a few years ago, so these races are close to my heart.”

Reflecting on his ambition, Hansen emphasized the importance of patience and taking it one race at a time for aspiring marathoners. “Training requires dedication and patience,” he advised. “But also, managing finances smartly, utilizing airline and hotel rewards programs, can make traveling more feasible.”

In January, Hansen was featured on Good Day Sacramento, where he shared his story with a wider audience. Not only did he express gratitude for the opportunity to shed light on his involvement with Project Purple, but he also noted that the ultimate purpose of wanting to do such interviews is to try and ignite an ambition in people, proving that they can achieve anything.

For his upcoming London Marathon with Project Purple, Hansen is gearing up both physically and mentally, dedicating himself to a rigorous training regimen while balancing familial responsibilities. His fundraising goal of $7,500 is well underway with support pouring in from friends, family, and well wishers. 

As Hansen prepares for his next challenge, he leaves a trail of inspiration for aspiring marathoners and adventurers alike.

From Rockville Centre to the streets of London, Hansen’s journey exemplifies the spirit of perseverance and the limitless possibilities that come with setting ambitious goals.