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Nov 1, 2015 5:04 PM

Las Vegas man crosses finish line in Manchester for 50th marathon in 50 states

MANCHESTER - The Manchester City Marathon was more than 26.2 challenging miles for the runners who made it across the finish line on Sunday, but for one, man, this race ended a much longer journey.

John Maultsby, 73, of Las Vegas, began running at the age of 30 to lose weight and become healthier. He became a vegan and starting running in 5K races, but it wasn't until age 60 when he ran his first marathon.

“I was just glad to finish thinking, wow, this is really tough, but by nightfall I was planning my next marathon," he said.

Since then, he has completed 60 marathons, coming in first in his age group 41 times.

"He’s a goal setter. He sets his goals, and he works towards completing them," said his wife, Mabel Maultsby.

During a marathon in Georgia, he learned about an even bigger goal.

“I saw this guy had this T-shirt on that says 50-states finisher, so I asked him what’s that all about," Maultsby explained. "He says it’s a club you have to run 10 marathons to get into the club and then complete 50 marathons in 50 states, and I thought, man, I really want one of those T-shirts."

That started him on a 13-year journey that ended when he completed Sunday's marathon in the Granite State, the last of his 50 states.

In the process, Maultsby has seen some surprising things - for example in Alaska.

“All of a sudden a big moose charged out of the thicket, and it was coming right at us, and nobody knew what to do. Fortunately the moose stopped about 20 yards in front of us, but that was a scary thing.”

Sunday, there was no moose, just a lot of enthusiasm from his family as he finally crossed the finish line to qualify for his 50-states T-shirt.

And how did they feel?

“Relieved and thrilled, excited," said his mom.

"Happy, happy, happy for him!” said his wife.

But that's not the end of the road for Maultsby. Once he leaves New Hampshire, he'll start training again, this time for the Boston Marathon in April.

And when he runs that race, it will be another milestone - his 10th Boston Marathon.

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