Six years after his wife got him hooked on running, Todd Meissner has crossed the finish line of half marathons in 17 states and is well on his way to the finish lines of races in all 50 states.
Meissner, president of Sussex-based Color Ink Inc., and his wife, Daneen Lange-Meissner, have a shared goal to complete half marathons in every state with a shared passion for running and traveling.
Meissner completed his first half marathon in Chicago in 2007, the year after his wife, who is an accounting manager at Waukesha-based Dueco, Inc., began running with encouragement from a friend.
"It was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, and it just made me realize how out of shape I actually was," Meissner said.
In getting back in shape, Meissner has committed to running 20 to 40 miles each week, tackling at least five half marathons each year in addition to shorter runs, enrolling in yoga and spin classes, and improving his diet. With this holistic commitment to fitness, Meissner was named a finalist in BizTimes Media's 2013 Fittest Execs Challenge.
In running with his wife, Meissner has ventured across the country to destinations like Phoenix, Ariz., and San Francisco where he participated in a half marathon with a course that included the Golden Gate Bridge. During another half marathon in Detroit the couple crossed the border to Canada.
Other half marathons have taken them outside the continent. In June, the two completed a half marathon in Southend on Sea in the United Kingdom, and in October they ran a half marathon in Munich, Germany, with one of their daughters tagging along for all 13.1 miles.
As Meissner and his wife work toward their goal of 50 half marathons in 50 states, they will head to Mississippi at the end of the month and Arkansas in March.
The two, who have five children, aim to hit their last state before they become grandparents.
"We're hopeful that we've got five years, but you never know," Meissner said.