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Minnesota woman makes history, qualifies for Boston Marathon in all 50 states

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Julie Musselman began running marathons 15 years ago as a way to cope with the death of her husband, Bill Musselman, former coach of the Timberwolves.

And now she's made history.

“Training for a marathon is more productive than putting the covers over your head,” Musselman, an Elk River native who now lives in Excelsior, told Star News.

She started running – and kept running, setting the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in all 50 states before her 50th birthday in May 2016, Runner's World reports.

After finishing the Jackson Hole Marathon in Wyoming back in September, Musselman completed her "50 by 50" goal, the publication says.

She is first woman known to have finished sanctioned marathons with Boston Marathon qualifying times in all 50 states, the Star Tribune says, and did so running all of them in under 4 hours, Star News notes.

“I was so nervous going into [the race]. I could barely get a bagel down. I’ve had 50 bagels and 50 bananas before 50 races, but this was different,” Musselman told the paper.

She actually thought she'd completed the feat last year, but after a Runner's World story about the eight people – all men – to qualify for Boston in all 50 states, she found out her Wyoming race wasn't on a certified course, so it technically didn't count.

The Jackson Hole Marathon was her last chance to complete her "50 by 50" goal by her birthday. She ran it one week after finishing a race in Oregon, reports note.

In a post on the marathon's Facebook page, Musselman wrote:

"Thanks for such an amazing race! Thank you for taking the time to certify your course. Without it, my quest to run all 50 states as [Boston qualifiers] would not have been possible. I loved finishing in one of the most beautiful places with such an attentive small race. You guys rock!"

She finished the race in 3 hours, 48 minutes and 20 seconds, beating the Boston qualifying time for her age group by nearly 7 minutes, reports say.

"Once she starts a goal, it’s going to be finished. That’s just the person that she is," her son, Max Musselman, now 17, told Star News.

Now that she's reached her goal, she's not done running. She ran the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 4 – the first in 48 races where she got to sleep in her own bed, Runner's World notes.

She plans to keep running, but also to spend more time with her husband whom she met running, and her two children, reports note.

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