Well, here we are! A full 52 week cycle completed! It almost worked out that one year in coincided with 100 runs and 1000kms which are both a less than my expectations, but I’m secretly relieved that those numbers are where they are. For a while in the spring I was getting awfully pesimistic about my ability to get back to a normal routine. That’s the thing about getting injured…while you’re on the shelf you think you’ll never get off but if there’s a silver lining to being hurt it’s that you appreciate being healthy that much more when you are.
What started partially as an injury rehab program now stands officially at 1,012 kms run and $2,910.54 raised for local Edmonton charities. Thanks very much to Carla, Mike, Chris, Jason, Steve, and Nic who helped me out by directing where the donations being generated were going to go for The Streets Initiative’s inaugural year. As well, I’d like to extend a genuine heartfelt thanks to everyone who also made a donation to one of the six charities chosen this year. I’d say that Homes for Heroes, Risky Genes, SCARS, The Edmonton Foodbank, YESS, and The Family Center are all a tiny bit better because of you, so again, a big thanks! Links to all of these great organizations are here on the website.
It’s been really fun so far! When I look at the map overlay on the homepage it doesn’t look like I’ve accomplished a whole lot but I think it’s just that I’m in a very dense section of roads and alleys at the moment. I’m expecting this project to take a bit longer due to the extras I added like golf courses, cemeteries, and paved paths but the adjacent industrial areas are going to be much faster to get through. In any case, I’ve got to up my kms if I want to get this done before I’m 85 years old! San Francisco is a much bigger city and an American by the name of Rickey Gates bagged it in 45 days of hard running and zen-like dedication. It doesn’t take long to run every street in a city when you’re able to run an average of 47 km per day! Rickey is an elite distance runner who once ran the width of the USA from South Carolina back to San Francisco in 5 months on a shoestring budget. Probably a good example of the point being in the journey itself rather than the actual goal of simply an A to B activity, which would be incredible just by itself. Good on you, Rickey! Check out his past and current projects here: http://www.rickeygates.com/
What can I say? Last November I started on that secondary road running parallel with the Eastern portion of Henday and didn’t really have an idea of where I would be a year later. Southeast Edmonton is a giant series of residential neighborhoods that are a warren of twisty, curvy roads, and are usually doubled or tripled up with alleys and paved paths. In my head, I underestimated the amount of distance and time that it would take to complete some of these areas. I typically use Google Earth in conjunction with my Strava heat map to figure out my route for the next run and then just go with it. The Strava heatmap is a feature of the app that overlays a graphic tracing of everywhere I have ran, and it’s surprising how small the completed route looks even after banging out a 10 miler. In the beginning at least, I was thinking that I could clean out a neighborhood in 3 runs tops and, while it’s definitely possible to do this, it’s only possible you are planning or able to hit 20km runs each time you go out (which is part of the plan!). A typical neighborhood can be anywhere from 60km to 100km depending on the complexity of the area. This year I typically ran anywhere from 8km to 15km on any given activity… I think my average distance was a hair over 10k with small percentages of that devoted to having to redo certain streets because of having to having to double back to ensure I got everything. I need to up that.
Like I said, it’s been much more fun than I expected. I thought that the potential for this to become tedious was there, but I’ve found that trying to run every street hasn’t been boring at all. It’s been really interesting exploring these neighborhoods that I likely wouldn’t have ever visited and discovering the hidden gems that exist there. Many people live their whole lives in a city and never see much more than their own neighborhood and what’s along the usual route to their place of work. At the very least I’m gaining some perspective of the place that I’ve called home for my whole life and it’s been a great experience so far. I’m interested and excited to see what the next year brings!