Happy New Year, folks.
I hope everyone had a happy and SAFE holiday, and that you’re all positive and OPTIMISTIC looking to the next year.
Now let’s get down to business.
I’ve been working on a rather large undertaking in 2019. Before I officially posted anything about it, I wanted to make sure I had my idea fully thought out and plan formulated so I would have the best chance at being successful.
I’ve mentioned “a project” I’ve been working on a few times in previous blog posts and Instagram captions, but the time has officially come:
In 2019, I’m going to attempt to run every single city street in my hometown of Eau Claire, WI.
Before we go any further, I do want to state that we aren’t a huge city. According to Wikipedia, we’re 34.14 square miles.
I haven’t been able to find exactly how many miles of road there are within the city limits, but I’m guessing it will be at least half of my yearly mileage goal (which I’ll talk about in another post later this week.)
I just don’t want people looking up the city and thinking I’m planning on like 5000 miles this year and being disappointed when it’s not as impressive.
Why are you doing this? Glad you asked!
Last year around this time, I was reading A LOT about the Barkley Marathons.
If you don’t know about this race, there’s a VERY good documentary on Amazon Prime about it, as well as a recent (free) documentary on YouTube by The Ginger Runner and a FANTASTIC write up about the 2017 race on Esquire.
SparkNote version: The Barkley is a 100+ mile Ultra-marathon at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. It’s considered one of the hardest ultras in the world, and only fifteen people have ever completed the race.
ANYWAY, the evil mastermind behind said race, Lazarus Lake, is one of the OGs in the ultra community. In “The Race That Eats It’s Young,” Laz pulls out a huge map of the state of Tennessee, and briefly explains that he is/was attempting to run every street statewide. I thought this was BADASS.
If this guy can make SO MUCH PROGRESS on running every road in an entier state, I can surely do my whole city. As cool as I thought it was, I was still knee-deep in Marathon training, so I sort of forgot about the whole idea.
Fast-forward to October, I saw a tweet from Rickey Gates and his attempt at running the entire city of San Francisco. He was using Strava Heatmaps (a Summit feature) to show every street he had run over a specific period of time.
This reignited the spark. I wrote down my goal (an important step) and started figuring out how I wanted to go about this.
On top of the running-specific inspiration, I love Eau Claire. I’ve been here for two-going-on-three years, and I feel super connected to this city. I thought this would be a cool way to get out to explore and see it through a different perspective.
Which brings us here.
Basically, I’m going to combine the Laz and Rickey techniques and track it both on paper and digitally.
For the paper copy, I had a heck of a time finding a map of the city that shows every street, so, as a last resort I sent a Facebook message to The City of Eau Claire explaining what I’m trying to do. They hooked me up with a HUGE MAP. Shout out to Tess!
Most days, I’m going to try to get my mileage (sans hill/track workouts) by running different routes and loops around the city. I’m going to track this using Strava Heatmaps and the giant map provided by the city.
What happens if this doesn’t take the full year? Another good question.
I don’t anticipate that this will take me ALL YEAR, but I do have other goals in mind as far as races and times (again, another post later this week), so after this endeavor, those will be my main focus.
If I finish running every street in the City of Eau Claire MUCH faster than anticipated, I’ll begin to include neighboring towns like Altoona, Seymour, Union…. Maybe I’ll try to cover the whole county.
I plan on being 100% transparent and posting regular updates to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #EverySingleStreetEC.
Every Friday, I’ll either post an updated Heatmap or a picture of the wall map (maybe both?) with a quick update on my mileage for the week/year.
I’m going to try to write an extended update on this AT LEAST once every two weeks. Hopefully more. I’ve been on a really good streak with putting out content, so I’m going to try to keep that up.
So that’s the big goal for the year. I have a few more on my list, but I’m going to save those for another post later in the week.
What are your goals for 2019? Have any burning questions you think I should write about? Do you think this whole thing is dumb?! Leave a comment or shoot me an email.
If you’ve taken the time to read all of this, THANK YOU! I really appreciate it. I’ve been getting some solid feedback lately, and it’s helping guide my future posts!
I look forward to taking this beast on, and I’m ALSO stoked to let you guys know about it. I hope you enjoy seeing the journey from the outside!
Keep ‘er movin’,