Every Street in Kirkwood

Since the beginning of the Quarantine, I have not been able to get out to the trails as much. Whether it is the fact that I am a teaching assistant for my kids or the overcrowding of the trails due to nothing else safe (which of course made the trails unsafe) or anything open to go to, I have had to take most of my runs back to the streets from whence I came.

I was left looking for ways to make running on the road more interesting. I have a ton of regular routes that I ran before being nearly trail exclusive, and it was a great change for a couple of days to run those again. But it didn’t hold my interest for long and I was still looking for something else.

One thing that I had considered in the past was running every street in my town. I knew of a website to help me do it called CityStrides. It basically works by importing your GPS workouts from Strava, Garmin, or MapMyRun. It then combines all that data and compares it against a set of nodes representing all the streets within the city limits of any given town or city. The output is a map with all the routes you’ve taken and a list of the streets you’ve completed, the streets you have left, and a percentage complete.

My map of Kirkwood looks like this:

Click the map to go to my CityStrides page for more details

When I decided to start this project I had already completed close to 30% of Kirkwood simply from running around here for so long without even trying to run every street. But when I started to run every street in every neighborhood and every cul-de-sac, it honestly felt a little weird. I had one person, who was just going out for a walk, question where I was going when the only thing at the end of the dead end street was her house. I simply explained my weird project to her and she seemed to justifiably think that I was just another weirdo runner.

Once I got into my groove though, I had a system of systematically tackling neighborhood after neighborhood, little by little. There were a couple of roads that were private drives that I marked as manually complete since I was not interested in being were I wasn’t supposed to be and did not care to get arrested for the privilege. There were also streets that I would not have had to run because the nodes were marked as complete with a cross street run, but I wanted to make sure I ran down every one.

These past few days of it were filled with various odds and ends that I missed the first time around. It was a lot of distance with smaller increments of progress toward my goal. However, today I finally made it. 100 percent of Kirkwood run. It feels good. It’s ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but at least now I get to honestly say, “I ran every street in Kirkwood.”