Local runner Cory Meaker had the inspiration, then the plan — inspired by professional runner and blogger Rickey Gates, who ran the streets of San Francisco in 40 days, Meaker got together with fellow runner Graham Trenda, got a Montrose map and started plotting.
Their New Year’s resolution for 2019 was to run every single street in Montrose, plus open up the goal to others.
Meaker, who works at In Motion Therapy, got his employer on board, which helped him hand out maps and small incentives for running or walking the streets. They gave out everything from gift cards to coffee shops, to hiding a Lego figure and handing out clues as to where it was. This inspired other runners to join in, including Amanda Collins of Delta.
Meaker and Trenda, together and independently, ran every street in Montrose city limits, and then when they were done, spread it out into the county. They both had Garmin watches that were able to track time, miles, and location, and then each night downloaded the information onto their printed maps.
Both ran a total of 406 miles in the year 2019. They admit in the hotter summer months they didn’t cover many miles in town, but they never stopped; they just reverted to their trail running.
Collins ran the streets of Delta and logged more than 200 miles, mapping her progress. “What’s next? We have to do something else, I can’t just run now,” she said at the end of the year.
“Some of the runs took me way out of my comfort zone. Either because of the distance I had chosen or the location where my run was going to take me. Because of the street challenge, I laced up my shoes and went for it anyways whereas before I never would have attempted it,” Collins added.
“And I saw so many hidden gems. This challenge took me off the beaten path of my normal running routes and I saw so many wonderful sights. Between charming old houses, eclectic yard art and murals, hidden subdivisions, and pocket parks, there was always something new to see, a new sight to take in.”
Meaker is a Montrose native. “I was amazed at the diversity in Montrose, from some really high end neighborhoods to real poverty. But everywhere I ran was clean, Montrose is really very well kept,” he said.
“As runners we’re always looking for the next adventure, the next exploration, and sometimes we forget how much is right outside our front door. It can be as easy as just taking a different route on your way home from work to wake up to what is outside your door,” Meaker said.
“I saw neighborhoods of every social class. It’s important to have perspective. Be thankful you have a home, regardless of size. At the end of a run, it’s good to have a place to return to,” Trenda said.
They are talking about what else they can do, and want to continue inspiring people. “Find something that motivates you, break it down into small pieces, and that makes anything doable,” Meaker said.