New Fitness Project: Run Minneapolis

I mentioned to Carly last night that I was considering running every street in Minneapolis as a fitness challenge. I like projects like this. Her ears immediately perked up. She told me she had a Barnes & Noble gift certificate burning a hole in her wallet and also needed a cookie, so let’s get out of the house.

My Virgin Map

Minneapolis Map

I live near the Southeast part of the city (but not Southeast Minneapolis – that’s more like East Minneapolis than Southeast Minneapolis). So I figured I could start this project today at the opposite end of the city and work my way back across over time.

My inspiration for this is Francine Corcoran, a local woman who walked the 1,071 miles of city streets over three years between 2003-2005. (Thanks to KARE-11 for having a search engine friendly story on Ms Corcoran I could find and link to.)

The Starting Line

53rd and Xerxes Aves N

That’s the NW corner of Minneapolis. Go one step further and you’re in Brooklyn Center. A K&G Men’s Mart at Brookdale Mall is visible from this corner:

53rd and Xerxes Aves N

I decided to start with East – West out and backs, so my first run took me down 53rd Ave N. On the North side of the road is a housing development with a fence protecting Brooklyn Center residents from Minneapolitans:

53rd Ave N

When I got home, I highlighted my route on my map:

First Run

Then I took a step back and realized that this is a huge project.

Also, I’ve realized that there are going to be a lot of rivers, lakes, schools, parks, train yards, etc., that break up the routes. Shingle Creek is my current challenger.

If you’re game on helping me chip off some miles, let’s do it.

Other runners encountered today: 0.

16 thoughts on “New Fitness Project: Run Minneapolis”

  1. This is an ambitious project, but it sounds neat. I kind of like to zone out while I jog and listen to the headphones & think I would be too distracted to remember to make the right turns and stuff. But I think you might have inspired me to try and run every paved trail in the city.

  2. Yikes, this is a huge project. I’ve wanted to do the same thing, but just in South Minneapolis, and in a car. Let’s race to see who finishes first 🙂

  3. Do you think some neighborhood police stations would let you sign in and out like when you hike in the outdoors? That way, people would know you got out okay or send in a rescue party if you were not back by curfew.

  4. @Matt, I forgot for a second that you’re a suburbanite now. 53rd & 52nd Aves N were sleepy. Very few of the visible challenges seen 20 blocks further south. Should I wait until the heat of the summer to make things more interesting?

    @Reuben, I’m a headphone wearing runner as well (when I’m solo). Mostly podcasts or audiobooks. Today’s selection was New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. Great stuff, if you’re into that sort of thing.

  5. Ed, for years, since I read about that woman who walked the city, I’ve been thinking about running all the streets. I’d definitely join you for some miles. Good luck!

    Random question: Since there are sidewalks on both sides of the street, how are you deciding which side to run on, and which side will be totally ignored?

  6. This is a fantastic project. You know a lot more about blogging and internet marketing than I do, but this seems worthy of it’s own blog. Best of luck. Get some google maps going on this.

  7. Ed, I’m totally down for a few of those miles, too. Preferably hill-less ones. And ones I’ve never seen.

  8. I have a goal of driving down most of Minneapolis streets…don’t feel safe in some areas walking. But I am looking for historic houses to photograph or other cool shots. Good luck…it will be easier once all the slush is gone.

  9. Good luck! In some places you might be able to still run across the bodies of water which would add a degree of excitement and adventure that a project like this is obviously missing! You’ll have to convince some of your running buddies to setup the weekly training runs to help accomplish your goal.

  10. Totally in for some of the wussier, flatter stretches, Ed. I will even wear a classic jogging outfit with a headband and knee socks and a Steve Prefontaine t-shirt.

  11. Hello Ed. Enjoy your travels! I had a wonderful time walking all of Minneapolis. I figured if I ever got bored or scared I would quit… but that never happened. Please let me know how it all goes for you.

  12. I was just considering this same idea the other day. Then I did research and realized that it was about 1100 miles. Plus, there will be some obvious overlapping, so probably are looking at 1150 minimum.

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