I started using CityStrides. It combines my love of maps and running. Previously I addressed this addiction with orienteering. However I have not joined the local orienteering club. All orienteering clubs usually meet on Wednesday evenings and that intersects with my usual group run day. They also meet all over the lower mainland, so I would need to start driving to them. And I’ve gotten to the point in my life in Vancouver where if I have to drive somewhere, I don’t want to do it. Which is odd, considering that I will happily run to places much further away.
Anyway, CityStrides keeps track of everywhere I’ve run and then shows me on a map. And then challenges me to cover an entire city. So right now, according to it, I’ve run 18.2% of Vancouver. I regularly run with someone who has covered 98% of the city. It is encouraging me run places I haven’t run before so I see new things. It is sometimes surprising what you can find when you go a bit away from the regular routes.
Interestingly, I have only run 3.52% of Edmonton. I lived and ran there for much longer, but my percentage is much lower. (Heck, I’ve completed 8.95% of a village in France that I hiked/ran through twice.) The reason for that, I think, is that I didn’t push myself to run different routes. Also, Edmonton is more spread out than Vancouver. And more importantly, the streets in Edmonton are numbered. CityStrides will only consider a street run if I have run 90% of it, even if they are discontinuous. In Edmonton, many streets will span the entire city.
I like a goal. The challenge invigorates me.
I’m mostly trying to cover the downtown peninsula, but I have now started expanding more and more out into the other areas. I doubt I will be able to get everything though. The streets it uses don’t always exist; there is a trail in Stanley Park that no one has run because the actual trail is different from the waypoints that exist in CityStrides. And one of the more frustrating “streets” is the boundary between Lost Lagoon and an adjacent swamp. I’m still tempted to find a way to get those streets, although I may have to get very wet for some of them.