Run Stawell

Back in October/November 2019, I decided to run every street in my home town, Stawell.

I was inspired after watching one of my Strava friends run every street in her suburb in Melbourne.

At the time I was knee-deep in training for an Ultra (Surf Coast).  So the thought was put to the back of my mind.

After a reasonable amount of time off to recover from running my first 50k, the thought popped back into my mind. Since I had no other events on the horizon, I thought “Why not”.  I needed a change.  I needed an adventure.

On February 11, 2020, I crossed off my last street.

Just like that, my little challenge was complete.

It took me 54 sessions to run every street, and I learned a lot.  About myself and my little hometown.

Tips for a Successful Run Every Street Challenge

.1. Set yourself some ground rules

This will be different for everyone.

Mine were as follows:

  • I must take a photo on every run
    • Note: not every street, just something on the run
  • Share my runs on social Media
    • I used Instagram & Strava (I used: RES#(insert number))
  • Unless it was safe to do so, I would not run the highway
    • I chose not to run the highway in the 100km speed zone.  Even running against traffic, it was too high risk, and I value my life too much.
  • Allow yourself grace
    • There will be streets that you won’t be able to run, this accounts for that.

.2. Make a list of all the streets of your city/town/suburb

Google Maps, and MapShare (used to gazette streets by the council), are the tools I used to get my streets.

I used a spreadsheet to document all my streets.  Each letter of the alphabet had its sheet.  This made it easier to cross off.

As each street was completed, I would cross it off and date it.

I used different colours to represent different stages of completion.

Green – Complete
Orange – Incomplete
Blue – Street used as a thoroughfare
Pink – New (not on the original list)
Red – Unavailable/Does not exist

.3. Not every street is marked by a street sign

This may be a country thing, but the amount of streets that had no type of signage was astonishing (at least 25%).

I tend to listen to podcasts/audiobooks or music while running on my own.  Therefore I have my phone with me.  Carrying my phone was extremely handy as I was able to check to see if a track was just a track or was a road.

This is how I discovered a lot of unnamed roads that look like tracks but actually real streets.

.4. Not every street has public access

Some streets have a private lease agreement.  This means as a member of the public you won’t have access to it.

There was one street that I was aware that I knew I would not be able to run.  This was (part of, as it was split into 3 sections) of Hines Street.  This particular street is leased by the abattoir and is fenced off.

On one of my last runs of this challenge, I discovered that Anderson St was blocked off by a new fence/gate. Double-checking Google Maps, I was in the right location.  Did I jump the fence? Yes.  I wasn’t turning back.  Did I get caught? No.  And even if I did, I was a runner, and really, I think if I were caught by a farmer, I can only assume he could see I would be completely harmless.

.5. Plan your route

Before each run, I would decide what street to cover and then plan a route around that street.

I would simply use Google Maps to map out my run.

To do this with Google Maps (has to be a PC), right-click, and select Measure Distance.  This will allow you to map your course.

.6. Arrange drop off’s

The only way I was going to get this challenge complete, was with the help of my husband.  He would drop me off, and then I would run back in.

Otherwise, you may find yourself doing very long runs.  If that’s your thing, then yay, but if not, just get dropped off.

.7. Have fun

I came across some really interesting things.

  • An old horse carriage
  • Cool & interesting letterboxes
  • Beautiful trees
  • Animals
  • An old telephone box

It’s easy to run the same route on runs.  Hello! Guilty as charged there.

That’s why I enjoyed this challenge.  Now I have plenty of new tracks to enjoy of all distances.

Now I have a whole list of new routes to add to my old old familiars.

Run Stawell Fun Facts

  • Shortest Street – Hobbs St @ 45m’s
  • Longest Street – Stawell-Donald Rd @ 9.5km
  • Prettiest Street – Grandard Park Rd
  • Street with the highest Elevation – Reef’s Road

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