By Kelly MacConomy
“To Run Across A Place Is To Truly Know A Place”
ALEXANDRIA,VA- Old Town ultrarunner and über-accountant Stephanie Lasure began her journey of many, many miles last November by running off a Thanksgiving leftover repast. She was inspired by professional ultrarunner guru Rickey Gates, who on November 1, 2018 began a run of the streets of San Francisco.
The #everysinglestreet movement has gone viral, with runners spanning the globe, from California to Brazil, South Africa to New Zealand, Germany and now to Virginia!
Stephanie explains her running zeitgeist: “I can tell you that my running-world community was amazing these last 10 months. From my every day running group of friends to my wider group of running friends, circling from Wyoming to Vegas to California to the online community of #EVERYSINGLESTREET. There is nothing more rewarding than lacing up a pair of running shoes and hitting the streets. It will change your life and it certainly has mine.”
Stephanie’s quest, as daunting as it may seem to most armchair athletes as well as fitness fanatics, was not entirely a cake walk. Her infectious, energetic enthusiasm has led to more ambitious travels running along the Great Wall of China and treks across the High Sierra Trail taken just this past August. Injuries and other most-excellent adventurous interruptions west and east set back the fait-accompli finale.
Saturday, September 21 at 8 in the morning Stephanie assembled with a group of supportive friends and fans for the milestone run in front of the “Mirror, Mirror” installation at Waterfront Park. Beginning at the edge of the park at Prince Street, the final mile was accomplished on a weather-perfect, end-of-summer morning while dodging farmers market delivery vans, road-closure barriers and King Street Art Festival set-up crews. Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, a dedicated runner himself, plans to commemorate Stephanie’s achievement with a proclamation at City Hall sometime in the near future.
Stephanie has managed to navigate the streets, alleys, cut-de-sacs, terraces, backroads and avenues of every kind: asphalt, dirt or gravel (under construction), brick or cobblestone. If it had a name and was mapped, Stephanie pounded the pavement for all the 15-plus square miles of Port City. The detailed map Stephanie acquired from City Hall is on display prominently in her Old Town home. Over the last ten months she has colored in the completed streets, sharing her progress on social media and to anyone interested enough to ask. Her progress has been documented by Strava (the mobile app and website for serious runners and cyclists) for the sake of archiving the run and sharing the data with compatriot ultrarunners and #everysinglestreet wannabes.
Having several ultramarathons and numerous marathons to her credit, Stephanie elected to be more capricious and less structured about routing her runs. Typically a run distance in a city encompasses about 8-12 square blocks per mile. Alexandria streets with their quaint colonial beginnings transitionnig to planned community development vary widely. One day Stephanie might run merely three miles. Other times she could easily aspire to travel six or more should the mood strike and the scenery inspire.
Stephanie’s favorite street-side close encounter of a runners kind was Locust Lane In Rosemont with its eclectic architecture and fairytale-feel . Every single street run revealed something undiscovered or diverting at almost every turn.
Q.: “Stephanie Lasure you have just completed #EVERYSINGLESTREET in Alexandria! What are you going to do now?”
A.: “I finished with 330 miles over 10 months I really and truly did not want this to end. Then what’s next? I’m going to let my running friend who has so entertained me patiently there last months be my guide. She gets to decide what we’re going to run for the next ten months and I am just going to tuck In behind her.”
Running on the streets- ALL the streets- where you live builds community, networking, and everlasting connections to a place. After all….there’s no run like home!