During the pandemic, everyone had a new goal or hobby. For Toronto’s Stephen Peck, it was running more than 11,000 streets and laneways in the city of 3,000,000. Last week, Peck achieved his goal, nabbing the last couple of streets he needed in Scarborough North.
Peck, 46, was inspired to do this challenge after his friends John Yip and Richard Denis discussed doing this challenge early on in the pandemic. The group called it the Pandemic Project and tracked the challenge via citystrides.com, which syncs with your Garmin Connect or Strava and shows you a heatmap of all the streets you’ve run. Although Yip and Denis got a head start on Peck, life got in the way of Yip and Denis’s challenge, which allowed Peck to catch up to his two friends.
Peck made a big push in the fall of 2020 when he began completing 10 to 20 streets per run.
For a street to count on City Strides, it has to be run from start to finish, which means Peck covered all of Bloor/Danforth, Eglinton, Bathurst and Yonge Street.
The 11,000 streets represent over 7,500 kilometres, ranging from Toronto’s waterfront to Steeles Ave. in North York to Scarborough-Pickering Line in the east to Etobicoke Creek in the west.
Peck, a transportation engineer, began running in 2004 and holds a marathon personal best of 2:51:56 from the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In 2019, Peck won the Grimsby Half Marathon in Grimsby, Ont. in a speedy time of 1:23:57. And in 2018 he completed the Tokyo Marathon and received his six-star medal for finishing all six Abbott World Marathon Majors.
If you are curious about how many streets in your town or city you’ve covered, check out the City Strides app.