Earlier this year, January 24th 2020, to be exact, I decided to dust off an old project I had shelved back in 2016 called the Run Savannah Project. The goal of the RSP was to run every street in Savannah, Ga. Back in 2016, I quit that project just three weeks into it. I didn’t have the drive and focus for such a big goal. At the beginning of 2020, it seemed that I finally had the mental fortitude to go after this goal. Little did I know at the beginning of this year that a pandemic would change our lives dramatically, giving me more impetus for this bodacious goal…Thus, 2020, finally seemed the right time for me to go after the Run Savannah Project.
Here I am now, eleven months later…128 days dedicated to just running toward the RSP. So far, I’ve run 46.2% of Savannah’s streets and have logged 745 miles toward this goal. My short term goal for the RSP is to finish off 2020 having run over 50% of Savannah’s streets. Running 3.8% of Savannah’s streets by December 31st seems like an easily obtainable goal but it’s a lot of miles of running. And, with the sciatica problem I’ve been battling with for the past month, running has become a bit of a chore rather than a mere pleasure that running usually is for me.
The RSP has gifted me a very intimate portrait of Savannah. I’m experiencing the beautiful sections of this lovely city along with the not so pleasant sections. I’ve met people on this journey that I would not have met otherwise. Most of the folks I’ve met have been beautiful souls and, there have been very few jerks along the way, as one would expect. I’ve had drivers pull over on the side of the road to see if I’m okay when they see me looking at a map and scratching my head. Upon me telling them that I’m trying to get my bearings as I’m running every street in Savannah, most just look at me quizzically as if trying to grasp exactly what I just stated. Some have said, “okay. Have fun” as they drive away slowly. I can imagine them thinking, ‘another Savannah nut job!’ Nut job or not, I’ve enjoyed the journey so far. Embarking on a goal to run every street of my adopted home town has been such a wholesome experience so far and, a great goal to pursue.
This project has opened up Savannah to me fully. I’m discovering areas in this town that I never knew existed. Its showing me that there’s a lot more to this town than I expected. I’m learning that some neighborhoods have some varying altitude in flat Savannah. (As a runner in Savannah, I’m always looking for some kind of elevation and normally only find it when running the Talmadge or Thunderbolt bridges). So, it’s nice to learn that there are some slightly hillyish areas in Savannah other than bridges. The more streets of Savannah that I run the smaller the town gets. Initially, the Run Savannah Project seemed so overwhelming when I first started it. I remember thinking, ‘I’ll never finish this goal’. Now, that I’ve run almost half of Savannah’s streets I’m beginning to realize that this goal will soon be complete….and, what should I do after completing it?
Finishing the Run Savannah Project is going to take some time. So, rather than ponder what my next goal will be after completing this one, I am just going to blissfully enjoy every run I get the opportunity to run through the beautiful city of Savannah. Now, if I can just get this sciatic nerve discomfort resolved it would be so delightful as I keep pounding asphalt all through Savannah.
I will continue writing down my thoughts on this endeavor from time to time, sharing my progress and thoughts.
If you want to keep up with the RSP look for my Instagram handle, @dlh14255. I also have a Facebook page dedicated to this project called: Run Savannah Project
Thanks for taking the time to read this.