Most of us are familiar with the roads directly surrounding us, the main routes, our most-used short-cut streets and even a few offshoots into a neighborhood on the other side of town. But one Mt. Lebanon resident decided to become very familiar with our municipality. Early this winter, Ryan Mori happened upon a map of Mt. Lebanon, he thought, “why not?” and set out to run on every street.
Unlike most runners, though, Mori is hearing-impaired. He keeps safe and alert by always keeping his eyes open, swinging his head often to check his surroundings, and wearing big, bright reflective gear, including a yellow mesh vest, just in case. In the summer he prefers to run on trails, but they aren’t well maintained in the winter, so his challenge became a good way to stay active and run close to home.
His first run was November 11, a three-mile stretch on North Meadowcroft Avenue. Throughout the next few months, Mori ran 29 different times for a total distance of 294.02 miles. He recorded each outing, mapped where he’d gone and checked out where he still needed to run using an iPhone app, Nike+ Running. From edge to edge, he ran each road in Mt. Lebanon. “It was fun to see all of them,” Mori says about discovering new streets. “Mt. Lebanon is [a] very interesting community.” Mori says seeing the different ages and appearances of homes all over the municipality was a perk of having seen it all.
On February 7, he ran the last run of his challenge, starting on Miami Avenue and making his way to his home on Washington Road. It was also his longest run and clocked in at an impressive 17 miles.
Of all the roads in Mt. Lebanon, his favorite place to run is Osage Road; Mori describes it as “peaceful and friendly.” The most surprising? Mori says he had always assumed McNeilly Road was part of Dormont or Baldwin Township; “It doesn’t look like Mt. Lebanon, crazy!” He also lists Mississippi Avenue and Illinois Avenue as surprises. In general, “most streets were nice and [quiet],” Mori explains.
But even in Mt. Lebanon, not every road has a sidewalk. Often those roads are busy, but Mori came up with a way to check them off the list while still remaining safe. He says that late one night when it snowed and while there were very few cars on the roads, he ran all of Connor, Gilkeson and Painters Run Road. “It was awesome!”
“I’m happy I finished my goal. I would love to try [to] run [a] half marathon or other races,” he says, adding he’s not competitive. “I enjoy it because it keeps me [motivated].”