PORTLAND, Maine — Daniel Mejia of Munjoy Hill is aware of find out how to make tracks quick.
Mejia through-hiked the two,200-mile Appalachian Path in 2018. He’s additionally completed the two,650-mile Pacific Crest Path and conquered Vermont’s comparatively brief 273-mile Lengthy Path.
In 2019, he set a pace report, traversing Maine’s rugged 100-Mile Wilderness in simply 33 hours, 18 minutes and 55 seconds with none assist group, carrying his personal provides and water.
Mejia crushed the earlier report by virtually an hour.
With these spectacular bipedal accomplishments behind him, Mejia now has his sights set on one more purpose. He’s operating down each avenue in Portland — all of them. That’s upward of 1,500 byways and, in accordance with Portland’s Public Works Division, a number of hundred miles.
Mejia is together with any signed or named avenue as a part of his quest. Meaning public methods on Peaks, Cliff and Nice Diamond Islands, in addition to all of the named lanes in Evergreen Cemetery, are a part of it.
He began operating his self-assigned challenge through the second week of January and has been selecting away at it in his spare time, earlier than and after work, largely, ever since.
“I’ll end this 12 months,” he mentioned.
Mejia bought the concept whereas touring across the state for his day job as program director on the nonprofit Boys to Males Mission. He’d spend hours watching the state whiz by him by means of a automobile windshield. He stored considering that operating, strolling or mountain climbing by means of the cities can be a a lot better strategy to get to know them.
“Whenever you decelerate, you study a lot by noticing the little issues,” he mentioned.
Mejia initially got here to Maine from Minnesota to attend Bowdoin Faculty in Brunswick. He preferred the state a lot, he stayed after graduating in 2017.
Sometime, he mentioned he’d really wish to run all of Maine.
Operating Portland’s streets, Mejia mentioned he’s privileged to get its full image, together with sights, smells and inhabitants.
“There was this man, figuring out in his storage, rocking out to that outdated music ‘Electrical Avenue,’” he mentioned, savoring the reminiscence with a smile. “I’ll get this vibe, this vitality from a man — and a neighborhood — like that. It makes the miles fly by.”
Serving to Mejia meet his every-street purpose is Tucker Gordon, a school buddy and present East Finish neighbor. A software program engineer, Gordon created a customized mapping software that exhibits Mejia the place he’s already run and the place he has but to enterprise.
“It was Danny’s concept,” Gordon mentioned. “He approached me as a result of I do a whole lot of net improvement in my job. It’s been enjoyable, as properly.”
Gordon designed a system the place Mejia’s watch retains monitor of the place he runs. That information is then uploaded to the positioning, exhibiting the runner’s each day path in purple strains overlaid on a Portland map.
Mejia can then pull up that information on his cellphone earlier than a run, to assist plan.
Even with the app, he generally finally ends up operating some streets twice, both as a result of it’s a useless finish or as a result of it is sensible for a specific route.
“I’d relatively run it twice than sit on my sofa for hours, mapping routes,” Mejia mentioned.
Realizing his outdated buddy properly, Gordon was not stunned when Mejia introduced his newest pedestrian enterprise.
“My response was, ‘Yeah. That sounds such as you. It makes good sense,’” Gordon mentioned.
As of final week, Mejia estimated he’d accomplished about 70 of 1,500 Portland’s streets. When he finishes, he plans to run all of Portland’s 70-something miles of public trails.
Long run, Mejia wish to hike the Continental Divide Path. However that may imply months away from his day job and romantic accomplice.
“For proper now, I like being right here,” Mejia mentioned. “I plan to remain for some time, so long as I don’t get priced out.”