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Midland man completes quest to run every street in the city

Matt Frazier
Matt Frazier's running map shows the routes he took over every street in Midland.

A Midland man has reached his goal of running every single street in his city.

Matt Frazier, an emergency dispatcher in Midland, said he started the quest to check off streets as a way to make his ultramarathon training more meaningful.

But he quickly realized he was building a mental map of the city that helps him recognize where 911 callers are and direct first responders to them.

He said he noticed city landmarks that he would have missed if he just drove by in a car.

Matt Frazier
Matt Frazier recently ran every block of every street in Midland, Mich.

“Maybe it’s statues or a particular feature about a house or a building or something,” he said. The more familiar I can be with all of our locations, the more quickly we can determine that location and move on to getting other information or getting help started.”

Frazier said he smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day before he started running. He says he wants people to know they can kick an old habit and start a new one.

“There’s nothing different or special about me,” he said.

Frazier saved a street near his running group’s favorite bar for his final segment of the city. They celebrated his finishing the map with what he called “rehydration beverages.”

He said it took about three years to finish every block of every street, and he’s not yet sure what his next mapping project will be — although he knows there's more running ahead.

"As for what's next, there's always something on the horizon for me," Frazier said. "Coming up soon I have a 100+ mile trail run in the U.P. next month, followed by a Quintuple Iron Distance Triathlon in Virginia (12 mile swim, 560 mile ride, 131 mile run) in October."

Brett joined WCMU in February, 2021, as a general assignment reporter. He was previously the health reporter at WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y., and has filed stories for National Public Radio, IEEE Spectrum, The Village Voice and other outlets.