Mike Beckwith of Livermore is nearing the end of a years-long mission to run every single street in the entire city.
Beckwith, 50, moved to Livermore from Dublin in 2016 and initially started his running journey through Livermore later the same year but he said he slowed down when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and shelter in place orders were implemented.
In addition to the pandemic delay, Beckwith -- a recently retired tech professional -- said he worked a lot over the years and traveled quite often for work, which didn't leave him with much free-time to get his runs in. He said that running the streets of Livermore was more of a leisurely project that he did in his spare time.
"I also do a tremendous amount of running on weekends for trail races, so I'll do 26 to 30 races a year and that takes away my weekend running time because it puts me out in these mountains running as opposed to running the streets," Beckwith said, adding that he would typically do his local street runs on weekdays after work.
Now that he's retired, he said he runs just about every single day, which is helping him reach the finish line much faster. As of last Saturday, Beckwith had completed 343.79 miles, according to a tally he shared on social media.
He told Livermore Vine that he took on the same endeavor while living in Dublin and he finished just prior to moving to his current Tri-Valley community.
"It's really just about getting three, four or five miles in a day and that starts to add up," Beckwith said of his running strategy.
Beckwith wasn't always passionate about running. He said he was formerly a "pack-a-day smoker" and decided to quit about 10 years ago -- just before turning 40. He said he wanted to find something to replace the smoking habit and he had a few friends who were into running.
"I bought some shoes and went for a one-mile run and of course it was very painful, but it sure made me not want to have a cigarette," he said.
After that first mile, Beckwith said he's continued running ever since and has become an avid cycler as well. Since 2011, he said he's run about 31 ultra marathons and more than 125 half-marathons. "It's become a big, huge part of me," he said.
As part of the broader Bay Area running community, Beckwith said he often has friends who will join him on his runs and when he ran through all of Dublin, the community got involved. On the day of his very last Dublin run, he said about 40 people showed up to do it with him.
Beckwith tracks his progress using digital maps and shares them on his Mike Runs Livermore Facebook profile. He typically posts two maps, one that shows a close-up of the specific area or neighborhood he ran and another that shows the entire city with all of the locations filled in that he's completed.
He said he uses a popular cycling and running GPS app called Strava to help pull his tracking data. "Part of the fun of it is figuring out this puzzle," Beckwith said.
He is so dedicated to the effort that if he misses a street, he will go back another day to finish it. While he admits that at times he gets tired, he said that he never regrets going for a run.
"Even on days when I don't want to do it, I'll tell myself, 'How about I just put on my shoes and go outside?' and at that point if I decide I don't want to do this, I'll go back in but that never happens because by then I've already done the hard part," he said.
Beckwith also has motivation from his family to complete his runs. He has three adult children and two 4-year-old twin grandchildren. Last Sunday, he completed his first race with his grandkids along with his eldest daughter by participating in Dublin's Shamrock 5K.