Running the city — on foot

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published December 22, 2017

 Rochester Hills resident Sandy Stiner has run on every  street in the city.

Rochester Hills resident Sandy Stiner has run on every street in the city.

Photo provided by Sandy Stiner

ROCHESTER HILLS — After running down every single street in the city, a journey of nearly 500 miles, Sandy Stiner has seen a lot.

“I saw a miniature baseball field in a backyard and a gazebo that was turned into a manger,” Stiner said. “I also saw street signs that gave the same street name (Maryknoll) in three different directions.”

During her 22-week quest to travel down every Rochester Hills street, avenue and boulevard, Stiner indulged in her favorite hobby: investigation.

“When I was in the car, I’d wonder, ‘What is down that dirt road?’ It was really cool to get out and see what there is in the city.

“There are so many hidden parks and little trails that lead from one subdivision to the next,” she said. “There are just so many things I didn’t know were out there, and now I know where everything is at.”

Stiner, 48, a retired police officer and an avid marathon runner, set upon her project in May, inspired by a fellow runner who had explored every street in Royal Oak.

“I’ve done 75 marathons,” Stiner said.

Frequently running with her dogs, she experienced one rough day when two neighborhood dogs running loose attacked her border collie.

“Pepper spray saved it,” she said. “Fortunately, the dog owner stepped up and paid for my dog’s surgery.”

She also quickly learned which local roads have no bike paths or sidewalks.

“The worst is Adams Road between Avon and Walton,” she said. “There are huge hills, and there is no shoulder.”

After a few residents, suspicious of a stranger running down their street, called police to report her, Stiner placed a “gone running” sign in her car with a clock listing her return time.

Stiner ended her journey by inviting Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett to accompany her on her final 4-mile leg, ending Dec. 4 at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.

“There is always such a great feeling when you accomplish something that hasn’t been done,” Barnett said in a statement. “I was honored that Sandy allowed me to join her on her journey.”

Next, Stiner plans a 100-mile treadmill race that she aims to “power through” all at once in her basement. That effort will benefit Alzheimer’s disease research through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s initiative.

“I will be one of 28 people in the nation doing it,” she said. “I’m hoping to beat my personal record of 27 hours and 55 minutes for 100 miles.” To donate to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit act.aiz.org.  

And she will continue her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states.

“I’ll be doing my 40th state in January in South Carolina,” she said. “Then I’ll have 10 states left.”