Lynch takes roads less travelled in unique run
Despite only being on island for a little more than two years, Alistair Lynch has probably seen more of Bermuda than anyone else.
That’s because what started out as short runs escaping lockdown restrictions after relocating for work in the summer of 2020, eventually evolved into the goal of pounding the streets of every named road, lane and path in Bermuda.
“I had seen a guy run every street in San Francisco and so I thought I’ll start doing a few around Bermuda,” explained the 29-year-old. “By the time I had run everywhere I was allowed to from the distance of my house, I had already seen quite a bit.
“After that I wanted to see if I could run every street on island. As an ex-pat moving to Bermuda I thought it was a really interesting way to see the island and perhaps parts that you wouldn’t normally.”
After a delay to his quest due to injury, Lynch’s determination was reignited after discovering the CityStrides app, meaning his somewhat aimless rambles could be plotted more methodically and allow him to to see where he had yet to discover.
“I don’t think it would have been possible without that app because it defined what is a road and what is not, rather than me just running down every path and dead end.” he added.
“When I found that app it made it more real to see what I’d actually done and which roads I had left. At that point at the start of 2021, when I started tracking it properly, it seemed a lot more doable.
“It was more a logistical challenge than a physical one. At the start it was a bit more random but then, as it became more real if you like, I started tracking it properly and planning more.”
Ticking off every corner of the island, from West to East and every lane in-between proved a laborious journey, with Lynch admitting that he underestimated the task in hand.
“One thing I didn’t appreciate is that Bermuda isn’t on a grid or made of a natural loop, there are a lot of little lanes which is torturous,” he said. “It’s also definitely more hilly than I thought.
“For me it was all about seeing the island but towards the later stages it was just about getting it done to be honest.”
The journey did however come with some spectacular highlights.
“There are places that you’d probably never naturally go that were just interesting,” Lynch added.
“There’s a lot of areas where the margins between private road and public road seem to blur and so I had a lot of helpful locals asking me if I was lost along the way.
“There are loads of spectacular views on the island, which I don’t think many would normally see, like the North edge of St George’s down all the little lanes. There are also some amazing views over Harrington Sound Road coming down from the west side of North Shore Road.
“If I had to pick, I would say my favourite road is Town Hill Road coming out of Flatts along Harrington Sound Road then up a really steep hill. The view from up there is pretty spectacular.
“The weirdest by far was running around the Caroline Bay/Morgans Point area and seeing the half-built hotel,” added Lynch on reserving the accolade of his least favourite area run. “There are roads on the app that just don’t exist.
“There are also all the fire hydrants that I assume were supposed to be put in just sitting in a big pile, hundreds of them. It was weirdly desolate; like so near but so far from being completed.”
Having started out on August 21 2020, Lynch finally completed his journey of discovery and perseverance three weeks ago, clocking up around 1,200 kilometres.
“By then end I was happy but probably more relieved,” he said. “I think I’m the first to run an entire country and by that I mean all the named roads and tribe roads in Bermuda; basically everything on Google maps. everything with a street sign, plus other lanes.
“I found it really satisfying because I guess pretty quickly I became familiar with a lot of the island.”
While he has been to every corner of Bermuda, there is still more for even Lynch to discover as he was denied access to some of the most restricted parts of the island.
“There are three or four roads I just couldn’t physically get to like the Ariel Sands development, which is still locked up,” he added. “I would also love to be able to run along Sinky Bay and Sonesta Drive down to the Hamilton Beach Club. It was gated and so I couldn’t get through, unfortunately.”
Having undertaken his own unique end-to-end quest, Lynch has now challenged others to follow in his footsteps and better his efforts.
“I’d love to see someone do it a lot quicker because they should be able to do it in a lot less time; I’m sure it could be done more efficiently,” he said.
“I’m not a particularly competent runner and this is purely recreational, so if someone really plans it out properly I’m sure they could do it in six months or so.
“At the very least, I’d definitely recommend people at least get out and run around their parish. It’s a really nice way to see around the area you live and discover new places. It certainly gives you a new-found appreciation of where you live.”