Swimmer Justin Finkel ’25 earns All-America honors with second-place NCAA finish
In late August, Joseph Walewski ’23 left his house in Fairfield, Connecticut, and ran 21.44 miles to Mulberry Hill Road, a small dead end in a wooded area on the northwest border of town. It’s a route he’d never run before, and in reaching that rather obscure destination, Walewski hit a milestone five months in the making: He had completed his mission to run all 292 miles of his hometown’s 1,125 streets.
Now, Walewski has set a new goal: Run every street in Conn’s hometown of New London.
“Many people asked me if I would do the same challenge here in New London now that I’m back at school and, I am pleased to say that I am around halfway done,” Walewski said recently.
New London is significantly smaller than Fairfield, with just 64 miles of roadway. However, “since the campus is on the northern border, the running isn't as efficient, as I have to run the same streets just to access new areas,” Walewski said. He added that “Conn’s location atop the highest point in the city also provides a unique challenge, as the end to every run has a quite steep uphill.”
One advantage to the new challenge: the temperature. While Walewski completed his first challenge in the heat of the summer, he expects to complete the second in February, after students return from winter break.
“I actually like the cold,” he said. “Between heat dissipating much more easily and (depending on the circumstances) a higher oxygen content, cold air has many advantages. I keep warm by targeting the areas that actually get cold, which for me is my hands first.”
And while he completed his first challenge solo, Walewski has had some company this time around—his cross country teammates.
“Sometimes I’ll do these runs entirely solo, and sometimes I'll run with the team for most of the run and then add on a bit with extra streets,” he said.
Both challenges have been personally motivating and have helped Walewski get to know his communities better.
“I hope my story can inspire others to try something they would’ve never considered before,” he said.