Iowa City man running in every town on the Iowa road map

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 12:10 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Since 2015, Tyler Sullivan has tried to visit all 99 counties in Iowa. He’s made it to 92.

“I love finding that little hidden gem in every single town in Iowa,” said Sullivan.

A long distance relationship where Sullivan was driving from Iowa City to Mason City, helped spark this idea.

“I would travel that way every other Friday after work and I was driving through counties that I’ve never heard of before like Chickasaw and Bremer. I wondered while I was driving up there one day, I was like there has to be something special about all these counties,” he explained.

For the past four years, he’s decided to run at least a mile in each city on the Iowa road map. He has roughly 130 towns to go. When he visits, he likes to go to museums, diners, or even run in a local road race. His adventures he have made for great stories.

“I remember going to a post office and taking picture of a mural. I take a picture and a guy looked back and goes, ‘I go here ever single day and never noticed that mural. Where are you from?’ I told him about my story. He’s like, ‘how’d you know that was there?’”

His goal is to write a poem about each county. Sullivan has self-published two books and has been a poet for 13 years. He hopes that through his experiences others can appreciate what Iowa has to offer and consider taking their own tour through the Hawkeye State.

“It just feels like life continues to move on really fast and you just have to enjoy life. That’s why I’m enjoying Iowa. I love seeing people, talking to people and I just try to inspire people to see more of it,” said Sullivan.

He plans on compiling his poems about the counties into books. For more on his adventures visit Iowa’s Scenic Views By Foot.

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