Published: Sept. 7, 2023

Carter Snelson smiles while walks across a Boulder street.He started walking. Leeds helped him run. 

Carter Snelson played racquet sports his entire life, but during the pandemic, he was forced to find ways to occupy himself alone. He came across walking, which started from short strolls around Williams Village, in Boulder, to walking every one of the city’s labeled streets—a total of 970 miles. 

And he didn’t do it all in a week or a month—Carter’s journey took him the better part of two and a half years. 

“It's the longest commitment I've ever had, but it was incredible to be able to work hard for something and actually finish it,” Carter said.

Originally from Franklin, WI, Carter was never a Boulder expert, but he was immediately drawn to the beauty of Boulder and the campus on a college tour. The idea of walking the city came from his brother, who had run more than 60% of their hometown and suggested he try something similar. 

Carter finished his walking journey just two weeks before his graduation and eventual return to Wisconsin. His most impressive walk was his last, where he traveled 56 miles and more than 100,000 steps in one day to finish the journey.

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Even though I did all the walks by myself, there were so many people that helped me—I really didn't do it by myself.

Carter Snelson (Fin, RE’23)​

Carter’s motivation included friends, family members and his large collection of heavy metal music. “It’s like a metaphor,” Carter said. “They’re literally screaming at me to keep going.”

Time management was key—especially going into his senior year. Building a strong foundation through Leeds classes and clubs taught Snelson about the work ethic of a long term project, and how to stay accountable. The people he’s met at Leeds were a supportive community that he was able to reach out to for support and extra motivation.

“Even though I did all the walks by myself, there were so many people that helped me—I really didn't do it by myself,” Carter said. 

Through his 170 walks and being an active member in the Real Estate Club, Carter realized his love for the environment and sustainability, inspiring him to explore a career in sustainable commercial real estate. Meaning, not money, is what’s driving his job search. 

As for walking, Carter plans on taking a break and picking up an old familiar hobby—running.

“I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on myself, and I’m incredibly proud I was able to finish this project—even with time constraints,” Carter said. “I feel confident that I can tackle anything now.”