Runners will know that finding the perfect route takes time and effort. You’ve got to consider safety, terrain and scenery, all the while trying to avoid coming across crowds and busy traffic which could affect your flow.
One runner, from San Francisco, has got his running routes down to a fine art, quite literally.
Lenny Maughan has spent years perfecting his runs to turn them into carefully crafted pieces of art, and they’re really quite incredible.
He thoughtfully chooses paths through the city so when viewed on a map, they make creative illustrations, from a heart all the way through to a starship Enterprise.
So far, Lenny has crafted 53 works of art, most recently creating an incredibly detailed image of artist Frida Kahlo, which has since been going viral on Reddit.
Despite his gift, Lenny never intended to become a running artist, but when route-tracking apps became increasingly popular, more and more runners started noticing images in their journeys.
Immediately, runners began drawing simple images of penises and the likes for their own amusement.
Lenny explained to the Guardian:
That’s where it all began. But I wanted to do something different and something original.
His first creation was the Vulcan hand gesture from Star Trek, inspired by Leonard Nimoy’s death in 2015.
I just printed out a paper map and sketched a hand shape along Market Street and the other fingers, thumb and wrist came pretty easily.
Next, he managed to successfully map out a TV set and a giant Bat-Signal based on, you guessed it, Batman, which encompassed most of the city.
According to Lenny, ‘the larger you go, the more fine-tuned you can make the shape.’
In fact, creating Frida Kahlo, Lenny had to run 28.9 miles to complete the illustration using the running app Strava.
While creating his routes can be a complicated process, it all begins with pen and paper, which is pretty apt for Lenny, who has always loved drawing.
When I was a kid everyone thought I’d be an artist when I grew up – I was always drawing things.
Lenny has lived in San Francisco for more than 20 years and many of his illustrations have connected to the region, from a firefighter’s helmet and axe, to honour first responders amid wildfires to outlining the shape of California.
Now, that’s impressive.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.