Lenny Maughan

Runner Creates Artwork With Tracking App And All Of San Francisco Is His Canvas

I am not a very active person. My skills are definitely more suited to the computer and art studio than the gym.

But that doesn't mean I don't aspire to be more active. I just haven't found a way yet to meld my hobbies and interests with an activity that also counts as exercise.

Take running, for example.

Unsplash | Tomasz Woźniak

For a long time, the practice has just seemed pretty boring to me. Sure, with the rise of pocketable devices and audio entertainment, it's less of a chore, but I'd still choose my studio over the sidewalk.

Especially in this sweltering summer.

GPS and mapping apps have begun to allow runners to carefully track their routes, and one runner has turned it into art.

Facebook | Lenny Maughan

While Lenny Maughan isn't the first runner to see the creative potential of the apps — more than a few penises have been mapped out — he's going viral for his skill and variety.

When he first got a tracking app, Lenny saw what other runners were making and wanted to do something different.

Lenny Maughan

Leonard Nemoy had recently died, so he decided that his first attempt would be the Vulcan salute.

"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," he told The Guardian.

Happy with his results, he thought up more and more images he could create.

Lenny Maughan

Since that Vulcan salute in 2015, Lenny has revealed a new piece pretty much every month.

This takes some WILD planning.

He would've had to plan out the running route very specifically, followed by going for very long runs that fit the specifications to a tee.

All the designs begin with pencil and paper.

Lenny Maughan

As a kid, he was a particular fan of the Etch-a-Sketch, which results in a similar, unbroken line sort of art style.

Once he's drawn out his design and finalized the route on a paper map, he completes the run very carefully.

Lenny Maughan

If he makes a wrong turn, he can't fix it and may not even notice the problem until the entire image is done.

Usually, he doesn't even tell friends what his current project is until it's finished.

I guess part of the appeal is the element of surprise???

Over the last four years, his work has become more and more ambitious.

Lenny Maughan

"The larger you go, the more fine-tuned you can make the shape."

Most recently, it was his portrait of Frida Kahlo that's taken the internet by storm.

Lenny Maughan

A friend shared it on Reddit in the r/sanfrancisco group. Since then, it's made the rounds on social media.

With most of our viral news being pretty negative these days, it's nice to see something like this getting attention.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather see a story about a guy creating art through extensive physical activity than people licking ice cream, wouldn't you?

This kind of thing is actually really inspiring.

I guess you can make art out of literally anything, no matter what your skill set is.

The entire run is 28.93 miles and includes 3,500 feet of total elevation change.

Facebook | Lenny Maughan

Of course, Lenny isn't revealing what his next piece will be and he doesn't take requests.

We'll just have to wait and see!

h/t: The Guardian