Lenny Maughan doesn’t discriminate when it comes to running – he’ll run on trails, on the streets or even with a group of runners who like to stop for beer along the way. But more importantly, when he runs, he makes art.
Maughan creates shapes and images on the streets of San Francisco by tracking his running path on fitness apps like MapMyRun and more recently Strava. He creates anything and everything from a heart to the face of Frida Kahlo.
“I guess I could just draw it on a map and say ‘I’m done,’ but rendering it using an app is a novel way to make art,” said Maughan.
A self-described “techie,” he says he doesn’t have much time for his artistic side and uses the runs for that, creating a unique image once a month.
There isn’t unity in the 53 images he’s done; they’re “random”, “unexpected” and “quirky”, coming from whatever inspires him. He sometimes will look at a map of San Francisco to see if he can find a shape, but other times he’ll try to make a shape fit.
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These pieces take a lot of work – distances ranging from just a mile to a full marathon (26.2 miles) to 44 miles. However, Maughan doesn’t do this to challenge himself on how far or fast he can run.
“It’s about the shape. The miles do, yeah, turn out to be quite long in a lot of these because it has to be to make a specific shape,” he said. “The bigger you go, the more you can fit just about anything within the city streets.”
However, he notes, the hills in San Francisco do make it tough.
The challenge for him is in the creation process. In fact, he says it can take longer to map out what he wants to do than to actually run it. He has “no idea” what he will do for his August run, but promises he will get it done before the end of the month.
“It’s always a challenge,” Maughan says. “It’s not easy and it takes a lot of planning to do these and the end result makes it all worth it.”
Any suggestions for Lenny Maughan on what his next run should draw? Tell Madeline Purdue on Twitter.
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