Lenny Maughan hails from San Francisco and is marathon runner who shapes his routes to look like food, famous people and cute animals.
Maughan started to share his routes back in March 2015 when he created a route in memory of Leonard Nimony, the actor who played Spock in the Star Trek franchise.
“That first design proved to me that I could create a shaped route if I planned in advance, and after that, I designed all sorts of routes,” Maughan shared with INSIDER. “Then, I shared them on smartphone apps that recorded and published my route. I’ve been doing this ever since.”
Maughan’s runs can span anywhere from 15 miles to over 40 miles and posts his routes to Strava.
Strava is an application Maughan’s uses to record and publish his routes and as of July 2019, he has run 500 miles.
He shares that completing his artistic routes is not about the distance or speed but rather about the challenge of each design.
“It’s a fun personal project, and it’s a way for me to get my running in and also practice art,” he said.
“Plus, people love seeing [each route], and they are inspired by it, and that makes me happy.”
Maughan shared his process of creating and running the creative routes.
“I enjoy the challenge of making the route work with keeping it one continuous line and also fitting into the streets,” Maughan said.
In addition, creating a design that fits into the streets of San Francisco where he both lives and runs on a regular basis.
And after he decides on a design, Maughan then prints out a map of San Francisco and draws the shape with a highlighter.
The actual running routes tend to be 20 miles on average but he said he is not worried with distance or speed.
“The elevation can be more difficult than the miles. When I lay out a shape, I don’t even consider the elevation and hills. It’s inescapable,” Maughan said.
“I’ve been running since the high school track team, and I love recording all of my runs,” Maughan continued, saying: “This little project I’ve started is really just for me, but I’m glad it makes people smile.”