London Runner Makes Cool Holiday Art With His Running Routes On Strava

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Press Release
December 20, 2016

Owen Delaney, a keen runner and father of two, says: “I was looking at a map of Bushy Park last week and I thought the Diana Fountain would make a great Rudolph’s nose, so I drew him using the Strava route planner and just went out and ran it. People seemed to like it, so I did Santa the next day.

d8eefe66-2c7b-4c06-b540-8f20fbf9b81a“That was the toughest one, trying to run his eyes and eyebrows through knee deep bracken, in the dark, it was very unforgiving on the legs! Then I thought why not try and come up with something different every day until Christmas.”

He adds: “My kids seem quite confused by it all though. I show them the pictures after I’ve done a run, and they just give me a funny look like I’ve lost the plot. Kids are very astute.”

Strava (www.strava.com) is the social network for athletes. Athletes use Strava to track their runs and ride and engage with other members of the Strava community. Designed by athletes, for athletes, Strava’s mobile apps and website connect tens of millions of runners and cyclists every day. Globally, in 2016, 9.6 activities were uploaded to Strava every second, on average. According to Strava’s 2016 End of Year Insights report, UK runners contributed 16.9 million runs and 132 million km to the impressive global stats.

Quotes from Owen Delaney:

How long have you been running?
I started running around 12 years ago, since just before we had our first child. Kids are a great motivator to get fit!

What made you start doing Strava Art in Bushy Park?
I was looking at a map of Bushy Park last week, and I thought the Diana Fountain would make a great Rudolph nose, so I drew him using the Strava route planner and just went out and ran it. People seemed to like it, so I did Santa the next day. That was the toughest one, trying to run his eyes & eyebrows through knee deep bracken, in the dark, was very unforgiving on the legs! Then I thought why not try and come up with something different every day until Christmas.

I read a great quote in a book by Richard Askwith recently: “Find the kind of running that gives you the most joy, and just get out and do it” or something to that effect. I’m enjoying this kind of running!

Does it take much preparation?
Santa took a while, about an hour I think, to draw and plan. The ones since then were pretty quick to prepare. I’ve probably spent a few hours on it in all, drawing routes for all the runs up until Christmas day, and a few other ideas.

What’s the trick of successful Strava art?
Patience. Forget about your pace, and try to find paths and landmarks to use, this makes it much easier to navigate! It’s easy to overshoot a planned turning point – you need keep a half eye on the app when you’re running.

What do your friends think about it?
People seem to be enjoying the posts on Strava, that’s what motivated me to carry it on really. I like that it’s making people smile. My kids seem quite confused by it all though. I show them the pictures after I’ve done a run, and they just give me a funny look like I’ve lost the plot. Kids are very astute.

How long have you been running in Bushy Park? What do you like about it?
We moved back to the area in 2006 I think it was, so around 10 years now. To begin with I used to just run laps inside the perimeter of the park, but more recently I realilsed there’s so much more fun to be had exploring the woodlands and trails within. These days I try to vary my runs as much as possible and keep things interesting. Being the birthplace of parkrun is also a great draw for people. There’s nothing quite like the sight and experience of setting off for a weekly 5km with my son and friends, with often close to a thousand other runners. I love Bushy Park, and never want to take for granted how lucky we are to have these open spaces to explore.

What do you like most about Strava?
I’ve been a Strava member for 4 years now. The social aspect is the biggest appeal for me. It’s great for keeping in touch with my friends’ training runs and races, and looking for inspiration from them.


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