Runner maps portrait of Frida Kahlo on his nearly 30-mile run around San Francisco

Last weekend, long-distance runner Lenny Maughan ran 28.93 miles through the hilly streets of San Francisco to complete this mapped portrait of Frida Kahlo. Visible through the Strava fitness app, his "Frida Run" took him six hours and eight minutes to finish and was carefully planned out before he left his house. This isn't his first specially-mapped run, he's added over 30 pieces to his "Running Art" project in the past three years (some of those are visible here).

SFGate:

He describes the process of planning a piece as pretty analog. He prints out a paper map and highlights his route. He usually goes through several different iterations of the map before he sets off on a run. While he's on the road, he must be very careful to follow it – if he makes a wrong turn it has the potential to ruin the whole piece.

"You can't see the lines drawn until after you finish your run, so it's such a joyful feeling when you put in all of that work and you finally finish and get to see what you envisioned at the end," recounts Maughan...

"San Francisco is my canvas. I use the streets as framework for what I want to do, find shapes, and make it work. Kind of like how little kids look up at the clouds."

image via Lenny Maughan/Strava

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Runner literally flies across the finish line to win race

Superheroically named Infinite Tucker of Texas A&M University won the 400-meter hurdles at the 2019 SEC Track & Field Championships. He clearly wanted the win. Badly.

"...I saw my ma at the finish, and I jumped to give her a hug,” Tucker told ESPN. “That’s all it is.” Read the rest

Watch runners cheat in big Shenzhen half marathon

More than 200 runners in last weekend's big Shenzhen Half Marathon were caught cheating by traffic cameras as they snuck through trees, cutting out up to three kilometers from the course. (I did similar things in high school gym class although my motivation was not the competitive spirit but rather laziness.) Other cheaters in Shenzhen wore fake number bibs or ran under others' names. From The Guardian:

Xinhua (news agency) quoted organisers as saying: “We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event. Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself.”

ther marathon events in China are reported to have started using facial recognition technology to track runners.

Competitors in other marathons are now kitted out with electronic chips that register runners’ progress as they pass over timing mats installed around the course. This provides more accurate times – but it also gives organisers, and anyone who cares to look, a wealth of data to examine for suspicious results.

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Guy puts a 360-degree camera in a pothole as runners pass over

Lawyer Viva Frei saw a pothole on a street closed off for a charity run, so he got permission to put his new 360-degree camera in and got a pretty neat shot. Read the rest

Highway wolves

The music is "Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys:

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"Mad Pooper" terrorizes Colorado Springs family

A Colorado Springs running enthusiast, known locally as "The Mad Pooper," has been leaving gifts on a private lawn in a most public fashion.

Via Competitor.com:

A mystery woman in Colorado Springs, Colo. is giving runners a pretty crappy reputation. According to local CBS affiliate KKTV, this runner has been defecating outside the house of resident Cathy Budde for the past seven weeks. Even worse—her children first spotted the woman.

Budde and her family have caught the runner at least three times. However, this has not stopped this mystery runner. She continues to leave waste behind at least once a week. The woman has gone so far as to change her running schedule to avoid prying eyes. The community has nicked named her “The Mad Pooper.”

Budde thinks the act is intentional, even if she is unsure who the woman is.

“I put a sign on the wall that’s like ‘please, I’m begging you, please stop.’ … She ran by it like 15 times yesterday, and she still pooped,” Budde told KKTV.

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Man gets off London Underground train, runs to the next stop before the train gets there

London, city of slow trains and fleet foxes. [Via Pepo Jiménez] Read the rest

Runner impales foot in booby trapped park

A popular running trail in a North Carolina park became dangerous when vandals set nail traps. One runner was injured, setting off a fairly large clean-up process. Over 40 nails were removed.

Via WYFF NBC 4:

A popular park has reopened after being shut down because a runner impaled his foot on one of dozens of intentionally placed nails, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

A search since that incident located dozens of 4-inch galvanized nails, hammered pointed end up into roots and logs along a trail in Sylva’s Pinnacle Park in Jackson County.

Brian Barwatt, an engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the director of a trail race in Pinnacle Park in March, said whoever hammered the nails left them sticking out one-half to 1 inch, and at an angle.

The nails were found on a popular trail that leads to Black Rock Summit.

As if running wasn't unpleasant enough. Read the rest

Man wearing full Amish garb clocks great time in marathon

This is Gordonville, Pennsylvania resident Leroy Stolzfus, 22, who recently finished the Harrisburg Marathon in three hours, 5 minutes and 45 seconds, close to what it would take for him to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He did it wearing his traditional Amish clothing.

Stolzfus told Penn Live that his nontraditional running garb doesn't bug him one bit. "In the summer heat, he said he tries to drink more water, but he doesn't do anything 'out of the ordinary.'"

"Leroy Stolzfus clocks a 3:05 at Harrisburg Marathon in full Amish garb" (Penn Live)

photo by Daniel Zampogna, PennLive Read the rest

Watching people run backwards, in reverse, is very strange

Reversed video of a backwards running competition. (WerkProof)

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The real cause of “Runner's High” may surprise you. It'll surprise you less if you smoke pot.

Endorphins may have been getting too much credit for “runner's high,” that euphoric lift we get when we exercise intensely. Read the rest

Watch Usain Bolt get run over by a photographer on a Segway (everyone's fine)

If they can keep up with Usain Bolt, I guess Segways can go kind of fast after all.

Watch: runner celebrates before crossing finish line, gives up bronze medal

Molly Huddle was set to win the bronze medal in the 10,000 meter run at the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in Beijing on Monday, but as she approached the finish line she slowed down to savor her achievement and her teammate Emily Infield whipped by her to take third place.

“I just ran through the line,” Infield told Universal Sports. “I feel a little guilty because I feel like Molly let up a little. I don’t think she realized how close I was. I was just trying to run through the line. I’m really thrilled.”

(I don't know much about sports, but it strikes me as unusual that the athletes' names are "Infield" and "Huddle." Are the other teammates named "Dribble" and "Slapshot?")

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Running as little as 30 minutes a week reduces your risk of early death

A study released this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that participants who ran less than one hour each week received the same health benefits as people who ran more. Read the rest

The zen of the underwater treadmill

Something I enjoy: Specialized equipment that looks completely and utterly ridiculous when you watch people using it out of context.

Case in point, this advertisement for the HydroWorx X80 Underwater Treadmill. You have never seen Olympic-caliber runners look sillier. (Sadly, it's not entirely underwater. When I first saw the name of the clip, I was really hoping for guys in scuba gear.)

Also: I've apparently reached the age where current Olympians look to me like they ought to be too young to drive. Crap.

Thanks, Eli Kintisch

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Please insert your Sir Mix-a-Lot joke here

Humans' have exceptionally rounded rear ends compared to our primate relatives. Turns out, that beefed-up gluteus maximus helps stabilize our upper body when we run, keeping us from falling forward. Read more about the biology and theoretical evolution of running at the Harvard Gazette. (Via Nicholas Thompson) Read the rest