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Avid Runner Switches Up Route In The Spirit Of Christmas



Owen Delaney is an avid runner. A couple weeks ago, he looked at a map of his local park in London and he saw all the normal things - trails, a fountain but also an opportunity.

OWEN DELANEY: It just popped into my head the idea of running in the shape of Rudolph's face.


CHUCK BERRY: (Singing) Run, run, Rudolph. Santa's got to make it to town.

CHANG: He used Strava, a social network that allows athletes to manually plot their routes and - if they're feeling creative - to draw some GPS art. And by GPS art, we mean he deliberately ran a route in the shape of a picture. The first picture he did was Rudolph with the park fountain as a nose. And he went on from there.

DELANEY: Then Santa's face, then the sleigh, I think - a Christmas tree, snowflake. I did another reindeer face in a different park that didn't work so well. And today I did Christmas stockings for my two kids and a carrot to leave out for Rudolph (laughter) and a glass of sherry for Santa.

CHANG: But it wasn't always easy. He can't stop to correct his work. Delaney says he has to do the run all in one go. And sometimes, he has to veer off the beaten path just a little bit.

DELANEY: If you look at the Santa one, the eyes are a little bit messy 'cause that wasn't on paths. That was out through the bracken and the fields.

CHANG: After today, Delaney says he plans to return to his regular runs. But who knows what the future holds?

DELANEY: Maybe something for Easter, something for New Year perhaps. We'll have a think on the New Year after Christmas and come up with some ideas maybe.

CHANG: He almost makes running sound festive. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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