Never Hate Your Run Again

Photographed by Kava Gorna.
If fitness trainers are the new celebrities, runners just might be the new artists. Their medium of choice is a GPS-enabled fitness device. Their pieces of art are digital maps of their running routes. So, for the times when you just don't want to run, perhaps those miles will feel a little less tedious when you think about how each step and turn has an artistic purpose. Think to yourself, That extra lap is more than just a half-mile — it's how you'll create a stiff middle finger.
Recently, we had a chance to chat with Claire Wyckoff, the 33-year-old, San Francisco-based runner behind the Running Drawing Tumblr. She's known for her running-route artwork — most notably, her detailed penis prints. (The pictures take some serious planning before she even laces up her sneakers.) Read on to see what she has to say about her craft and check out a few of our favorite GPS drawings.
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
Which comes first, the run or the design?
“Sometimes I have an idea in mind — a penis, for instance. Those don’t just pop out of nowhere. Joking. They pop out of nowhere all the time, just not on maps. So, I often have to go looking for shapes. Sometimes, however, I’ll just look at a map and an image will pop out to me — the corgi jumped out, as did the Mennonite. 'Square' things are easier — there aren’t a lot of curves to the streets here. In D.C., running dicks would be way easier cause they have so many turn-around circles.”
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
If we wanted to run a cup of coffee — because that sounds like the best way to make half-marathon training a bit less monotonous — how would we start?
“I usually get an idea and then ‘draw’ the run using an app like MapMyRun. If it looks feasible and cool, my husband, David, and I run it together. My husband has been awesome. I need to give him a shout-out. He’s had to run a lot of dicks but has been instrumental in their authenticity."
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
"We’ll keep the map open on the Nike+ app so we can monitor the progress and [course] correct as we run. So, sometimes we’ll look down and be like, ‘Those balls need to be more defined,’ which will change the course of our run. The worst is when the street you need for the picture you want is entirely uphill. We made that mistake with a drawing hinged on Buena Vista Park. Afterward, if we’re late for work, we’ll go home. If not, we’ll go to the grocery story and I’ll get bacon and kombucha.”
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
Yeah, hills are a special type of torture. Do you bike the routes? There’s also a MapMyRide app.
“We walk the hills sometimes. But, it’s all on foot.”
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
You’ve run everything, from corgis to penises, and a recent route ended up being a pretty sweet Space Invader.
“I started the runs a month and a half ago. The first one was a fluke — I ran a corgi one morning as a joke (best dog ever) and posted it to Instagram, and I got more likes than ever before. I got more likes than my wedding. So, like 100 likes. That’s right, 100.”

[Editor's note: Corgis are awesome, but it also looks like a unicorn...Now we're picturing a corgi-unicorn.]
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
Do you take requests?
“I do. But, I can’t promise anything. My friend Ali wanted me to run the Mona Lisa. I have yet to find her image in the streets of San Francisco.”

Pictured: Slimer from Ghostbusters.
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Photo: Courtesy Of @Clairewyck
And, of course, another penis drawing.
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