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The Strava Club

The Strava Club

1:42 PM on Monday, February 5, 2018   •   Edited

A beautiful route

Owen Delaney's illustrations of his running routes give #StravaArt a new meaning! Check out Owen's profile for more of his running inspired sketches: https://www.strava.com/athletes/3108282

Your maps are an amazing record of your running. What inspired you to start drawing them?

"Thanks! A little over a year ago, I started a little side business creating artwork for people, mainly running inspired stuff. A sketchy race report map for an event I ran last February led to more ideas and a few commissions for runners and event organizers, and the maps have now become the main focus of my art. So the inspiration for the daily map sketches this year was to try and help me improve my drawing skills and hopefully develop a unique style for the larger scale maps I've been doing. I've loved every minute of creating these daily maps and the commissions I've done, I just wish I'd started when I was younger, but it's never too late I suppose!"

Has drawing a map of every run changed the way you think about your running?

"Definitely. A lot of the routes I choose to run now are based on ideas I have for the daily maps. Another inspiration for starting this was to get me exploring new places. While it's not always feasible to go far from my usual training areas, what with work and family commitments, it has got me finding new routes nearby, and traveling a bit further when I get the chance. But even when I'm running familiar routes, I'm trying to avoid repetition with the maps by focusing on different techniques and styles for each one. It's got me looking at my surroundings more, thinking about how I might draw the trees or rivers, and less about the actual running!"

What is your process for drawing the maps and how long does it typically take you?

"I've always enjoyed looking at maps, but now I've got a good excuse for it! I've been finding more and more inspiration online from the map makers of years gone by, and a lot of the daily maps are following their styles, with the 17th & 18th century being my favorite eras. It amazes me how accurate they were hundreds of years ago, without all the technology we have today. So with that research, I tend to have an idea for how I want the map to look before I've been for my run (or occasional walk, I've not got the legs for running every day...), and with limited free time, I try to keep them pretty quick to do. Most take 15-20 minutes, but there are a few of the more intricate ones that took a bit longer than that..."