Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whacky story of the day: GPS and the art of running

Part sport, part art, GPS drawing lets runners, walkers, cyclists and hikers imagine themselves anew — not just as a collection of burning muscles, sweaty armpits, forward motion; not just as people endeavoring to crest a hill or lose five pounds. Instead, they are neo-cartographers, jumbo-size doodlers and bipedal pencils, mapping their track lines across cities, roads and farms, and sharing them online.

After uploading a video of herself to YouTube running in a London park wearing a Garmin GPS watch and spelling out, “Hello I am running in the 2009 Flora London Marathon for ICYE UK; please sponsor me,” Jenny Rice, 23, raised $3,700 for a primary school in Uganda.

SHOOT: Fasincinating and fun
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THREE years after moving to Brooklyn from Poland, Tomasz Berezinski awoke after a night of inebriety with a headache and decided his life must change. He started running, bought a GPS device and turned his body into a brush and the city into his canvas.

“I felt bad for my body,” said Mr. Berezinski, who works as a designer for a rug company. “I was overweight. I was drinking too much and I felt too much like an office person.”

Since that morning almost a year ago, Mr. Berezinski, 40, has run three marathons, lost 16 pounds and taken to creating huge drawings by following routes through city streets in the shape of faces, dogs and anything else that strikes his fancy. After planning a route, he traces it on foot or bicycle carrying his GPS device to record his progress. Then he uploads the “drawing” he has made to a map-sharing site called

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