Toronto Blue Jays fan draws giant team logo with GPS while running
With Jays fans unable to attend live baseball games this year, some are finding creative new ways to support their favourite team.
One Jays fan in particular decided to hop on the trend of using GPS run-tracking to make art and mapped out a path to create the blue bird's iconic logo.
Ricky Martin, who holds no relation to the famed singer, says he found inspiration for the project by looking for ways to motivate his regular runs during a cold, slippery winter.
"I've been a Jays fan for a while, and running has been a hobby of mine for quite some time as well," explained Martin in an interview with blogTO. "But because of the cold and slippery conditions it's not as easy and takes a bit more motivation."
After a friend told him about GPS art, Martin immediately got inspired and wanted to make some of his own. He spent over an hour studying a map of his hometown, Waterloo, looking for ideas in the city's layout.
"I saw a group of roads that reminded me of the shape of the Blue Jays logo and so I started planning around that," said Martin. "But there weren't quite the right roads to make detailed parts like the beak and maple leaf, but at this point I had it in my head that I wanted to make the Blue Jays logo."
After further searching, with time spent rotating the map while zooming in and out, Martin finally had a breakthrough and found what seemed to be the perfect spot.
The journey involved running through open spaces like parks, campuses, and parking lots where he wasn't restricted to roads and had more freedom to outline some of the finer details.
Wielding his GPS-tracking watch and a printed map of directions, Martin set out on his 10.7km journey.
As a distance runner who recently participated in Toronto's virtual marathon, Martin is no stranger to runs like these, though this was the first time where the end goal was more than just a sense of accomplishment and a runner's high.
At journey's end, it was mission accomplished. The GPS was even able to track elevation with higher points found around the Maple Leaf giving it an orangeish-red tone compared to the shades of blue on the bird which Martin admits was completely by coincidence.
While he doesn't currently have any set plans on his next journey into GPS art, Martin says that his fandom may once again play a role.
"I thought it might be fun to try more of the Toronto sports teams," he suggested.
Martin shared a video to YouTube detailing his journey, thought process, and reaction to "going for a draw" on a cold winter morning. The whole thing is wonderful inspiration for those looking to creatively motivate themselves to get those steps in.
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