Skip to content

Why This Dad Creates Pictures With His Running App

He has drawn elephants, helicopters and castles during his daily runs. 

A dad keen to get back into running after being hit by a lorry has created pictures for his son – through his route tracking app.

Gordon Andrew, 52, has made drawings of Thomas The Tank Engine, elephants and helicopters – all while jogging.

He was hospitalized for two weeks with a broken neck, skull fracture and brain injury after an accident in 2018.

As he slowly recovered with the support of his wife and son, Gordon was keen to get back into his favorite hobby – running.

Gordon was unable to reach the speeds he had prior to the accident meaning that running wasn’t quite as fun as it had been before – and he needed a solution.

Gordon Andrew, 52, has made drawings of Thomas The Tank Engine, elephants and helicopters – all while jogging. PHOTO  BY GORDON ANDREW/SWNS 

Noticing that his hometown of Helensburgh in Scotland was laid out in a grid formation, Gordon had a novel idea.

He decided to choose a new route in an attempt to draw a picture on the fitness tracking app Strava, which tracks the runner’s route and marks it out in an orange line on the map.

After consulting with his son, 6-year-old Hamish, Gordon began creating pictures on his runs – starting with Thomas the Tank Engine.

Now a regular part of Gordon’s exercises, he has begun sharing his creations on Facebook, where they have received nearly 25,000 likes.

“I’ve always been a keen runner,” said Gordon.

Gordon Andrew, 52, has made drawings of Thomas The Tank Engine, elephants and helicopters – all while jogging. PHOTO  BY GORDON ANDREW/SWNS 

“I was involved in an accident on the way to work in Glasgow in 2018. I stepped in front of a truck and was quite badly injured.

“It took me a few months to get back to running, but I was a lot slower than I was before, so I found it quite boring.

“Helensburgh is on a grid pattern, so I looked at a map and thought that I could draw some pictures while I’m doing it. I got my son involved – we looked at the map together and thought of things we could draw.

“He suggested Thomas the Tank Engine and then an elephant, so I ran those – and it worked!

“He likes to see if I’ve managed to draw anything after my run.

“I’ll show it to him and ask him what it looks like – sometimes what I’ve tried to draw and what he thinks it is are totally different!

“It doesn’t always go well – sometimes I’ll be four miles into a five-mile run, then turn left instead of right and only realize when I get home that I’ve gone the wrong way.

“The most challenging was Rudolph the Reindeer and Santa’s sleigh – that was about ten miles of running and a lot of remembering where to turn left and right.
“That was probably my favorite – it worked out really well.”

Gordon, a member of Helensburgh’s amateur athletics club, posted a collection of his works on the ‘Dull Men’s Club’ Facebook page, racking up nearly 25,000 likes and around 2,000 comments.

Gordon was thrilled by the positive response and hopes that his post will encourage other people to give it a go.

Some of his creations include elephants, helicopters – and even a Christmas themed route that has been adopted by the local athletics club.

“I was on holiday with my wife and son in Germany and we were in Legoland,” said Gordon.

“They went off to go on a ride and I had twenty minutes on my own, so I thought I’d post a couple of pictures in the club and see what people thought.

“All the comments were positive – I was delighted. It seemed to make people smile.

“A lot of people asked me to draw something inappropriate – I had to point out that you can’t draw curves on Helensburgh’s grid pattern!

“It’s a good way to get some more fun out of your run and get more motivation.

“Why not look through your neighborhood and plot a route?

“At the athletics club, now we even do a reindeer run each year at Christmas.

“We take a group of people on a run – but they don’t know what they’re running until they load it into Strava!

“I’d absolutely recommend it if you find running a bit boring or if you’re running the same routes.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners