The force of the Nike+ app is strong with this one.

Star Wars fans come up with all sorts of tributes to the cultural phenomenon. Portlander Gene Lu is running circles around them all.

Well, not circles.

Using the Nike+ app, Lu is jogging Star Wars-themed routes around the city. So far he’s traced the contours of the Vader’s mask as well as the outlines of imperial military stables such as Stormtroopers, TIE starfighters, and AT-AT walkers. (It bears mention that Lu is an associate creative director with the ad firm R/GA Portland, which works on the Nike+ app.)

In the past, Lu has did a series he called “Run of Thrones” in which he ran routes inspired by the Game of Thrones TV series in New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Portland. But a couple of weeks before the release of The Force Awakens, he started his “Run Wars” series as an homage to the franchise he’s held dear since childhood.

“It was what I grew up with,” Lu tells CityLab via Twitter. “It was my first movie that I recall watching on VHS as a kid.”

Lu says a Star Wars run is very different from a regular run because it breaks up the monotony. “Anticipating the turn-by-turn directions keeps you on your toes,” he says. Plus, at the end of each one, he can share the end-product with an expanded universe of fellow runners and Star War nerds.

The running directions for three of Lu’s routes can be downloaded for anyone who wants to, uh, follow in his footsteps. But to those who think they can’t do 15.5 miles of Vader, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Here are the maps of Lu’s four Star Wars-themed runs:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  2. Maps

    Europe’s Capital Cities Keep Getting Richer and Younger

    Other areas, not so much.

  3. A man in a blazer stands on a stage giving a presentation
    Life

    America Is Losing Its Edge for Startups

    It used to be that 95 percent of global startup and venture-capital activity happened in the U.S. Today, it’s just over one-half.

  4. Traffic on a Colorado highway is engulfed in smoke from a wildfire in 2012.
    Transportation

    The Planet Can't Survive Our Transportation Habits

    In light of the IPCC’s dire report, substituting some personal convenience in the present could mean that much more hope for the planet’s future.

  5. Design

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities

    An excerpt from Jeff Speck’s Walkable City Rules, a step-by-step guide to fixing America’s cities and towns.