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. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  2. Life

    The Future of the City Is Childless

    America’s urban rebirth is missing something key—actual births.

  3. A NASA rendering of a moon base with lunar rover from 1986.
    Life

    We Were Promised Moon Cities

    It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 put humans on the surface of the moon. Why didn’t we stay and build a more permanent lunar base? Lots of reasons.

  4. SEPTA trains in Philadelphia
    Transportation

    Startups Are Abandoning Suburbs for Cities With Good Transit

    A new study finds that new business startups are choosing cities with good public transportation options over the traditional suburban locations.

  5. Rendering of the top of the 'Tulip' above London's skyline at night, with The Shard in the middle distance.
    Design

    London Mayor Vetoes the ‘Tulip’ Tower

    Sadiq Khan used his discretionary powers to cancel the Norman Foster design. Does this signal a tougher attitude to flashy development?

×