Fitness Friday

Run Around Texas in Under an Hour

The newly connected White Oak Bayou trail offers a new way to sweat out your state pride.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen March 31, 2017

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Image: Shutterstock

Since the launch of Map My Ride and a million other fitness route trackers, people around the world have found the joy of drawing weird shapes with their workout paths—like this San Francisco-based hero who draws, um, male members, on her Nike+ app.

But this being Texas there will always be one shape that is prized above all others (yes, even above penises): the iconic outline of our state. So please, let's all pause to celebrate Brendan Mahoney, who shared with Swamplot his discovery of a running route through the Heights resembles the outline of the Lone Star State. (And Mahoney gets bonus points because, according to Swamplot, he's not even a native Texan, he's Australian. Way to assimilate, Brendan.)

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The ultimate Texas run.

The key is the new trail that recently opened along White Oak Bayou and which vaguely replicates the path of the Rio Grande from the intersection of the Heights Hike and Bike Trail and the White Oak Bayou trail, basically El Paso for our purposes, all the way south and east to Stude Park, where a turn onto Studewood takes us from the pretend Gulf to the pretend Sabine River. Honestly Mahoney has done some top-level work here, but I'd love to see what a group of committed runners could do to tweak it to Texas perfection—maybe make the panhandle a little slimmer? I don't know. I'm not a cartographer.

Mahoney's screen grab notes that his route is about 5.5 miles and he ran it in just under 40 minutes—that's about a 7-minute mile. (I went ahead and converted the kilometer units to miles. Way not to assimilate, Brendan.) 

Long story short, now that we have this incredible knowledge of Texas-shaped route options, anyone exercising in the Heights who logs a rectangle or any other boring-ass shape is basically a Yankee and should be kept at arm's length. 

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