Two weeks in Pudong and Shanghai have made me quite optimistic about my running here. I live in Pudong, the greener, newer, modernist, less exotic twin across-the-river from Shanghai (Puxi). The sidewalks are broad, and often shaded, and separated from the roads by bicycle paths. Many roads (apart from the major thoroughfares) not busy at all, and cars being new, and motos/scooters near all electric, air quality indicators may be frightening but so far I don’t notice much. Plenty of greenscapes, not large, but just enough to suggest “park”. The Shanghai side of the river is more congested, but still very runnable, and offers great city-trailing is my impression till date. It is going to take me a while to know my way but I’ve seen enough to be confident about the prospects.
Excuses that I use a promo video to illustrate this post. There don’t seem much running visuals available of the place, and Nike’s shots are actually really nice:
Regarding enthusiasm for running Shanghai isn’t Singapore, KL, or Bangkok yet, so the number of race/event organizers is still small, at least the ones that one can find using English language online sources. I’ve been here too short to get a feel for anything beyond that, but my impression may be biased because joggers are visibly present on its streets. And city-planners take running into account, with plenty of signed-boarded jogging/brisk walking routes-around-compound-blocks and in and around green areas.
Interesting resources for runners that I have identified so far:
- The various hashes
- Shanghai Running
- The Shanghai Triathlon Club, who are behind this 24hr charity event
Happy2Run list events all over China, including interesting trail races close to Shanghai like the Hangzhou Mountain Marathon and the Vasque Hangzhou Trailrunning Race. I’m sure there is more and I will add updates if I come across it.
I also hope to add to what is available by recceing longer city-trails and making the routes available. My everytrail page has several tracks already but they are off by a couple of hundred meters and not useful unless one knows the terrain personally, and is able to mentally revision the track placement so it shows the actual route. Hope to find a way around this (probably) governmental practical joke, but being digitally challenged means that that may take a while.
I’ll finish with some moving pictures of this amazing city. It’s too big, diverse, multi-layered, -souled, and changing to evoke with words only; visuals on the other hand evoke way too definite an image and risk hiding as much as they reveal. So enjoy but don’t take them to ‘represent’ Shanghai, they only represent some.