The best, the toughest and the most beautiful running routes in Shanghai
When I arrived in Shanghai, I made it my mission to find alternative places to run, as the streets can get very busy here and no one enjoys stopping at a flashlight when they’re in the groove. I found a couple of great running places and fun fit communities. I’d like to let you in on the best, the toughest and the most beautiful running routes in Shanghai.
Nearest metro stops: Top: East Nanjing Road, Line 2
Mid-point: Middle Longhua Road, Line 7
Distances: +/- 20km
Run the Bund. One of the most popular places in the city to run is the West Bund running track. You can start at the bund scenic spot and run down along the water’s edge to where the synthetic track begins from Nanpu bridge. From there you can keep going all the way to Xupu bridge.
The ‘Runners Hub’, located in the Greenland shopping mall near metro exit 5 of Middle Longhua, is a great place to drop bags off before running, with lockers to store your belongings and a great community to support your training goals or just provide some good company to run with on most nights.
There is also a climbing wall and vending machines all the way along the track in case you need to quench your thirst, which is likely during the humid summer.
The view along the river is great, the tartan track is mostly flat and easy on the knees and there are always a couple of runners to cheer ‘jiayou’!
East Bund (Pudong)
Nearest metro stops: Top: Lujiazui, Line 2
Mid-point: Shibo Avenue, Line 13
Distances: +/- 20km
The East side of the river is generally quieter than the West side, but don’t think it isn’t interesting! It may not have the iconic Shanghai landscape but you will find beautiful little gardens along your run.
The route is mostly tartan track and is more undulating than the West. Starting from near the EF CCC offices at Pudong Avenue metro stop, the track follows the river until you reach Xupu Bridge. Taking the
Ferry across to the West Bund running track is a great way to lengthen your run.
Jing’an Workers Stadium
Nearest metro stop: Changping, Line 7, Exit 5
Distance: 400m track.
This track is open from 5am until 11pm (unless booked for school events). It is an awesome track and it also has a pull up bar area. You will almost never be alone running there due to its popularity with the locals for walking, running, or even doing Tai-chi on the large field inside the track.
Nearest metro stop: Jiaotong University, Line 11
Distance: 400m track.
Jiaotong University has a great tartan track and there are often free fit classes held here. You can look into ‘FitFam’ or ‘Urban Tigers’ group (see below). They offer High Intensity training at Jiaotong University, I would highly recommend their track session on Saturdays. It’s really a great place to build up a fit community and make friends.
Sheshan Trails & Stairs
Nearest metro stop: Sheshan, Line 9
Sheshan holds the highest point in Shanghai and although it is not the highest mountain you’re ever going to climb it has stairs that really pump up the heart rate. Also there are beautiful hidden trails with bamboo forests, you’ll forget you’re in the busy Shanghai completely.
Running Groups & Communities
There are many fitness groups in Shanghai and they all offer various training sessions. These are the few I used as they were convenient for me and worked with my schedule, but you need to find what’s best for you.
Runnershai – a running club that organizes group runs and day trips.
Fitfam – a free fitness community. No equipment, no experience needed. You can use the mini program on WeChat and register for a workout near you.
Urban Tigers – do track sessions on Saturday mornings at Jiaotong University.
Are you ready to run?
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Post by: Jamie Fensham
Jamie has spent his time in China teaching kids online and becoming part of the rapidly growing running community present in Shanghai. Being from Stellenbosch, South Africa, Jamie can often be found enjoying a glass of wine after an evening run along the river.