Whenever I visit a new place, I always try to go running if time allows. I find it’s a great way to discover a new city, get my bearings and create a mental map. However, the downside of this is traffic lights, not being able to navigate to open space or parks in the time I have allowed for a run, and sometimes, forgetting my gear.
Shanghai, a city certainly not known for generous green space or open running paths, is developing a unique district along its so-called ‘West Bund’ where runners and walkers can enjoy the city without the burden of traffic. And Adidas has provided the answer to the pesky question of where to put your bag and phone once you’ve gotten there – and even has a solution if you forgot your running shoes.
Why Head to the West Bund for a Run?
Running along the streets of Shanghai is not pleasant. I don’t recommend it. First off, you’re vying for space between slow-moving walkers sometimes 3 to 4 abreast and loads of parked bicycles as well as moving motorbikes whose drivers blatantly ignore the fact that the sidewalks are for pedestrians! It can be incredibly frustrating.
For a good, long, unencumbered run, the West Bund is absolutely the place to go. The Huangpu Riverside has been redeveloped from the remnants of Shanghai’s old shipping industry into a park dotted with museums along with paths that track the river for over 11 kilometers.
Adidas Runbase Facilities
A perfect place to start your run is the Adidas Runbase. Open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm, the Runbase allows exercise enthusiasts a base from which to walk or run along the Huang Pu River. If you came with gear you need to store, you can step inside the Runbase and use their locker service and changing rooms free of charge. The storage facility is fantastic in cooler weather, so you can shed a layer before you start your run. And if you did indeed forget your shoes, Adidas has a shoe-rental program (and being a recent convert to Adidas running shoes, I recommend you give them a try).
After you’ve gotten properly geared up, leave the Runbase toward the river and head left for a long run that takes you under the Xupu Bridge to the Lupu Bridges. The whole way is paved with runner-friendly track and you’ll find yourself virtually alone on a weekday. Weekends are more crowded with families and dog walkers but any time of week is advisable for a run. In the evening, the way is lit with fanciful colored lights and watching the boats ferrying down the Huang Pu as your jog along will add a layer of relaxation to your rejuvenating run.
Longteng Da Dao, near Ruining Lu (show your taxi driver in Chinese 阿迪达斯跑步基地, 上海龙腾大道徐汇滨江, 近瑞宁路 )
Finding Adidas Runbase:
You’ll be dropped on the promenade where no cars are allowed, and you’ll need to make your way down toward the riverside. Look for the boxy structures that make up the Adidas Runbase and have a great run!