A Travellerspoint blog

Running through Tiananmen Square (Micah)

There's no excuse for not exercising while on the road and since I love running, I'll be trotting my way across Asia in fast forward (and posting the runs on our blog).

I have a nifty Garmin GPS watch that superimposes the run onto maps so you can see the satellite view of the path (and my pace and other pertinent details).

A few days ago, still staggering from jet lag, i peeled out of bed, strapped on my kicks and braved Beijing's smoggy streets.


30 seconds into the run, as i ran north, 2 older men started running alongside (it was reassuring i wasn't the only runner in town, and that we were collectively aspiring toward black lung) but they couldn't keep up and I kept on moving.

The streets throughout Beijing are 6, 8, 10 lanes wide and have underpasses built beneath them - so not only was i getting a street run, but also Stairmaster workout.

I continued north, crossing the street, past vendors selling kites strung up a hundred feet into the air, boiled corn, dumplings, Chairman Mao curios, crowds of people (it was still super early) through the security checkpoint into Tiananmen Square (I won't bring up the history as i don't want this blog to be banned by China's great "Firewall"), past the imposing structure of Mao's tomb, north north north to the gates of the Forbidden City, where kings ruled for ages.

The gates were still closed so i cut west skirting it's pagoda'd western wall and ended up in a leafy street.

A platoon of soldiers were out for their morning run and i caught up to them, then passed them.

I continued south, past the National Performance Center, a modernist orb shaped like a hard boiled egg that's been sliced in half.

The sun was starting to break, thinking the air into a choking paste, but I kept going, returning through Tiananmen square, past the vendors and back to the hotel, where i walked a bit to cool down before entering.

Joanie and I are a total spectacle here (people regularly take pictures with us) and as i did my stretching in the streets, with clouds of dust blowing by people stopped stared.

Naturally i smiled and waved still slightly in disbelief i'm in and I went for a run in Beijing, China and glad that strong wind blowing the pollution around is keeping my post-run musk from my smiling spectators.

Check out the run below and be sure to click on the "Aerial view":

My Run


Posted by bucketbath 18:02 Archived in China

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What a fantastic run! Good luck to both of you - i'll be following this blog everyday.

by Matt Schloss

You guys need to take off your stilts ;-)!
Love you!!!! Eitan weighs almost 9 lbs now!

by Carli

Wow that is some run. I wish I liked running more. It is the best exercise and you get to see so many interesting things. I love the picture can't wait to see them all.
Love Aunt Pam

by Pam

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