Face flushed, stabbing stitches, and flesh somehow moving independently to your main frame: what’s not to love about running? But staying motivated and getting out there on the 352 days of the year that are too hot, too cold, too humid, or all of the above can take the determination of an Olympian.
There are some pretty good running tracks in Shanghai
, but no runner should have to walk (or run) alone, so we’ve gathered together a list of running clubs in Shanghai where you can get your endorphin fix. So lace up those sneakers, don your sweatband or cap, squeeze into spandex, lycra, leotard, or the equivalent running attire of your choice and get running.
Earn your stripes with the local runners community with this Puxi-based group. Urban Tigers organise a few sessions a week, including regular 5k races and a LSD (Long Slow Distance) run every Wednesday at 9pm from Jingan Sculpture Park to The Bund and back. Beginners are encouraged to join even long runs: 'Join us for the first part of the run until you are tired. The goal is that you come back next week and run a bit further'.
Whether it’s split pace, energy gels, or unnecessary gear costing well into the triple digits, some people just take running too seriously. That’s not an issue at Runnershai. While over-invested hobby runners argue about the merits of a 5K or 5500m, these guys are putting the fun back into the run.
Regular meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays leave at 7:30pm from the Kiwi Cafe in West Bund – who will hold onto your kit while they hit the asphalt and last for roughly 1 hour. RunnersHai also organise races and fun runs at various locations around the city. Past routes have included laps of Yangcheng Hu (Hairy crab lake), up and down Sanshan island, and even a zombie run at the Zero Centre.
Kiwi Cafe, Greenland Binfen City, 562 Dong'an Lu, Xuhui District, and various locations around Shanghai. Free. Add RunnersHai on Wechat for more information.
The most important thing about running is staying hydrated, and the Shanghai Hash House Harriers take this very seriously. Join these self diagnosed 'drinkers with a running problem' every weekend for a Sunday-Funday tipple that will keep you on your toes. Runs are usually about an hour long or last from 8 to 12km. The route changes weekly and the Harriers update their website with the meeting location by Wednesday afternoon.
Various locations around Shanghai. 50RMB (Run only), 100RMB (Run + dinner), 100RMB (Dinner only). More information
Yiqi pao means 'Running together' in Mandarin; it’s pretty self explanatory. This mostly Chinese group has been meeting in Pudong since 2004, and is a popular choice with locals. They hold regular running sessions every Tuesday at 7.30pm and every Sunday at 5.30pm around the 5K loop in Century Park
. The meet is open to all and runners are free to jog at their own pace so this is a great option for first timers. Each meet ends with a cool down session and group dinner at a nearby restaurant around 25RMB a head), making it a great place to make local friends. Best part? Dedicated runners who complete six runs with Yiqi Pao are rewarded with a free club shirt.
Gate 7, Pudong Century Park, Huamu Lu, Pudong, near Haitong Lu. Free.
More information: English
Shanghai’s only 'just for girls running community' meets every Monday evening at 8pm for easygoing one-hour jogs through the South Bund.
Corner of Longteng Avenue and Dong’an Lu, in front of Isolabella. Free. More information
Hardly needs an introduction. The eponymous running group meets every Tuesday night at the Nike store on Nanjing Dong Lu for two free runs, one of 1.8km, the other of 4.5km, with organised warm ups at the start. Great for first timers though needless to say the people traffic in this part of town makes the longer route a little easy for more advanced runners.