Mukhang Guilty’s BLOG

Beijing- Day 03 AM, Free and Easy… RUN
April 25, 2009, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It goes without saying that the opportunity to run is always part of a runner’s agenda when traveling to a foreign country.  The idea of running in a foreign country elicits a sense of excitement on one hand, as one looks forward to see the famous landmarks described in travel books or shown in Nat Geo, and caution on the other, as one may get lost in translation (especially when the locals do not really speak english) which could eventually lead to getting lost literally.

I was hoping to be able to do some running around Beijing.  Being ‘severely OC’ about my weekly mileage, I made sure that I’ve completed all my required tempo and long runs prior to my trip.  That way, if my plan to run gets derailed, I would have at least hit 90% of my required distance.

We were booked in The Raffles Hotel Beijing, the hotel is located along the historic Chang’an avenue.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Chang’an avenue is around 50 to 100 meters wide, with ample sidewalks for running.  Quite a number of important architectures, such as the Great Hall of People, the National Museum of China, the National Grand Theater, Tiananmen Square, and the gates to the Forbidden City are located along this road.

The hotel is roughly 1.5 kilometers from the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, so it’s but natural that I plan my run around that area.  In my hotel room, while looking for a pen to draw the running route I created while referencing Google Earth, i saw this inside the desk drawer.. 🙂


The JOGGING MAP… (errr, not a jogger, but a runner) says that the route is about 3.46 kilometers.  The route distance was too short for me so I decided to run the recommended route and extend it further by running around the walls of the Forbidden City, the estimated distance should be around 10 to 11 kilometers.

actual route as mapped by Polar RS800 cx GPS pod

Actual route as mapped by Polar RS800 cx GPS pod

In front of the hotel before the run

In front of the hotel before the run

My not so little brother and I started our run by heading towards the Forbidden City before double backing to Tiananmen.  The run along Wangfujin Street (A) was quite chaotic, the street was filled with retail shops, and running on this street was like running an obstacle course, there were lots of people.



We ran a distance of about 0.7 kilometers before turning left towards the east entrance of the Forbidden City (B)

The road that leads to the east entrance of the Forbidden City is roughly another 0.7 kilometers, the side walks are much narrower, and one should take special care when crossing the street as Beijing drivers can be quite unruly, be sure to look on both directions before crossing.


.... stop look and listen before crossing

East entrance Forbidden City

East entrance Forbidden City

The run around the walls of Forbidden City was around 5 kilometers, a moat surrounds it, and this is the highlight of our run, I really enjoyed this part of the run.  The park-like environment felt calm and peaceful.  The photos don’t really do justice, you have to be there to experience it.

The moat that surrounds the Forbidden City

The moat that surrounds the Forbidden City

25 degrees, nice and cool... Priceless

25 degrees, nice and cool... Priceless

I almost got run over here... head on with an incoming car

I almost got run over here... head on with an incoming car


After completing one round around the Forbidden City, we headed back towards the hotel to Tiananmen. The crowd grew thicker and thicker as we approached Tiananmen.

@ Tiananmen Square... wide pedestrian lane, but too many people

@ Tiananmen Square... wide pedestrian lanes, but too many people

There were just too many people so I decided to turn around, and head back to the hotel.  We finished the run in about an hour and six minutes, with a distance of about 12 Kilometers.   The average pace was around 5:30 / km.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow nice pics…especially the one with you running with the soldiers. I would’ve thought you would have run slow to check out the landmarks and sites, but 5:30 is fast for a “touristy” run! Kakainggit!

Comment by Jaymie

hey jaymie, the pace was 5:30 because the timer was paused when we were taking pictures 🙂

Comment by Mukhang Guilty

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