By incorporating pedestrian and bike paths into its transportation strategy, Istanbul can build a physical and social infrastructure that optimizes the participation of all people, regardless of physical and mental disabilities.
Istanbul then would be not simply Europe’s largest and fastest growing city. It would be its model.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where Do You Run in Istanbul?

Today some of us walked from Cihangir to Ortaköy, and others ran around Sarayburnu. Istanbul, suggested Miguel as we ran, needs a runner’s manual for novices (where to run, running clubs in the area, a calendar of road races, etc.). So as we begin to put the guide together, we ask you, What are your favorite routes? Please let us know!

And join us each Sunday, 8:00am, in front of the Cihangir Sports Center (above the Dia Supermarket), on Siraselviler Street.

Now, back to our runner's guide to Istanbul . . . three of my favorite places to run – all accessible from Beyoğlu on foot. . .
THREE ROUTES from BEYOĞLU
1. Sarayburnu:
Today’s run followed the side street from Tophane to Karaköy, crossed the Galata Bridge and then ran along the wide path that circles around Sarayburnu, below Topkapı Sarayı. We ran as far as the radar tower, where we turned back. One could as easily run to Atatürk Bulvarı and return to Beyoğlu by way of Aksaray, passing under the Aqueduct of Valens and crossing the Golden Horn on the Atatürk Bridge. The full circle from Tophane, around Sarayburnu and under the acqueduct and back is close to 12 km.

The springtime photos say nothing of today’s strong lodos wind!

Run It Any Time: Given that the Galata Bridge has a wide pedestrian way and the path around Sarayburnu is well protected from traffic, the path from Tophane to the radar tower is a decent route for any time of day. (Also, you can stretch at the radar tower, which is decorated with ceramic tiles by my friend Mustafa Pilevneli and his son Yavuz.)

2. Maçka Park: The lower end of Maçka Park has a well-maintained unpaved running path, and I like it for speed intervals. From Taksim, head down past Gümüşsuyu to the İnönü Stadium and stay right as you ascend the hill (on appropriately named Bayıldım Caddesi) to Nişantaşı, passing by the Swissôtel. You can enter the lower end of Maçka Park across the street from the Swissôtel, or for a longer hill work-out, follow the road (which now becomes Abdi İpekçi Caddesi) to the top of the hill – to Vali Konağı Caddesi – and enter the top end of the park at Harbiye (saluting the Sultans) and run back down through the park to the paths in the lower end.

Twilight Run: Maçka Park may not be the best destination for a run in the dark, but it’s not bad in the twilight hours. To avoid the evening traffic between Gümüşsuyu and Dolmabahçe, cut from Taksim to Harbiye on Taşkışla Caddesi – the road that runs behind the Hilton Hotel and in front of the Engineering Faculty. Careful as you cross traffic!

3. Eyüp: A series of smooth pedestrian paths leads up the Golden Horn from the Galata Bridge to Eyüp. This is an early morning or weekend run, due to congestion at the Eminönü bus stop and the need to cross traffic under Atatürk Bulvarı. After these messy spots, however, it’s a clear path (excepting occasional simit vendors) up to Eyüp and even as far as Santralİstanbul (the new Bilgi University Campus).

Where do you like to run? Do you get a good work-out on Istanbul’s streets? Or have you resigned yourself to the treadmill for mid-week runs?

9 comments:

chibuku said...

I still love the Belgrade Forest best, as it's best for my knees. Tried Caddebostan last weekend (you can do at least 25 k there), but all concrete. I love to run from my village, Yeniköy, to Sariyer and back (approx. 18 k), but again all concrete. I envy my friend who lives and works in Robert College, Arnavutköy, and who has a professional 400 m running track right next to her house, overlooking the Bosporus....heaven!

EzMx said...

Hi. I am a 27y old male new to Istanbul, though I have visited here a couple times (I was an international student in Ankara for one year back in 2002). I am interested in teaming up with a local or a knowledgeable expat to go for a run sometime. I am not in peak physical shape right now, so 10k would suit me fine for now. If anybody wants a running partner, shoot me an email at ezra.mannix@gmail.com

Kayty said...

I need to buy new shoes. Can you recommend any running shoes shops here in Istanbul?

Joniper said...

Hi there! Saw your site while trying to research on the running scene in Istanbul. Will be spending a few days in your city on December before continuing on my Middle East land trip and I was hoping to join at least a race but seems like there's none scheduled for December. It's winter anyway so I guess no one would be too crazy to run around in the cold - unless you are a huge runner, then conditions outside wouldn't matter much to you as long as you can run. I observed that there's not much races in Istanbul the entire year round, compared with other places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila and Australia where I have resided in the past - and where there's almost a race every weekend. Anyways, will still try to do some quick early morning run in the Sultanahmet area when I get there. It is nice what you are doing and hoping that more Istanbul residents would embrace running.

Samantha said...

Hi, Do you have any advice for people who live on the Asian side other than Fenerbahce and Bostanci? I live in Kandilli which is pretty far away from these places...

kate harrison said...

to Samantha,

I used to live in Kandilli too. I ran on the sidewalks toward Kanlica, which was fairly well paved and which afforded occasionally gorgeous views. I also used to take the ferry across to Bebek (5 mins) and run along the undeveloped waterfront there, toward Yenikoy. Both routes can go on for miles and miles and, save the gawking fishermen and shopkeepers, are pretty unpopulated. Good luck!

Hugh said...

Any group runs in Instanbul in the next week? f so, message me at hugh at ob-kc dhat com

Christian Marathoner said...

Hi, does anyone know a current running club in Istanbul I could connect with on a trip I have coming up? thanks!

runner4life said...

Hi, I'm Ira, and I'm new to Istanbul, arrived just a week ago, from Los Angeles. I'm desperately looking for some decent place to run, away from traffic and crowds perhaps. It would be awesome if there are some people in Kadikoy, so we can get together. I'm a runner with almost 40 years of running under my belt, and ran (many years ago) a 2:39 marathon in Rome (1980). Currently, I run about 10 min/mile.