Distance: 6.6 miles
Feeling: Jet Lagged but adventurous
City Rating: 3.5/5
When the security guy in your hostel tells you that you’re crazy to go running in Mexico City, it does ingrain a slight bit of worry in your mind. But it also added a slight bit of excitement. Those two evened out pretty well and after a decent nights sleep following a big days travelling from Anchorage the day before, I hit the streets at around 8am.
People were going about their daily commute, traffic still wasn’t very heavy but it was picking up. For a moment I felt I was back in New York City, weaving around suitcases and camera wielder, jumping off pavements and back on before a car refused to slow down.
It’s not easy to run in Mexico City though, especially as a newbie. Diagonal roads intersect grids. Grid layouts tend to not go in parallel. Leaving direction up to my usually very good instinct failed me. Being without internet on my phone to direct me home for the first time, failed me!
The first half of the planned route went quite well, even though I was very low on energy, having eaten little the day before and nothing prior to the run. I ran past the beautiful Palicio de Bella Artes and around a pretty Alameda Central Park on my way over to Avenue de la Reforma. Reforma has a bike track which I liberally used, facing the bike traffic. I could tell a couple of suits were not happy with me by their attempt to drive me off the track. They won. A few glorious monuments later and I’d hit my turning point at the Angel of Independence, which contains the statue of some chancer from Wexford by the way.
The plan was to double back and return the same way. Easy. Too easy. I was feeling adventurous and already please at what I’d seen. I’d taken two lefts to get here, two more lefts on roughly the same distances when I spotted some street names I recognised. I recognised nothing, streets took turns, rights became lefts and disorientation took over. Google maps on my phone to the rescue.. Not. I hadn’t downloaded the map (mental note for next run to do this). All I had on my phone was my blue dot indicating my location and a green square which I believed to be the Central Park which I passed early on in my run.
I’m still alive which means I made it! I was slightly sweaty (read very sweaty) when I got back, 45 mins later than planned. The security guy gave me a smile and a nod of congratulations for not being swallowed up by the place and Neem, who I thought would have the search and rescue team out looking for me, was having a great chat over breakfast with some local and other hostel goer. She was getting tips on what to see for the day, it turns out I’d seen 90% of it on my run. At least we wouldn’t get lost the 2nd time exploring!
Besides the obvious problems with directions, Mexico City is large enough to get a good loop run in but if you don’t know it, you’ll probably end up hitting a lot of big intersections. I was stuck at a couple for 5 mins each. It makes it a little less appealing. It is definitely NOT one thing, unsafe. I had no issues at all, and would recommend much more exploring by foot here.
Palicio de Bella Artes:
Avenue De La Reforma, Bike Path:
Angel Of Independence