10 Great Places for Running in Manila
Amid crowded malls and busy streets, there are a few patches of paradise where you can hit the ground running.
(SPOT.ph) Running is one of the best sports you can get into this year. Just think of the health benefits: It helps you lose weight, reduces your risk of cancer, strengthens your joints, relieves stress, and more. It also gives you an adrenaline rush like no other-just stand at the starting line of any race and you'll feel the electric energy pumping through the crowd. And once you cross the finish line or complete a hard, lung-busting workout, you feel a sense of satisfaction knowing you pushed your body to its limits.
Apart from old-time favorites like UP Diliman and Bonifacio Global City, there are a lot of spots spread out across the city where you can start your training. Simply lace up your running shoes and you're good to go!
1. Capitol Commons
Location: Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
The Course: This relatively new development from Ortigas and Co. has become a playground for people who just want to spend some time outdoors-including runners. The main road measures about 500 meters from end to end, while one loop around the park is about 300 meters, which makes it ideal for doing easy runs, sprints, and drills.
Fuel Up: There's nothing more satisfying than a hearty meal after training. Grab a bite at one of the restaurants along the main street, or check out Estancia Mall, which also has a number of eateries to choose from.
2. Marikina Sports Center
Location: Sumulong Highway corner Shoe Avenue, Marikina City
The Course: Do your speedwork or training runs at the Sports Center's 400-meter track oval, which you can access for only P10. It's open from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m so you can do your workout any time it's convenient for you.
Cross Train: If you're recovering from an injury, training for a triathlon, or raring to try other sports to complement your running, do some laps in the swimming pool or take your bike out on the streets of Marikina.
3. Marikina River Park
Location: Santo Niño, Marikina City
The Course: Enjoy a long, leisurely run on the 11-kilometer path along the Marikina River. There are a lot of things to see and do so bring the kids along and let them run around the playground, explore the animal trail, or go roller skating in the rink while you get your long run done.
Fuel Up: Grab a bite from street food vendors in the area or wait for the restaurants and bars to come alive at night and treat yourself to a drink (or two).
4. Greenhills Shopping Compound
Location: Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
The Course: The entire block of the shopping center is a lot less busy before the shoppers come around. Joggers frequent this location early in the morning before cars start to arrive. You are free to join that ongoing aerobics class happening in the open parking. Just look at those welcoming smiles of the health-conscious (senior) citizens!
Fuel Up: The theater mall just within the shopping center has a couple of coffee shops where you can grab coffee and a light breakfast. Fast-food chains are also just a few steps away, if you feel like throwing all of your hard work away.
5. Circuit Makati
Location: Hippodromo Street and A.P. Reyes Avenue (former Sta. Ana Race Track), Barangay Carmona, Makati City
The Course: This rising entertainment and leisure village has already hosted huge concerts and music festivals, but you can also do your long run in this 21-hectare property right by the Pasig River. In the late afternoon to early evening, feel refreshed by the cool breeze and enjoy the view of the Makati Business District skyline.
Cross Train: Add variety to your running routine by playing a game of football or frisbee in the large open field or try skateboarding in the skate park.
6. Quezon Memorial Circle
Location: Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City
The Course: This runner’s haven is situated at the heart of Quezon City. Start your run by the towering monument to President Manuel L. Quezon (check out the mini-museum after your run). One round on the outer perimeter is about 1.8 kilometers, but the circle can also be your jump-off to a longer run toward UP Diliman, Commonwealth, and Katipunan.
Cross Train: Join other park-goers in various sports such as badminton, aerobics, tai chi and more. It's also a family-friendly place so you can let the kids tag along.
7. Emerald Avenue
Location: F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Barangay San Antonio, Pasig City
The Course: The usual busy street in the heart of the city’s business center is completely free of cars every Sunday from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. as part of Pasig City’s "Bike, Health, and Carless Day" project. Jog up and down the street without worrying about getting run over by a speeding car. You might even catch a dance or aerobics class!
Fuel Up: Now that the Banchetto food stalls have moved elsewhere, you can get your caffeine fix at Coffee Bean, or jog to one of the malls in the area to get your dose of healthy (or non-healthy) eats.
8. Ayala Triangle Gardens
Location: Ayala Avenue and Paseo De Roxas Streets, Makati City
The Course: This urban oasis is right in the middle of the Makati business district. For runners who work in the area, it's the perfect place for a quick jog before or after office hours (or maybe even during your lunch break). One loop around the triangle is just 1.2 kilometers, but trees, flowers, people, and even public art installations will make your run far from boring.
Fuel Up: Choose one of the many restaurants in the area for your post-run meal, in case you need some carbs to get you going.
Photo via Running Pinoy
9. Filinvest City
Location: Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
The Course: If you're tired of navigating through concrete roads in the urban jungle that is Manila, head south to Filinvest City for some trail running. Breathe in the fresh air and give your knees a break as you run on soft grassy trails and dirt paths. Large trees provide ample shade but be careful not to trip on roots and rocks!
Cross Train: The area is also a great place for mountain biking. Though it's close to civilization, be sure to bring a buddy with you and always let someone know when you're hitting the trails.
Photo via The Running Angel
Location: Intramuros, Manila
The Course: Want to get a workout and a history lesson in one? Run the streets of Intramuros, Manila. Last year's Salomon City Trail Race had runners start at Fort Santiago then pass through other historic landmarks like the Manila Cathedral, Palacio del Gobernador, Baluarte de San Diego, and more.
Fuel Up: Have some Filipino-Spanish cuisine at Ilustrado restaurant. The Sampaguita ice cream is a must-try. (You deserve it after a hard workout!)
Erratum: The first version of this article mentioned the old location of Banchetto along Emerald Avenue. This has been corrected.