Health

6 Great Places to Run in Penang

I was an avid runner at home.  Even in the dead heat of Texas summer, I would find a time to run along the gorgeous lakeside trails or through quiet neighborhoods.  Landing in pedestrian un-friendly Penang with a 6-month old and a $300 jogging stroller, I realized I was going to have to get creative about running routes if I wanted to avoid dodging families strolling to dim sum along Gurney Drive while doing laps.  Luckily, the last couple of years have revealed several favorite running routes, including some that are stroller friendly.

Check out some of these spots if you are training for the upcoming bridge marathon, or if you’re just a crazy runner like me.

Botanical Gardens

The most stroller friendly as there are no cars allowed in the gardens.  The “big loop” allows for some major hill training, while the “small loop” may be good for speed workouts.  Extend your run onto the juice bar to rehydrate.  No stray dogs, but beware of monkeys.

Youth Park to Jesselton

This is a favorite.  Start at the temple parking lot and follow the main road through the youth park.  After the park, it becomes quiet and a bit secluded.  At the junction, turn right and jog through the very lightly trafficked Jesselton neighborhood.  The loop around Taman Jesselton is a good turnaround point.  I’ve never seen stray dogs on this run.

Pulau Tikus Neighborhood

Several times a week I run from our Gurney apartment through the Pulau Tikus neighborhoods.  Not the greatest traffic route (you will need to cross a couple major roads) and certainly the worst for stray dogs, the benefits of quiet neighborhood streets and well-shaded roads make it my mainstay.  Sometimes I call this the hospital run: back roads from Gleneagles to Island to Adventist.

Georgetown Loop

The east-west corridors of Argyll/Muntri and Campbell/Hutton make for a really nice route to run early on a weekend morning.  Add in Armenian street and it becomes a true tourist loop, great for taking visitors.  Not at all stroller friendly, and look out for the strays.

Hillside and Pearl Hill

Even a bigger challenge than botanicals as far as hill training, making it up Pearl Hill is a good challenge.  You can also push yourself distance-wise by attempting to navigate the neighborhood without having a really good look at a map first, I always get lost back here!

Air Hitam Dam

There is a very nice, partly shaded loop around the dam at Air Hitam.  Head towards Kek Lok Si and keep driving up to make it.  No cars, no strays, and a little elevation to cool it down.  Not too stroller friendly as there are a few gates to get through.

I typically meet with some people for a weekend morning run if you are looking for a running group.  Please drop me a line if you are interested.

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