This is the fifth instalment in the where-to-run series and this time we are headed to Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, which is surrounded by the River Elbe and crossed by hundreds of canals. This beautiful city seems to have it all - and it's apparently runner's paradise as well!
Hamburg running guide:
We have teamed up with Henning Heide, the founder of the running crew Tide Runners who are based in Hamburg, and he has promised to give his absolute best guide of the following:
- Best scenic/tourist run
- Best long run
- Best tempo run
- Best interval run
- Best hill run
Henning loves to run in Hamburg and has told us it's the best city for everything! You have the water, you have nice and long tracks and you have a little bit of hills too. The perfect match for a runner who loves to live in the city.
1) Best scenic/tourist run
Probably running at the harbour. No matter what the weather's supposed to be (and it’s often horrible), running at the water edge is a pleasure, especially because you won’t have any stairs or traffic lights for more than 30k (one way).
Try to avoid tourists on a sunny Sunday, because it’s makes your run a jump and run game.
Another great running venue is the Stadtpark on the other side of town, with a calm sea in the middle and daily concerts in summer which you can listen to after your run.
2) Best long run
Next to the harbour there’s another beautiful track around the city which is called "Grüner Ring“ and goes around the inner part of the city with about 100k steadily surrounded by nature. If this is still too short for your long run, just run it twice.
3) Best tempo run
The best tempo run is around the Alster (lake). This might be THE track in Hamburg to show how much guts you got. This track is in the middle of the city and is 7,4 km in total. So this is the ideal track to go wild on! It's actually a common question asked by runners in Hamburg what your time around the Alster was. So go nuts!
Bucket lists in Hamburg usually contains the aim of running less than 30 minutes around the Alster and it’s part of several races within the year as well.
4) Best interval run
The one with most style is definitely Kenia. Located at Memellandallee 5 in Altona it’s a shabby, dusty sand track stadium which reminded Runners World Germany editor Martin of the tracks in east africa.
Whenever it was raining within the last days it’s mostly hard to run in one of the corners, but who want’s to complain at track training anyways? Kenia is free for everybody and you are welcome as long as you remember the unwritten rules of intervals.
5) Best hill run
The Harburger Berge and Fischbeker Heide are the place for scenic hilly runs. Of course you can’t compare this to any proper mountains, but all Hamburg ultrarunners made there height meter training and no matter what the weather or seasons says- it’s always worth it. Start your run at Kärtner Hütte (Cuxhavener Str. 55), but try to navigate with apps or a local otherwise you’ll get lost quickly.
Another great hilly route would be Waseberg at Blankenese. It's located close to the Elbe as well, 700 meter long, up to 16% gradient and 87 height meter - that is just evil. Try to run it more than once and you will feel the burn!