Binhai Road, 2002

April 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Binhai Road is the most attractive feature of Dalian. It traces the city’s coastline, from Xinghai Square to Tiger Beach. Carved into seaside cliffs, it rolls up and down steeply with very little shoulder for about 10 miles. I had been thinking of running it ever since seeing it on a map and at some point in my first fall I decided I was in good enough shape and familiar enough with the city to tackle it.

I traced the route on my map and found a bus number to get myself back to the city from Tiger Beach. The next day, I folded my apartment key, enough cash for a long taxi ride and exact change for the bus into a plastic tissue packet, stuffed it in my shorts and set off. I took the bus down to Xinghai Square, feeling even more ridiculous than normal in my skimpy running gear (all white, big nosed, round eyed hairy-ness) and walked to the start of my route. I had played around on a tandem bicycle with a friend on the first incline of the road and the thought of running it made me queasy for a second.

Turns out my plan worked out perfectly. The only irritant was the narrow shoulder and constant tourist traffic over it. With cars whipping by at 30-40 miles an hour, running with traffic to take in the sea views was an exercise in undeserved trust. The weather was warm and sunny. The ocean views were suitably humbling. I ground my way up the hills and coasted down. When I was starting to get really tired the suspension bridge that signals ‘almost there’ came into view and before I knew it I was taking the left turn back towards town.

I bought a lemon-lime Gatorade and a popsicle and asked where the bus stop was. I found the bus easily and stood instead of taking an empty seat because I was half naked and sweaty (something I would never do now). I added a stupid grin to my ridiculousness and trundled back to town.

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