I posted my first instagram in which I bragged about my own running-achievements just a couple of months ago – only to instantly receive an invite to a running endeavor I never thought I’d be able to conquer: the Berlin half-marathon. The invite came from the #boostberlin group of adidas, who’ve seen my post and suggested I joined their group and casually ran 21k on a Sunday in March. Fueled by running-endorphins I was like: yes! This spontaneous outburst of optimism did not only bring me a lot of extra training but the idea to a new series featuring what I think are the prettiest running routes in our lovely city, beginning with one in nature that is actually easier to reach by train than by car.
I am not running for speed, just so you know, I tend to run too slow even, making the adidas trainer call me a “cautious runner” in the 2hrs of training I join weekly (or once, until now). Maybe I am not speeding because I like to enjoy the scenery? I prefer running surrounded by trees or water, and barely ever run in the city, crossing red-lights or navigating tourist-groups. Which is why I greatly enjoy this route, that leads you around two pretty lakes in Grunewald: Schlachtensee and Krumme Lanke.
The route conveniently starts right by the Schlachtensee station, where you can get to in about 30mins from Friedrichstraße (normally with the S1, but thanks to current construction it’s more advisable to take the S7 to Nikolassee and then the S1 back North, all in all about 45mins). You exit the station on the lakeside, and run down towards the water to start your route either to the left or right – one circle around the lake is about 5,5km long (but can be enhanced!) At the North shore of Schlachtensee lies a restaurant with a beer garden called Fischerhütte, where you’ll have to pass through. You can either take a break and have a beer, finish your Schlachtensee round or run away from the lake and up to the street, cross it and then take the path down to another lake called Krumme Lanke and run around this one too!All in all, this makes for over 8k of running bliss, it’s a beautiful route through the forest with soft grounds, occasional muddy puddles but only a few tripping hazards like branches or stones. The lakes offer some beautiful panoramas, with moss-covered trees growing out of the water, cute duck couples enjoying a quiet morning or soft reed slowly dancing in the wind. All the more reasons to slow down, have a stretch and enjoy the scenery. Or run the course fast and twice to get all the details, just as you like it.
You could also take a quick break and try my sun-warrior-pose, that will instantly have the sunshine break through the tough clouds to warm your face and bones. Seriously, the lakeside is a perfect scenery for a quick and cliché Yoga pose – I suggest the tree, adapting yourself to your surroundings.
The course is super-easy, there’s almost no possibility to get lost, and the whole route is rather flat. Which is why so many people like it, I guess, either for running, walking the dog (attention, dogs will be completely forbidden in this area from the mid of May) or just strolling with the fam. If you like to run without the crowds either choose a weekday (like we did for the photos) or start your training in the early hours of the weekend.
Oh, I almost forgot. The best thing about this route is the possibility to jump into the lake after your run and then let yourself be dried by the sun (in summer, obviously). No need to bring your swimming clothes, skinny dipping is totally accepted here.