Jogging Paths in Puebla
Finding safe places to run in unfamiliar city can be challenging, particularly if you dislike treadmills and don’t want to wear neon or stop every few blocks to consult a map. Visitors to Puebla may find themselves further frustrated by the uneven, often nonexistent sidewalks and by unsympathetic drivers who generally disregard pedestrian traffic. Forget to look both ways before crossing a street and you might get run over. Fortunately, the area offers several secure, well-maintained public places to jog, or power walk, or do that half-marathon training that you swore you’d somehow manage to fit in while on vacation.
Ecoparque Metropolitano. Vía Atlixcáyotl, next to the Tec de Monterrey campus, San Andrés Cholula. This urban respite provides access to a cushy new 5.2-kilometer jogging trail made from recycled tires that runs alongside the Atoyac River between boulevards Niño Poblano and De Las Torres. You may have to share the park’s main paths with bicycles in some areas. Ecoparque Metropolitano is also dog-friendly (for owners who keep their pooches on a leash and pick up after them). Parking costs MX$10.
Jardín del Arte. Boulevard del Niño Poblano at Sirio. This recently updgraded 32-acre park near the Siglo XXI cultural complex is frequented by active folks who live and work on the west side of town. Jardín del Arte has two soft soil running paths, the longer of which (1 metric mile) circles the perimeter of the park, and a standard track. Soccer fields attract local teams, and a manmade lagoon lures ducks and other fowl, including a pair of peacocks. On-site parking costs MX$15, or you may access the area via the elevated Parque Lineal.
Parque Ecologico Revolución Mexicana. 19 Oriente at 24 Sur. Located just east of downtown, Parque Ecologico is probably the most convenient running destination if you’re staying downtown. The 143-acre ecological park features a 3-kilometer path of soft soil, plus a soccer field and volleyball and basketball courts. Post-workout, visitors may also want to check out the aviary (home to 50 species of birds), take the kids to the jungle gym, or go for a boat ride on the lake. Parking costs MX$10.
Cholula pyramid. 3 Norte at 4 Poniente, San Andrés Cholula. For shorter training sessions, such as speed intervals and hill work, head for the 400-meter track next to the archaeological site in Cholula and the path leading up to the pyramid. “For any athlete, it’s a challenging climb to the top,” notes Camilo Aguilera in Intolerancia magazine, which recommends it as one of the best places in the area to run. The track is open from roughly 7 a.m. to noon and 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is free.
Visitors who are tempted to simply head out the door of their hotel for a jog should do so with caution.
Drivers in Puebla are highly unpredictable (traffic signals are often regarded as mere suggestions), which makes pounding the pavement a risky proposition, especially if you’re trying out a new route or listening to music. “This is not a very running- or cycling-friendly city; car culture is very strong here,” says Oriol Sierra, a long-distance runner who lives downtown. On the bright side, “given its altitude [7,000 ft.], it’s an excellent place to train. There is also a good running community in Puebla, and there are many running events on weekends.”
Sierra, who ran the Puebla half marathon in 2008 and the Mexico City marathon in 2009, graciously provided the links above to a few of his training runs, which include maps, elevation, and other data. To find out about upcoming local races, he recommends checking with AS Deporte and Emocion Deportiva (available only in Spanish).
—Rebecca Smith Hurd
Post updated Aug. 4, 2013.