Discovering Kyiv on a City Run

Kiev city run

Final Data
Distance: 9.1k (5.65 miles)
Time: 0:49:51
Speed: 10.95 km/h (6.80 miles/hour)
Pace: 5.48 min/km (8.82 min/mile)
Terrain: hilly, concrete

As I have found out on my last run in Kyiv a couple of days ago, it is a nice way to discover the city. In fact, there is an odd chance that I would come across certain parts. The typical tourist will most likely visit the city center, museums, sights, parks, and restaurants and cafes. While I enjoy all of these points, I am also interested in seeing more. I am generally the person who likes to go off the typical tourist tracks and discover new areas on my own.

This is exactly what I have decided to do today as well. I consulted google maps to lay out a route that is easy to memorize and of a decent length. 9.1 km seems to be that. The weather is nice and will be stable for the rest of the day so that I can look forward to a cool, long, and interesting run. The area I will run to and in is totally new to me so that I am sure that there will be the one or other surprise; something I didn’t expect to see.

Again I got trapped by uphill terrain in the beginning but I was able to go all the way without having to slow down and walk. So that is the first success of this run. Plus if you start and end at the same point, every uphill part will eventually follow by a downhill part. That was much more relaxed, and I was able to make up for the lost time on the first half of the route. My overall time was about what I predicted it to be, so that is another success. The length was exactly right for today’s motivation.

I actually got to see quite a bit of Kyiv, although all of it far away from the typical tourist destinations. Most of the route went along major streets, residential areas, train tracks, and empty forest areas. It was surprising to realize how close major office towers and simple residential areas are to one another. While there are several good residential units, there are also a lot of empty houses and big buildings right in the middle of it, without any obvious reasons. This appears to be a rather typical phenomenon. It is a only a pity to see that some rather beautifully structured houses are empty and in horrible conditions. Thus it is always good to see other examples, where houses are getting restructured and renovated or already have been. Right in between several residential units are really colorful playgrounds that I wished I had as a child. I was used to playgrounds that did not look half as pretty.

One other phenomenon that appears to be rather typical is lots of expensive cars right next to old and shabby ones. In fact, most cars seem to be rather modern and in good shape. I live in a simple residential unit that doesn’t really look like much from the outside, but there is always this expensive white Hummer standing right outside. So I learned and have seen that before that the outside structures and shape of buildings do not give a reliable testimony of the inside and its residents.

The only two things I was afraid of were the busy streets that seemed a bit crazy at times and barking dogs in lock-up yards. But I suppose that particularly the first point is simply part of the metropolitan life, and I am not used to that in my relatively small home town. I then really liked to discover and see parts that I haven’t seen before, which I intend to do again soon. Besides the physical activity itself, the best part of every run is the shower afterwards!

There is nothing better than to discover an area by a nice run. Kyiv has so much more to see than the popular tourist destinations so it is easy and convenient to combine personal fitness with discovery.

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