On the peninsula Fischland-Darß-Zingst everything is in flow for runners. Because you won't find more beautiful jogging routes than here in a hurry. Steep coast or beach, forest paths or Bodden - what would you prefer?
Today a small evening round is announced. On the Darss west beach. It is part of the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park and promises the purest, undisturbed enjoyment of nature. At the Drei Eichen parking lot, Anne Schönrock slips black compression socks over her lower legs and slips into her sea-blue running shoes. Then she starts running. Slowly and with concentration. Her arms swing in time, Anne's breathing is regular as she takes step after step on the sandy, springy forest floor. She runs a short distance through spicy-scented coastal forest, then the dunes are reached and Anne jogs on along the beach, passing between washed-up seaweed and crooked-whipped pines that twist out of the sand like bizarre sculptures. It smells of salt and of resin, of sea and land at the same time, and Anne breathes deeply as the fine red of exertion gradually coats her cheeks. "I love this expanse, this smell of salt, this air," she gushes. "I just can't get enough of it!"
We can understand that. Fischland-Darß-Zingst is simply the perfect place to run. Anne Schönrock, 41 years old and a dental assistant from Ribnitz-Damgarten, has shown us her favorite routes here. Anne runs at least two or three times a week. Sometimes early in the morning at half past six, sometimes in the afternoon when she's finished at the practice. Her distances? Sometimes five, sometimes ten, sometimes even fifteen kilometers at a stretch. But where elsewhere joggers are forced to run through high-rise canyons or along busy arterial roads, on Fischland-Darß-Zingst Anne can choose between the most beautiful natural routes of all.
The home route of the sporty woman with the clear face leads from Ribnitz to the beach of Dierhagen, where she has even experienced deer in the sand. Here she also likes to jump into the water at the end of a workout. That, by the way, even in March. "In general, I like running best in the off-season. There are fewer people out and about. And in winter, I take off my shoes on the beach and run barefoot through the ice-cold surf!" But Anne also likes to train on the impressive cliff between Ahrenshoop and Wustrow. Her path leads directly along the cliff - lush green meadow landscape on one side, boundless, glittering Baltic Sea on the other. And the sound of the surf blends harmoniously with the chirping of the sand martins, which swing through the air as carefree as Anne jogs along the coastal path.
All of Anne's favorite routes lead along the water in some form. It's not always the open Baltic Sea, as on the west beach or the Ahrenshoop cliffs. Many beautiful trails also run along the Bodden. Bodden are shallow lagoons and typical for the landscape between Darß and Zingst. Anne particularly enjoys walking along the dead-straight paths along the Saaler Bodden, where a gentle breeze ripples the water and cranes migrate across the salt marshes in autumn. The shallow waters are also a habitat and resting place for many other bird species. The nature reserve "Ribnitzer Großes Moor", which Anne also likes to include in her running rounds, hides completely different waters. The path there winds through a quiet forest and marshland past mysterious ponds, where dragonflies stand above iridescent green water and frogs croak. A completely different world - and yet here, too, the sea is always just a few minutes' walk away.
The Baltic Sea relay marathon, in which Anne has already participated, also leads through the "Ribnitzer Großes Moor". "Relay marathons are suitable even for beginners because you only have to run a relatively short distance," explains the athlete, who also participates in other competitions in the region, such as the Dünenläufer in Graal-Müritz. "The atmosphere at these running events is just great, the people are warm, it's really fun!" enthuses Anne, who is glad to have found the perfect sport for herself in running. "Well, the first kilometer takes some effort. But then I get into the flow! I can switch off and clear my head. And I come home in good spirits every time". No wonder, with such running distances!
By train and bus comfortably to Zingst: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Between salt marsh and Baltic Sea: the running track along the steep coast near Ahrenshoop ©TMV/Gänsicke
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