While we love Chennai’s beach promenades, there is some good running along the Adyar River, near Tholkappiar Ecological Park, and across the bridge in the Besant Nagar neighborhood. We’ve mapped a grand 18 km route that showcases the main aras, though we encourage you to use this as a guide to create your route of desired distance. The route we’ve mapped is 13.7 km (8.5 miles), not including Anna University.
As an anchor point, we start at the northern end of the Elliott’s Beach Promenade at the Garden of Remembrance. Head west, past the famous Adyar Banyan Tree, and use Schwartz Ave. to cross the Thiru Vi Ka Bridge. Now, you’ll explore the area just west of Marina Beach, around the Adyar River. Recommended areas: some of the trails/paths above the wetlands of Tholkappiar Ecological Park (visitor #s limited, check here), and do a loop around the pleasant & runnable Greenways Rd. and Boat Club Rd.
On the Besant Nagar side, we recommend running along Besant Ave. with the Theosophical Society and Besant Gardens on your left. Nice paths for running in Besant Gardens (check for hours, generally 8:30-10am, 2-4pm). For a longer jaunt, head west to the grounds of Anna University (pass might be required), which has ~2 km of nice grounds for running, and some of the roads around Guindy National Park (the park itself is mainly exhibits). The IIT Campus, at the south end of Guindy Park, is also good for running (pass required).