First published on 12 Jul 2012. Updated on 25 Feb 2014.
Boasting an impressive membership population of 729, Melbourne Running Meetup is one of the most popular running clubs around. Will you be 730? Organisation is the key to this club’s success, with runs scheduled often up to a month in advance in a variety of central Melbourne locations. The bonus of running with a group of this size? Very difficult to get lost. (We said difficult, not impossible.)
When: Wednesday evenings; Sunday mornings
Based in the Glen Iris area, Run in the Eastern Suburbs is just that. For those living further east of the central Melbourne area and can’t be bothered making it all the way to the city at on a Saturday morning – and who could blame you – this group is perfect for you. This weekly group begins an 8km run on the Glen Iris Track and heads towards Ashburton, then back to the starting point.
When: Saturday mornings
Something tells us this group is going to be a favourite among the Time Out readers (as well as all of us here in the office). There are two reasons why this club rules. Number one: Unlike other clubs, which opt for early morning runs, this monthly club starts at 2pm (the time of the new moon, just in case you were had mistaken this for a Twilight fan group). Number two: this self-described “drinking group with a running problem” starts and ends at a pub. That’s right. There’s a $5 cover charge which gets you bag storage so you can change out of your sweaty gear. Perfect.
When: One Saturday a month
With their impressively efficient organisation, in-group coaching, an offer of (paid) personal training, as well as their own ‘Love the Run’ T-shirts, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking this club is strictly for the elitist die-hard running addicts. You would, however, be wrong. This all-welcoming club caters to those who run as a way of life as well as those just starting out. Casual sessions are $10 each.
When: Mondays; Tuesdays; Thursdays; Saturdays; Sundays
This next club may be considered disturbing to some of our readers. Disturbingly awesome. The dedicated members of this group meet at 12.30pm every day on the lunch break of their city jobs for group training, ranging from marathons, sprints, steps and scenic park runs. For a yearly fee of $20, city workers really can’t go wrong with this group.
The Victorian Road Runners is the perfect running club for families. This all-inclusive group welcomes runners of all ages, and offers single, family or junior (under 18s) membership for a yearly fee of $35 for adults and $15 for children, which includes refreshments after runs. Non-members welcome. Regular runs are held on the first Saturday of each month at The Tan Track in the Botanic Garden from 7.30am. Other races are scheduled on various Sundays and Mondaysthroughout the year.
When: First Saturday of the month
Another great social running club, The Gunn Runners meet weekly at the Cricket Club Hotel on Clarendon St every Tuesday evening at 6pm before a timed run around Albert Park Lake. But don’t let that put you off –there’s no pressure to be quick, this is just for personal motivation (and possibly bragging rights). Stick around after the run for a great meal and great company.
When: Tuesday evenings
This entirely volunteer-based weekly running group makes excellent use of technology. Runners are required to sign up online prior to their runs, and print their own specific barcode, which they are to bring with them to every run. Barcodes are scanned at the beginning and end of your run, and results are emailed directly to you each time you run. How cool is that?! (There is an average of 63.4 runners per week, FYI.)
When: Saturday mornings
Melbourne Adventure club has everything. Not just limited to running, this club also offers cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, navigation and swimming. Runs are held during Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6.30 to 7.30, at either Princes Park or Collingwood Athletics Track, and at 8am on Sundays. Besides these ‘fun runs’, this club offers a more competitive running culture for those wanting that extra push for motivation. They are affiliated with the state body Athletics Victoria and regularly assist their members to get involved with the Summer and Winter competitions.
When: Tuesdays; Thursdays; Sundays
A running event management club centered on fitness and weight loss, Start to Finish holds regular running events at Alexandra Gardens for anyone interested in increasing their health. With three distances on offer, these runs cater for anyone of any age or ability. This ‘no pressure’ club is a great place for those looking to start out, or even to challenge your own personal best.
When: Various weekends