Run on: bakeries and run clubs make an unlikely du...

Run on: bakeries and run clubs make an unlikely duo

An obsession with croissants in Sydney crossed over into the city’s running scene this summer, thanks to a number of running clubs.

Led by Croissant Run Club, Unofficial Run club and Pastry Yourself Run Club, the groups would take part in a free 5-7km group run before finishing at some of Sydney’s best bakeries.

The novel approach to fitness first began to make waves in the city in July 2023, according to good food, and now attracts record crowds.

Close to 500 people too part in a recent Unofficial Run Club at Milsons Point, meeting at 6am and completing a 6km loop before going to LouLou Boulangerie and Traiteur.

LouLou manager Carolina Joly told good food the bakery had started baking up to 300 extra croissants and opening the adjoining bistro terrace every Friday morning to help accommodate the growing numbers.

Unofficial Run Club co-founder Chad Cohen said he and four mates had begun the club. They slowly transformed what had been an informal weekly marathon training sessions into a running community known for inclusiveness.

“It’s not just for elite runners; it’s for everyone,” he said.

Pastry Yourself, an event held occasionally by Pace Yourself Run Club, helps participants tackle a 6km run from Centennial Park to Baker Bleu in their own time.

Founder Alex Barbas said it was a way to get to meet other people interested in running.

“And there’s a sweet little reward at the end,” he said.

Cook and the Baker co-owner Jodie Laming gave Croissant Run Club founder Tamara Gallagher the thumbs up about hosting a post-run catch-up. But said she nearly had a heart attack about how many people turned up.

“It’s not easy to get another hundred people come in, but we’ve learnt to cook more croissants and bring in an additional staff member,” Jodie said to good food.

“It doesn’t change my bottom line, but it’s a wonderful thing. It’s all about connecting the community and helping people to feel less lonely in a new city.”

The initiative is spreading to other cities, with Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast residents in Queensland joining the Unfit Run Club. Melbourne is also home to a Croissant Run Club chapter.

 Image: Pace Yourself Instagram

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