We found local run clubs for coffee fiends, beer aficionados, first-timers, trail runners, and those who want to be coached by an Olympian.
The best places in Adelaide to start running
Call it a silver lining or a long-overdue re-evaluation of how we spend our personal time, but many of us emerged from our COVID cocoons with a few healthier habits than when we had going in.
What’s your favourite Adelaide running club?
Let us know
For those who have (or hope to) ditch social media for socialising during a three-, five- or 10-or-more kilometre run, these are a few of our favourite Adelaide running clubs.
Lace up, rug up, and we’ll see you on the track bright and early.
21 Run Club
The 21 Run Club offers more than just an opportunity to get in shape; it also encourages its members to engage in a supportive dialogue, emphasising the importance of mental health. Allowing participants to choose between three- and six-kilometre runs, 21 Run Club meets every Friday morning at 6:30 at the Glenelg Jetty. For some, a 6:30am running start in Glenelg is too cold for comfort, but we’re told seeing the coastline under the golden haze of first light is worth getting out of bed. (You can let us know.)
Adelaide Running Crew
Founded in 2009, the Adelaide Running Crew has long been one of the premier social running communities in the city. Meeting on Wednesdays at 6pm and Saturday at 8am, the ARC is the club for those who don’t have the time in the mornings throughout the week to get their run on. The Saturday morning runs take place all over Adelaide and range from 10 to 20 kilometres, followed by breakfast at a local café to wind down.
Brighton Run Club
Further south, the Brighton Run Club meets every Monday at 6:30am at the Brighton Jetty, to shake off the cobwebs of the weekend and start the week off right. Beginning late last year, the BRC has quickly grown into one of the most popular social running clubs in Adelaide, thanks to its beachside location and community emphasis. Choose between three- and five-kilometre runs, and stop afterwards for coffee and recovery at a local café. Runners are encouraged to bring their dogs along as well.
The Cheeky Trot
Most run clubs end at a café, but this one began with a café, coming as a collaboration between east-side gym The Fit Space and Cheeky Grin Coffee. At 7:30am each Saturday, runners take off from Cheeky Grin, located at 74a Gage Street in Firle, for a three- to four-kilometre run around the neighbourhood. It’s open to runners of all levels of experience, with the main aim to facilitate conversation and connection between attendees. Once the run is over, stick around for a coffee at Cheeky Grin.
Mikkeller Running Club
A surprising number of sports pair well with beer – football, cycling, and, apparently, running. World-famous Danish brewery Mikkeller has a run club with chapters all over the place, including here in Adelaide. There’s no information on the local Mikkeller Running Club on the website, but there is a Facebook and Instagram account which is regularly updated. The group hosts five-kilometre runs on the first Saturday (from Gilbert Street Hotel) and third Thursday of every month (starting at Brightstar Brewing). Post-run cool-down happens at the bar, beer in hand.
On top of being a global community, Parkrun is a free, weekly, local five-kilometre run, which takes places in several locations across Adelaide (and the country) every Saturday at 8am. There are three Parkruns in the CBD and North Adelaide (Nantu Wama, Torrens and Pakapakanthi), but pretty much wherever you find yourself within metro Adelaide and surrounds, there’s a nearby run in which to partake: Cleland, West Beach, Glenelg, Gawler, Nuriootpa, Seacliff, Mount Gambier. Once you’re inducted into the Parkrun cult, you’ll pack running shoes for every holiday.
Prospect Run Club
If you are looking for a more casual approach to getting fit, the Prospect Run Club’s motto of “running for no reason” surely appeals. The Prospect Run Club meets on Tuesdays at 5am and Fridays at 5:30am for the early bird looking to get the most out of their day. After engaging in either a six- or ten-kilometre grind, the club meets at Cotto for a post-run coffee and chat.
Once you’ve caught the running bug, the pursuit of incremental improvement becomes an obsession. There will come a time, though, when you hit a wall. At this point, you’ll probably start looking for a coach. And when you do, you’ll come across RunAsOne. Founded by local Olympian Izzi Batt-Doyle and Riley Cocks, RunAsOne offers individual coaching, and they also meet for group sessions at Pakapakanthi Victoria Park at 6:30am on Tuesdays and Fridays. Membership is required for participation, with three levels on offer. See the website for more info.
The Run Club
For those living closer to the CBD, The Run Club is aptly named as a conveniently central running community. The Run Club meets every Thursday at 6am, and though the one-kilometre intervals may be gruelling, they welcome anyone – including first-time runners – to join the team. Meeting at the Uni Loop, The Run Club offers a tranquil glimpse of the gorgeous Adelaide parklands before the hustle and bustle of the working day begins.
South Australian Road Runners Club
With the Adelaide marathon as its flagship event, the South Australian Road Runners Club has been around for more than 40 years and is one of the largest member-based running clubs in South Australia. The club holds group runs around metro Adelaide on every day except Monday, and its events cater to runners of varying experience levels – from five-kilometre runners to those who enjoy enduring ultra runs. Though beginning running can be daunting, the SARRC provides a 12-week course for beginner runners that aims to foster confidence and provide support to runners in the first step of their fitness journey.
Trail Running SA
Sometimes running for the sake of a faster time or longer distance is not enough. Sometimes you’ll want to push yourself into new types of terrain. For this, get in touch with Trail Running SA – a club founded in 2014 to connect likeminded adventurers. These runs are not for the faint of heart. In addition to being on off-road terrain, they’re generally 10 kilometres or longer – aside from the occasional recovery run. TRSA holds social runs during the week, and they also host more formal events throughout the year. Keep an eye on the group’s social media for updates.