Unlike other running clubs, The Finishr – a new community collaboration – encourages local residents to get out and experience the beauty of the coast (sans a stop watch) every Sunday.
Finishr founder Bree Filippone, alongside partner and co-founder Gabe McClelland, said the free communityfocused run was not timed, is open to “absolutely everyone” and would take place at various locations across the Surf Coast.
“Based in the Surf Coast, we take full advantage of our breathtaking views and terrain with our weekly Finishr Sunday sessions; the Finishr is not your average run meet, though.
“We prefer hills, sand, stairs and tempo efforts, and the fact that no one really knows what the Finishr is until you get there.”
Bree said her and Gabe run the HIIT Project together during the week, a group style fitness training company, and the name Finishr comes from their workouts.
“There’s usually an extra ‘finisher’ workout and it’s the type of mini-workout that turns a hard workout into an absolute burner of a workout – it’s like cherry on the cake but for workouts.
“At the end of our HIIT Project sessions, people are always asking ‘what’s the finisher?’ and usually dread comes to mind when we tell them, but in actual fact they love finishing the session on a high and realising that they have more in the tank than they thought.”
Bree said the first meet, which took place in Barwon Heads on March 10, attracted 25 people with the ultimate goal closer to 100.
“We didn’t want to make it a race, we don’t want people to feel like they’re being left behind or judged on how fast they’re going. The idea is that the intensity can be at your own discretion, regardless of your abilities.
“You can cruise if you want to, that’s completely fine. It’s part run, part vibe club and afterwards everyone goes and gets a coffee together. Regardless of how far you end up running (whether you do 2 kilometres or 5 kilometres) everyone meets back at the same point, and runs back as a group to finish.”
Bree said the idea was to encourage community togetherness and an event where everyone feels like they get similar value from the session.
“On the weekend we had someone come along with his mum, my own mum came and ran for the first time in five years, she’s almost 60 – everyone found it really inclusive.
“We’re really lucky, we’ve collaborated with other local fitness groups including No Excuses Bootcamp, EHPT, F45
Geelong and Little Bantam Health and Fitness – just to name a few.
“They’re all letting their clients know that Finishr is on. A lot of us trainers train on a Sunday as it’s a non-working day, so now we’ve got people to run with.”
Bree said a desire to create an event where people can just show up and run in a group was one of her main driving forces.
“I wanted a big group of runners and I didn’t want the pressure to perform. I wanted it to be more about the people and more about the community.
“In my experience, the best way to bring community together is through coffee. We’ll be exploring the different coastlines, doing different tracks and runs each week and then drink coffee.
“Each session will vary, we will take on different hills or tackle the sand, we’ll check out Jan Juc and Bells Beach. Runners will only know a few days prior where that week’s location is going to be via our socials.
“Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy running in a group and being able to socialise afterwards with a coffee.”
To find out more head to thefinishr.com, @the_finishr on Instagram or look up thefinishr on Facebook.