Kat is the cofounder of Perth Run Collective in collaboration with Lululemon. She’s a relatable go-getter who has discovered what makes her happy and that’s creating strong and healthy communities. thE social running movement takES place in some of Perth's most beautiful locations AND IS available to all for free. THIS Collective creates the opportunity for outdoor ACTIVITY, movement, mateshiP and GOOD VIBES GALORE. After all, you’re only EVER one run away from a good mood.
MEET KAT ACKROYD FROM PERTH RUN COLLECTIVE ...
KAT, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA BEHIND PERTH RUN COLLECTIVE?
Perth Run Collective is a social running movement I cofounded in collaboration with Lululemon Perth. The initative involves some of Perth’s most avid running and fitness minds who love to share their passion for running, fitness, nutrition, wellbeing, preparation and performance through weekly running sessions. Perth Run Collective welcomes participants of all levels, and offers a variety of distance and pace groups plus access to, and a platform for, local experts and businesses within our Perth fitness and wellness community.
AND HOW IS tHIS SOCIAL RUNNING MOVEMENT MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE?
As a weekly space for getting active in the outdoors and promoting movement and mateship, we’re growing a sense of community. Perth Run Collective is reliable and our runners know it. After all, you’re only ever one run away from a good mood.
HOW DOES YOUR PASSION DRIVE YOU TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY WITHIN THE HEALTH AND FITNESS INDUSTRY?
I’m an avid runner, love being in the outdoors and I’m passionate about the creation of strong and healthy communities. Perth Run Collective is a mechanism for sharing this passion with others and perhaps providing support for them to reach their own goals or feel a bit more confident within a space they feel connected.
I’m always saying, ‘Perth Run Collective isn’t about the numbers - how fast or far you run or how many times a week you run’. Well, that’s what it is for me and maybe others too, but the appeal of the Collective is it’s run by our runners for our runners. If the numbers and stats game is your thing, you’ll find that amongst the group too.
We have a passionate team of run leaders who have been part of the Collective and its vision since the start or who have been a consistent participant and now taken on extra responsibility as a run leader. We always seek feedback from the collective and these ideas or collaborations are incorporate in future series. I want everyone in our community to feel included, valued and heard.
DOES TAKING PART SHAPE THE CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION OF THOSE WHO CONSISTENTLY SHOW UP?
The aim at each session is to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome, and where everyone leaves feeling better than when they started.
Typical PRC sessions have distance and pace groups for all levels (3k run/walk, 5, 7 & 10k) to foster a positive and safe way for runners to improve and connect with others at a similar capacity.
Motivation comes from being around like-minded people and our run leaders help our runners with their goals along the way. When you commit to a friend or a group like Perth Run Collective, you’re more likely to turn-up. It keeps you accountable, it keeps your training varied and consistent. Runners chat alone the way, have a laugh, catch-up on training plans, up-coming events, adventure races, even just their work day or social plans. We often find, runners who start steady surprise themselves after just a few weeks how far they can run. This new confidence and motivation usually translates to being on the start line of the next fun run with other (new) PRC pals.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
This is a tough question too. I’m inspired by so many - family, friends, colleagues, public figures active in community through to weekend warriors -- I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to one.
Those I do draw inspiration from tend to have similar core qualities – They’re unapologetically themselves; they’re dedicated and consistent at giving back to grow and develop themselves; and recognise their success is measured through the success of others.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START RUNNING FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Begin your training with a run/walk method. Depending on your level of fitness to start, this might be a one or two-minute run followed by a five-minute walk and then repeated for a total of 30-minutes. Each week onwards, gradually increase the time running while decreasing the time walking.
When you’re first starting out, things will feel tough, the body might ache and at times you’ll be out of breath. This is all normal. Anything worth doing isn’t usually easy. Consistency is key with running as it is will most development areas of our life. Perth Run Collective’s 3km run/ walk group caters for those starting out or returning to run - Sharing in the experience with another can provide a bit of extra encouragement when things start to feel a little uncomfortable. Even just wearing a smile on your face will help to convince the body you’re having fun.
A little extra motivation might be found in getting some new kit too - getting fitted in the right footwear is a must. An independent speciality running store (The Running Centre in West Perth or Athletes’ Foot Perth) are a good place to start for advice and tips. This isn’t an area to skimp on the dollars either, the right footwear can in fact save you dollars down the track and keep you out of the physio’s waiting room.
HOW DO YOU FOSTER HAPPINESS THROUGH YOUR CHOICE OF ACTIVITY?
Running has always been a part of who I am. When I ask myself why, it’s because It improves my confidence, provides a space for calmness and discovery, and a sense of possibility that carries over to other parts of my life.
Naturally, I want to do more of it and I want to share it (Perth Run Collective, 2017/18 HBF Run for a Reason 21KM pacer and 2017/18 Lululemon SeaWheeze pacer).
Similarly, my #runtheworld journey began back in 2015 combining my love of running and travel, and it’s now a personal challenge to complete the six world major marathons, three down (New York, Berlin and Tokyo), three to go. Next (TBC): London 2019.
This is actually a good exercise to try and repeat from time to time: What makes you happy? When do you feel utter joy? Find that answer and do more of it, be fully engaged and see where it takes you.
SO, WHAT WORKS WHEN IT COMES TO STAYING ENGAGED?
Showing up, working hard and being consistent - we roll on in the rain.
See opportunities in collaboration, rather than competition - we go further, achieve more and extend the benefits beyond our immediate circles when we come together.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR PERTH RUN COLLECTIVE?
Right now, Perth Run Collective’s current series is focused on getting runners prepped for the HBF Run for a Reason, 4km, 12km or 21KM, on the 27th May, 2018. We’re also encouraging runners to help fellow runner and Paralympian, Brant Garvey reach his goal of entering the largest team this year – help us help Brant: No Xcuses Not to Run.
Anyone with a goal time or looking to chase a personal best at this year’s HBF Run for a Reason Half Marathon, keep an eye out for your friendly Perth Run Collective pacers at the start line. Let the pacers ease any race jitters, take a bit of worry out of your race day plan or up the motivation when it starts to wane.
Beyond that, complimentary weekly sessions are held every Tuesday 5.45pm from Lululemon's Perth City store and 8.00am Sundays from Clarko Reserve, Trigg.
Lace up and join up!
SIGN UP FOR HBF RUN FOR A REASON 2018