Sydney’s latest fitness craze doesn’t involve high-tech gym equipment or gruelling fat-loss bootcamps. Nor does it focus on calorie counting, shredding fat or personal bests. Welcome to the world of Croissant Run Club, where the pursuit of pastry is giving diet culture and traditional workout regimes a run for their money – quite literally.
The idea is delightfully simple. Imagine this: a group of joggers, walkers and runners united not by their desire to shed pounds or break running records, but by their communal love for flaky, buttery croissants. It’s a very straightforward concept: run a bit, eat a bit (or a lot), and chat a bit. These 5–7km runs finish at some of Sydney’s best bakeries where coffee, croissants and friendship are on the menu.
At the centre of this flaky revolution stands Tara Gallagher, a spirited UK expat whose love for croissants and community runs as deep as the layers of her favourite pastry.
A year ago in London, Tara’s idea was simple: why not combine the joy of running with the universal love of croissants? The concept was a hit, turning a casual jog with friends into a global phenomenon, now with 30 chapters worldwide. Each chapter reflects Tara’s original vision: making exercise fun, accessible and socially enriching. At the Croissant Run Club, you’re more likely to have conversations about pastry preferences than split times or calories burnt.
This new approach to group fitness is a breath of fresh air in a world where exercise is often seen as penance for enjoying food. For too long, we’ve been subjected to the narrative that exercise is solely about losing weight, gaining muscle and body sculpting. The Croissant Run Club and its pastry-loving counterparts offers a more palatable option: exercise for the sheer joy of it, for the love of community, and yes, for the love of croissants.
Fun, friends, food
In a city ranked as one of the world’s worst for making friends, these clubs are not just breaking the mould: they’re baking a new one. They offer a space where people can come together, not just in the spirit of fitness, but in the spirit of fun, food and friendship.
As these clubs continue to grow, they serve as a delicious reminder: the best way to keep fit is not to run from your indulgences but towards them. Why count calories when you can count the kilometres towards your next croissant?
Tara’s approach isn’t about using food as a ‘physical reward’ for your efforts – exercise should never be seen as a penance for enjoying the finer, flakier things in life. Tara’s philosophy is rewriting the narrative around food in the context of fitness. It’s a step away from viewing ‘food as fuel’ and towards viewing food as a fundamental aspect of our social fabric, a catalyst for joy and a celebration of life. Food is about connection, community, health and happiness.
Feel the synergy
Coastrek is about Fun, Fitness, Friends and Fundraising… and Food (Coastrek Founder and CEO Di Westaway is a passionate proponent for delicious eats – her buckini bars, choc-chip cookies and bliss balls are legendary). The essence of Coastrek lies in its ability to turn a physical endeavour into an emotionally enriching experience. Your post-hike ritual is just as important as the hike itself: these moments of reflection, joy and relaxation are crucial to solidifying the friendships formed.
So next time you lace up your boots for a Coastrek training hike, remember that it doesn’t just have to be about the distance covered or the calories burned. It’s about the journey, the people you meet along the way, and of course, the sweet, sweet reward waiting at the finish line. Food is crucial not only for fuel, but for connection. In the end, isn’t that what life – and fitness – should be all about?