The winter months in Perth may not be ideal for beach lovers but the cooler conditions are perfect for runners who are ready to lace up and clock the kilometres to stay in shape.
It may be tempting to hibernate at home with Netflix as the nights draw in but that shouldn’t be an excuse to forgo the exercise routine – there’s plenty of opportunities to go running in Perth!
Are you looking for a cheap way to lose weight, stay healthy and keep the winter blues away? Time to grab those running shoes and train for one of Perth’s running events.
The benefits of running
It’s no surprise that the benefits of running are plentiful to your overall health and wellbeing.
It’s affordable, convenient and it’s an effective way to keep both your body and brain in great shape.
The physical benefits of running are improved heart health, blood pressure, weight control, lung function, muscular endurance and joint strength.
For mental wellbeing, running improves your resilience, helps you sleep better at night and can help you feel calmer and less stressed – something we all could do with in our busy modern lives!
Where to get involved with Running in Perth?
Keen to get outdoors this winter and hit the bitumen? Here are 5 running events in Perth this winter for you to take part in and feel your best with a shiny new medal around your neck.
One of the most popular Perth running events of the year, HBF Run for a Reason sees 35,000 participants take over the streets of Perth in a sea of blue.
All events start in the heart of the Perth CBD on William Street where 4km, 12km, and half marathon runners will split off on their own route before meeting again at the finish line at Gloucester Park Racecourse.
The 12km and half marathon races will have the novelty of running through the closed Northbridge tunnel and organisers have tweaked the half marathon route to extend further down Hackett Drive, taking in more of the beautiful Swan River.
Given that it's the events 10th year expect a celebratory atmosphere as the official Run for a Reason T-shirt has a burst of confetti added to the lower third. For Perth runners, it’s one of the top things to do in Perth for the year.
If you’re on the fence about distance running and looking to take part in your first event, the electric atmosphere of HBF Run for a Reason has the potential to get you hooked!
Runners Difficulty Rating: 3/5
The first ever Rottnest Marathon took place back in 1994 and the event has grown ever since, expanding to a running festival that incorporates a marathon, half marathon, 12km and 5km distances to cater for all levels of runners.
Just 72 runners lined up for the 1st event but organisers are expecting more than 1,200 for 2019.
The start and finish lines are located at Thomson Bay, where the hub of the island activity remains.
The four-lap marathon course circumnavigates the salt lakes in the centre of the Island via the sealed roads. Half marathoners run two laps; 10km runners one lap; and the 5km is an out and back course.
As you’re never that far from open seas, there’s always a chance of windy conditions adding to the challenge of the event.
Prior planning is also required for Rottnest Running Festival as you either have to catch a (very) early morning ferry or stay overnight in one of the island’s many accommodation options. Maybe it’s time for a spot of eco glamping?
Runners Difficulty Rating: 4/5
King of the Mountain
Sunday 30 June, Helena Valley
Ready for a cross country challenge? The King of the Mountain 16.1km race starts at Helena Valley Primary School and winds its way through Perth’s hills, finishing at Fred Jacoby Park in Mundaring.
With two water crossings to navigate this one is not for the faint-hearted, but the reward of the spectacular countryside and a big feed at the end of the run keeps runners coming back year after year!
If you’ve got a few 12km’s or half marathons under your belt, The King of the Mountain should be the next challenge on your horizon.
Runners Difficulty Rating: 5/5
Perth Half Marathon
Sunday 4 August – Perth
The Perth Half Marathon course starts at the WA Marathon Club headquarters in Burswood and follows the cycle path through Kensington, South Perth and out to Crawley along Mounts Bay Road before turning back on itself and returning to Burswood.
For those who prefer a shorter run, the 5km route starts at the same location as the half marathon but turns just before the boat shed in South Perth.
You can run or walk the 5km event as it’s well suited for walkers or younger children with their parents.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Lions Save Sight Foundation which helps the ongoing research into preventing eye disease in Western Australia.
As the course is (mostly) flat it’s perfect for beginners who want a taste for longer distances without the worry of big hills to climb.
Runners Difficulty rating: 2/5
Chevron City to Surf
Sunday 26 August, Perth CBD and surrounding suburbs
This is the 2nd biggest running event in Perth of the year, conveniently bookmarking the end of the winter season in style.
20,000 runners, walkers and rollers tackled the marathon, half marathon, 12km and 4km courses in 2018, helping to raise over $10 million for charities in WA since its inception 15 years ago.
The longer courses weave in and out of Kings Park before heading towards the Indian Ocean via Subiaco, Floreat and City Beach, taking in some of Perth’s best sights along the way.
With the finishing line in reaching distance, there is a big hill to tackle before the descent to sea level at City Beach for a triumphant climax in front of a large crowd. Make sure you save your legs for the last 2km’s – you’ll need it.
With a few steep inclines to tackle, City to Surf is ideal for those who relish a challenge.
Runners Difficulty rating: 4.5/5
Various locations, all year round
Want to dip your toe in the water with running but don’t know where to start? Parkrun offers free timed events across several Perth locations every Saturday morning from 8km.
Run completely by volunteers, the 5km routes on offer are ideal for beginners and seasoned pros alike and take place in pleasant parkland surroundings.
There’s a fantastic community atmosphere at each venue with catch ups after the event for breakfast and coffee a common occurrence.
Just make sure you register on the Parkrun website to gain access to your barcode, which needs to be scanned when you cross the finishing line.
You might even make a few friends along the way and don’t be afraid to raise your hand to volunteer occasionally to pass the good karma on!
Runners Difficulty rating: 2/5
Tips to start running in Perth
Running has a very low barrier of entry compared to other fitness hobbies. All you need is a pair of decent shoes, a spare hour and a short route to test out.
No need to spend weeks writing a well-crafted plan, just get out there and start running!
There’s no need to set a distance goal at first, just aim to run for 15-20 minutes at first and slowly increase when your confidence rises.
It’s OK to part run, park walk too until you get used to constantly running for 30 minutes at a time.
Perth’s climate is ideal for running between April and November. If you do run in the summer, make sure you’ve completed your run by 9am before it gets too hot and stay well hydrated at all times.
The fresh outdoor air is more inspiring than the hamster wheel vibes that a treadmill at the gym has the offer and you’ll feel all the better for it.
We’ll see you out there!