‘Happy Pace’ – keeping the FUN in Fun Runs

June 21, 2019

Members of the Happy Pace Running Team at last year’s Pub2Pub

Yvette Kelly loves running… and she loves the Pub2Pub. So much so, she completed the course last year with a torn calf! (That’s commitment.)

“It’s my favourite event”, says Yvette. “I’ve run a lot both here and overseas and like most serious runners, I was once all about chasing times. But I realised I’d forgotten why I love to run… and that’s for the sheer fun of it.” So last year, Yvette and her sister Renee started up ‘HAPPY PACE RUNNING’. It’s an all-inclusive, non-competitive, free social running group based in Avalon that encourages people to find their own ‘Happy Pace’.  Whether you’re looking to run your fastest race ever or simply lacing up for the very first time, runners and run/walkers are all welcome.

We started with just a few of us, but now get at least 15-20 people turning up each Sunday”, said Yvette. “We’re a diverse group, none of whom knew each other before joining… but now we’re all thriving on the friendships we’ve made. You don’t necessarily have to be the ‘fastest’ (unless of course you want to be!). It’s simply about getting out there and giving it YOUR best, enjoying yourself and not comparing yourself to anyone else. Each week we have different pace groups, but we all start at the same time and finish at the same time, regardless of the different distances people run.  Last year in the Pub2Pub, we cheered every single member of our group across the Finish Line. No-one feels left behind, or left out… we’re a Team!”

Yvette is hoping for a team of 30 or more ‘Happy Pacers’ to enter this year’s Pub2Pub… and they’re running for a cause, proudly raising funds for One Eighty – an organisation started by a group of young people on the northern beaches with the aim of preventing youth suicide.

Happy Pace Running welcomes all ages and standards, from very speedy runners to what Yvette calls “our Back of the Pack Champions”. The youngest Happy Pacer is an accomplished runner at just 10 years of age. Oskar and his dog Baxter run with the group each week – (Baxter is also Happy Pace Running’s mascot). Oskar will again be part of the Happy Pace Running Team in this year’s Pub2Pub.

“We’ll have runners and walkers registered across every Pub2Pub distance all finding their own Happy Pace”, says Yvette. “We’ll support each other throughout and every one of us will be giving it our best. The variety in our group and our desire to run for fun is our strength. Bring on the Pub2Pub!”

Happy Pace Running meets each Sunday at 7.30am either at the Avalon Surf Life Saving Club or other locations.  You can find them on Facebook. Join the Happy Pace Running Pub2Pub Team, or click here to make a donation to One Eighty.


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