Run clubs are the new dating apps: Runners Sammie Feeley and Zac Smith share their story

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Run clubs are undoubtedly surging in popularity across Australia, with most runners joining for the community atmosphere and the added health benefits of a weekly run.

But when Sammie Feeley and Zac Smith joined a Sydney running group, they had no idea they would find themselves saying “I do” on the edge of a famous running track seven years later.

Ms Feeley, 34, joined Rejoov Runners, a Sydney Centennial Park based running group in 2017 to train for an upcoming marathon and six months later Mr Smith, 35, signed up also looking for some extra marathon training.

But it wasn’t love at first sight for the budding runners.

Ms Feeley said they didn’t initially speak to each other but after months of running side-by-side a “flame” started to develop between the pair.

“Our relationship just developed through the running,” Ms Feeley said.

“You’re running side-by-side for hours and you really get to know someone because none of you are distracted by phones or social media or anything.

“We were both training for marathons… so you just get to know each other while you’re running along, just chatting away.”

After declining a number of date offers, Ms Feeley finally agreed to let Mr Smith take her out on a popular trail running track, the Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains National Park.

The picture perfect first date destination, would be where the running duo would eventually get married.

“We did a bit of a walk and ended with a wine-tasting on our first date. So that’s the venue where we ended up getting married,” Ms Feeley said.

The couple’s love story comes as running groups take the country by storm, with some social media users describing them as the “new dating apps”.

As Aussies head out on their daily runs in droves, it appears some are on the hunt for much more than a healthy hobby.

“Point of view, when the dating apps aren’t working so you join a run club,” one runner posted to Tik Tok.

“Run clubs are the new dating apps, but we knew that already,” another said.

@laurenhe

I used to come home at this hour 🫠 #runclubs #runclub #datingapps #fyp #unofficialrunclub #gymtok

♬ nhạc nền – Nhâm hp16 – Nhâm hp16

Mr Smith said the age demographic of runners within his own group has shifted slightly, with more young people signing up.

“I feel like there’s probably a lot of a younger demographic in the run clubs now, where before was mostly situated to people that were 30 plus,” Mr Smith said.

There’s definitely … a lot more 20 to 30-year-olds doing runs.”

While the pair certainly didn’t join a running group with the motivation to find love, they have perhaps become the ultimate run club success story so many Australians are searching for.

Read related topics:Sydney

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