I'm not a runner. A collaboration with Unfit Run Club.
It all started three years ago, when a group of mates came together to create something that would make a difference in our city. We could see that hospitality businesses were seriously struggling to survive during the pandemic and we wanted to help. In truth, we too were struggling with the social isolation of COVID and needed not just an excuse to see each other but a reason to get moving again. Knowing that running is a great way to stay active, we came up with the idea of a run club that would start and finish at our favourite local cafes, something nobody else was doing at the time.
We would run (or sometimes not even), buy a coffee, see our friends, meet new people, feel good. One thing we were always super clear on was that the vibe would be relaxed. You didn’t have to be a “serious” runner to join us, this was a safe space where we wanted everyone to feel welcome: UNFIT RUN CLUB was born.
At first the crowds were small and some Saturdays nobody showed up at all. But as word spread, it started to gain traction and 6 months in we were getting 15-20 people turning up to different Brisbane cafes each week. It was then we could really see the positive impact that we were having on the community. We were bringing much needed foot traffic to local cafes who were stoked to have us and we were helping average people find a love for running that they never knew they had. What we didn’t expect was that the run club would really come to mean something to the members - people have found new mates, best mates, partners, collaborated on business ventures and overcome mental health struggles by joining the crew. And it’s this we are most proud of.
Fast forward to 2023 and UNFIT have pumped over $200k back into the local economy following expansion to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, have begun also running from breweries and gelaterias, and regularly draw 250 + people weekly across all locations. Our mantra is simply “community x collaboration” and as our community has grown, we’ve been fortunate to have some awesome opportunities to collaborate with local brands.
We’ve worked together with beloved Brisbane donut joint Nodo on a number of events but most notably for our Brisbane Festival Street Serenades collab as well as a huge charity day supporting Our Moon’s Mission last year where we raised circa $10k for the cause. In 2022 we partnered with Brisbane roaster Bear Bones to launch our own coffee, and later - a dream come true - we brewed our own beer, Run Juice with Range Brewing. In terms of merch though, Fractel was just the perfect fit for us.
18 months ago everyone was pestering us for some decent run gear and we had long admired the running caps from Fractel who coincidentally we're based just down the highway on the Sunny Coast. We reached out to founder, Matt who loved what we were doing and he helped us bring the O.G. UNFIT running cap to life. Our community lapped it up, the hats sold out in the first week and we immediately did a second run to keep up with demand. Today we still receive requests from around the globe about restock but have decided to keep our ranges really exclusive and limited to small runs only.
Over the past 18 months our relationship with Fractel has gone from strength to strength through their sponsorship of our weekly Gelato Messina gelato runs and ongoing support of our run crew. Now we're pumped to announce our latest Fractel headwear collaboration: I’M
NOT A RUNNER.
This collection is inspired by the countless DMs we have received over the years that began with the words, "I'm not a runner” - something that really resonated with us because well, we weren’t runners either and yet here we are. Featuring two caps and a running bucket in a re-imagined palette of baby pink, black and beige, the range is a nod to the Australian summer and delivers a more laid back version of the O.G. style.
NOT A RUNNER launches on 11 March at our exclusive launch party and first ever retail pop-up. In 2023 we decided we’re taking things up a notch, so we hired an art gallery. The event is the culmination of a tireless effort behind the scenes from the UNFIT Creative Team, and production from Fractel to bring the collection together. Sean Tattam lead the design of the caps whilst Maddie Barklimore and Ben Long produced the headwear campaign shoot on location at Ume's South Brisbane warehouse and Kangaroo Point Cliffs. We’re really excited to announce that we will be showcasing their collection of images in the gallery at our launch. A true testament to the relationships we have garnered over the years, brand partners Black Hops Brewing, Fonzie Abbott, City Winery Brisbane and The Nut Market James Street are on board to keep everyone fed and hydrated, and a local DJ will be on hand to keep the vibes in check.
Grab your tickets here and make sure you don’t miss the chance to get your hands on one of our limited edition hats.