COMMUNITY, CULTURE + COLOUR
We’re dedicating April to COMMUNITY, CULTURE + COLOUR – a month-long celebration that focuses on all the good things we collectively crave. It’s just over a year now since ‘social distancing’ first entered our vernacular, came into our awareness and forced us all – without any due notice – to stop participating in all the small daily rituals, the rich cultural traditions, the large colourful gatherings, that have been integral to our thriving for decades, centuries, millennia.
While the pandemic holds its grip in so many ways, across the globe, hope remains the human superpower, and we will return. Bigger, better, bolder and more united than ever. Our shared experience unites us. Mass physical separation sees our stories interwoven like never before. What we’ve come through is nothing compared to our imminent global come up.
This will turn out to be the great renaissance of our time. As we overcome the challenge, we gain knowledge and understanding of what we can truly endure. Our shared pain lays the perfect foundation for fierce collective power. And our greatest dividend: The free-spirited fearlessness that follows. Celebration will be our rebellion. Colour our retaliation. Creativity our boldest act of resistance.
Building Community: The 440 Style
We launch COMMUNITY, CULTURE + COLOUR with The 440. A run club founded in Bronte, a Sydney coastal suburb, in June 2016 by Trent Knox and Todd Liubinskas, The 440 has grown from a handful of blokes meeting at 5am on Saturday mornings, to a weekly attendance of more than 200 strangers and friends, assembling in the dark to walk, run or sprint laps of a 440-metre tarmacadamed and at once brutal and rewarding hilly loop, set right next to the crashing waves that boom against Bronte’s beach and cliffs.
Run. Dip. Sip.
There’s no fee, no membership, no bibs, no medals, no real finish line. In its place, there’s so much more: a community, a welcome, a hello, good morning, a hug, a high five. After the run, there’s the option for a quick collective dip and chat in the ocean pool, before re-convening at a local café for a coffee, a catch-up, a doorstop chunk of banana bread.
Trent founded the run club in June 2016 after turning a running session consisting of hills into an inclusive looped run in Bronte Beach in Sydney. The name 440 comes from the 440m distance to the top of the hill.
Two years later, he convinced his mate Todd to come for a run one Saturday morning at 5am. That morning changed Todd’s life, his perspective on running and why starting in the dark is so powerful.
As Todd and Trent themselves testify:
The 440 Run Club is an inclusive community, helping the world move and connect. It works and continues to grow because of consistency: the Saturday morning menu never changes:
It’s reliability; something people can count on to be there for them. We are open 52 weeks, rain, hail or shine. It’s inclusivity, everyone is welcome, all abilities, ages, religions and genders. You don't even have to run, some people come down just to hang out and connect.
Our mission is to be the most inclusive run club rooted in connection, integrity and fun. Our vision is a future where no barriers prevent people from moving, ensuring people live a happier, healthier, more connected life. And it seems to be working! As we approach our fifth birthday, The 440 is expanding into new states, territories and countries: we now have almost 20 run clubs across Australia, as well as one in California and two in NYC.
We both come from a background in competitive sports, varying from ball sports to water sports, participating at state, national and world levels in our chosen disciplines. We’ve both worked in the corporate world for many years, however both of us ended up following our passions in the health and fitness spaces, and are involved in various one on one, group, corporate and online training programs.
We have learnt to lean on each other on the tough days, and in turn developed the skills to lead this community. Community, in our eyes, is giving your time to serving a higher purpose or something greater than yourself. It can be as simple as walking with someone or stopping for a five-minute chat. Community is also a space where people can feel comfortable to be themselves and to ask for help or be encouraged to help themselves simply by turning up.
What we really love about the run club is the connection and vulnerability we witness each week. The transformations from people who said they’d never be a runner, or who can't get up early, or someone who said they were shy and too scared to step out in public. The stories we hear and see play out in front of us each week is more than enough inspiration for us to keep this movement going.
What’s our plan from here? Our initial target is to get one million people activated globally. We want to help people find their power, restore their confidence, make them feel good about themselves and show them how to practice self-care and self-love. We're a face to face, skin on skin community... We turn up on our good days and our bad days, and we get better together.
If you’ve still never been to The 440, but you’re keen to give it a try, then picture this:
It’s 3:40am, the sky is standing still, stars can be seen clearly, excitement is in the air, and the Pacific Ocean can be heard tumbling against the coast.
Today is Saturday - a day that celebrates movement, motion, connection, excitement, and above all, today is for you! It’s the main day of the week where mates, strangers, keen runners, shufflers, early risers, and those that seize the day are up and ready to participate in The 440.
Trent travels up to the local coffee shop to pick up two coffees, one for himself, and one for his mate Toddy.
He travels down to a serene Bronte Beach, the birthplace of The 440 run club. Handing the coffee to his mate Toddy, they begin to chat about the week that was, starry eyed about the week about to begin.
The boys start complaining about their tough week, the toll it’s taken on their bodies, mind, and spirit. There is one thing that is pumping the blood around their body, one energy source, one constant, one place that is always the same, the menu never changes, it’s always home, and it is, The 440.
The 440 is inclusive, it has no judgement, it welcomes you, it encourages you, picks you up when you’re down, propels you forward into the week, allows you to be you! You get out of the 440 what you put into it, and it’s only for you, no one else. It’s a looped run, that starts in the dark. It starts in your darkness and allows you to walk into the light, every, single, week.
The 440 is connection, it puts you out of your comfort zone, and tests your mental and physical self, carries you to the finish, and embraces you no matter your age, height, weight, colour, gender, language. All are welcome
There are millions of stories that come from this place, and these stories shape the community we have among ourselves to date. It’s stories that are happening and you don’t even know it. Take a second to stop, understand the flow, relate to the sound of the pattering feet, take in the breathing and echoes of murmurs in the dark. These are the sounds and stories of our community, the heart pumping, skin warming, goosebump talking community of the 440.
We can’t wait to see you here.
We can’t wait to connect with you.
We can’t wait to share with you.
All you have to do, is:
The Run, Dip, and Sip will be waiting for you.
Sleep in your activewear.
Set 3 alarms.
Get to bed early.
This is good for me.
This is good for you.
You are a RUNBOSS and you don’t even know it yet.