Two flatmates have created a ‘viral’ daily running club in Burgess Park as part of their mission to get people healthy.
Tom’s Run Club started as a way for a young man to get his flatmate up in the mornings and has quickly become a community.
Shubho Hassan said before he moved in with his friend, Tom Payne, on the Old Kent Road a month ago, their routines could not have been more different.
“I didn’t have an alarm,” Shubho said, “so I would wake up whenever and get straight on my laptop.
“I work in digital marketing and social media so my job is really flexible,” he explained.
Tom on the other hand, who is training to be a personal trainer, would go running early every morning. Soon, he started bringing Shubho along with him.
“He was always into running and fitness,” the 24-year-old told us. “I couldn’t be further from that – I was living a super lazy life.”
The idea to make it into a daily club started after they saw how good it was making them both feel.
Shubho said he’d gone from never exercising to getting up every day at 6 am for a 30-minute run: “At first it was hard but after a week I was getting up easily and I have been doing it every day since.
“I feel so alive.”
Keen to help other people get healthy, they started capturing their journey on social media with an open invitation for anyone else wanting to join.
Although no one was turning up at first their videos were getting hundreds of thousands of hits.
“We were getting flooded with messages of encouragement,” Shubho said, “then people started asking how they could join us.”
Now, just over 35 days in the club has blossomed into a regular group.
“We have people of a range of ages and walks of life who we never would have met otherwise.”
Members include someone training for the marathon, and a man who just moved to London and wanted to make friends. With a global audience on Instagram, the Burgess Park runs have even reached as far as the Philippines.
One member, 32-year-old Sam, who lives in Bermondsey, said the group makes it easy for him to ‘jump out of bed.’
“I’ve had a habit of being pretty lazy,” he told us, “but the club has now given me the motivation to get into fitness.
“It’s such an inviting group which makes it easy for me to jump out of bed and exercise in the morning knowing I will be a part of a friendly group and potentially make some new friends.”
He added that the fact it is daily means it’s easy to fit into his schedule.
When they said ‘daily’ they meant it, with Shubho saying they even plan to go on Christmas Day, commenting: “Anyone whose on their own on Christmas or feeling lonely should come along and start the day off with us.”
“It’s changed my life.”
Any physical ability is welcome and it is free to attend. Follow them on Instagram @tomsrunclub to find out how to get involved.